Herrmann led the effort to create the Center for One Health Illinois, which is tackling this gap in surveillance by recruiting experts to build a system for sharing environmental and health data. Earlier this year the center brought potential partners together for a conference. Among the many ideas shared, participants discussed the barriers to quick and efficient data sharing.
An outcome of that discussion was the creation of a demonstration project to develop an integrated surveillance system. The project involves experts at the local health department, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at Illinois and the College of Veterinary Medicine.
The center also has funded a few small-scale research projects. These include an initiative aimed at comparing the ecological impacts of small and large dairy operations; a geographic and ecological analysis of rabies in bats in Illinois; a study of microbial contamination in relation to food establishments with and without health code violations in Champaign and Urbana; and a study of human and animal trichinella infections on small hog farms in Romania. The center seeks to fund new studies that integrate human, animal, agricultural and/or ecosystem health.
The USDA funding has allowed the center to also "increase the public health exposure of our students," Herrmann said.
It funds externships for some DVM/MPH students at the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the USDA, the Food and Drug Administration and various other federal and state agencies. It also supplements course budgets so students can do more site visits and participate in outbreak investigations. For example, Herrmann recently took students to a poultry operation in northwest Illinois to do some environmental sampling. Other students traveled to Germany to visit and learn about a foreign animal disease facili
|Contact: Diana Yates|
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign