Priming future scientists in global health
Preparing to monitor a possible disease outbreak sounds like the work of world leaders, however for approximately 50 Toppenish High School students this was all in a day's work during their recent visit to WSU's Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health.
The students’ visit was part of an ambassador program—funded by the Washington Global Health Alliance and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—that sparks teens’ interest in careers in the sciences, specifically in fields related to global health. The Allen School is a partner in the program.
The all day event focused onfinding creative mechanisms for evaluating information, making decisions then communicating those decisions to others—in this case during a hypothetical health crisis. It provides hands-on experience in science and its application at the societal level.
Professor Bill Sischo, an expert in food safety and global health, led the day-long learning sessions by creating a potential outbreak scenario as the backdrop for the experiential learning module complete with a State called “Bliss”, counties and institutions that would be affected. Divided into groups, students assumed roles of leaders in their respective institutions, which included two hospitals, a department of health, and a veterinary hospital.
The program actively demonstrated how research affects human health. It enabled students to appreciate the complexity of global health investigation and communication.
WSU prepares for role in monitoring swine flu outbreak
As a member of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network, Washington's Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory has prepared for heightened surveillance and testing during the current outbreak of swine influenza.
“Our laboratory is ready to conduct heightened surveillance for the human H1N1, the so-called swine flu virus, if it occurs in animals,” said Terry McElwain a professor in the School for Global Animal Heath and executive director of the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory.
The Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory is a collaborative unit of the School for Global Animal Health and shares in the mission to conduct heightened surveillance for diseases that occur at the interface of humans and animals.
“We encourage producers to contact the laboratory if they have any concerns or if they want to submit samples,” McElwain said.
An inside look at policy-making
Local Policy-Making: Examining the Intersection of Global, National and Local Policy
OLYMPIA, Wash. - Future leaders in global food and animal health gain valuable insights into decision-making at the state and provincial levels.
The October 2008 event gave graduate and professional students an inside look at how state-level policies governing food and animal health are forged. The group addressed pending legislation regarding critical trade and animal health issues at the nexus of global trade agreements, national priorities recognizing the diesease status of trading partners, state-level priorities for protecting local industry, and monetary constratints. This included conversations with senate staff, state-level budget officers, agriculture leaders, media representatives, and lobbyists.
The three-day event was organized by Global Initiative for Food Systems Leadership (GIFSL) partner Bill Sischo, professor in the School for Global Animal Health at Washington State University as part of a series of policy programs.
Forging partnerships to monitor zoonotic disease
The School for Global Animal Health aims to develop a model for zoonotic disease surveillance and detection of both known and emerging agents in Sub-Saharan Africa. Finding countries to partner in this initiative is a critical step for its success.