Doctors, veterinarians and ranchers are partnering to fight animal-borne illness. USD’s Sanford School of Medicine aims to open a dialogue between human health care providers, and those who care for animals to protect South Dakotans and livestock against disease.
A $200,000 dollar grant from the Bush Foundation is funding the organization South Dakota OneHealth. The effort aims to improve communication between the health and agriculture sectors. Public health centers and veterinarians across the state are collaborating on the project. Susan Anderson is with the Sanford School of Medicine. She says the grant money boosts the effort to prevent the spread of animal-borne illness.
“It’s going to augment the South Dakota OneHealth working group in more frequent meetings. It’s also going to allow us to reach out to the stakeholders and find out what resources do they need and how do they like to receive information," says Anderson.
Anderson says cases of animal-borne illness spreading to humans in the state are rare. But she says a disease outbreak would negatively impact South Dakota health and economy.
“We just want to make sure everybody is at the table in discussing these potential things and being prepared so we can hopefully prevent them, just a better education and better understanding between those three stakeholder groups," says Anderson.
Anderson anticipates the first year using the grant money to gather information about each stakeholder involved in SD OneHealth, followed by implementation of a website or app to share research.