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Tufts OpenCourseware
Author: Joann Lindenmayer, DVM,MPH

1. Introduction

ESSENTIAL PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE #5: Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts.

This services requires leadership development at all levels of public health; systematic community-level and state-level planning for health improvement in all jurisdictions; development and tracking of measurable health objectives as a part of continuous quality improvement strategies; joint evaluation with the medical health care system to define consistent policy regarding prevention and treatment services; and development of codes, regulations and legislation to guide the practice of public health.


Food Safety: Role of the veterinarian in ensuring a safe food supply, Preharvest requirements to ensure a safe food supply (use of antibiotics/feed additives in food-producing animals), regulatory requirements related to food products of animal origin (agencies involved in regulation of food products, residue avoidance)

Environmental health: Disasters and disaster response (major types of disasters, health hazards to humans and animals associated with disasters, principles of disaster preparedness, principles of disaster intervention, principles and organization of disaster aid, role of the veterinarians in disaster response), food resources (health hazards), drugs, biologics and chemicals (FDA regulations - INDA and NADA, surveillance for residues, regulatory programs and acceptable levels), location and use of human resources, agencies and laboratory services

Community Health: organization of community health activities (scenarios of community health problems which should include veterinarians and discuss possible roles/functions, reporting chains), administrative aspects of community health (public health program/policy development, funding and implementation at federal, state and local levels, administrative policy and legislation), community health planning, delivery and evaluation (veterinary role in planning for community health emergencies that involve animals, veterinarian’s roles, responsibilities and interaction with the public, other health care professionals and private or governmental agencies during a public health emergency, scenarios which require veterinary assistance with a community health emergency), specific community health issues involving animals (psychosocial aspects of human-animal interrelationships), environmental issues related to community disaster response planning

PRIMARY EXAMPLE: Hurricane Katrina

SECONDARY EXAMPLE: Antibiotic use in livestock

2. Learning Objectives

At the end of class, students should be able to:

  • Differentiate between administrative and legislative policy

  • Discuss the role that veterinarians can play in developing administrative and legislative policies at all levels of the government

  • Describe the role of government agencies (FDA) and grassroots organizations in developing veterinary public health policies

  • Justify the human-animal bond as a public health issue

3. Required Reading

Hurricane Katrina

Lessons from Katrina: Include pets in disaster plan. Kansas City Star, January 20, 2006.

Mort M, Convery A, Baxter J and C Bailey. Psychosocial effects of the 2001 UK foot and mouth disease epidemic in a rural population: qualitative diary based study. BMJ 2005; 331: 1234.

Public Law 109-308, the 109th congress. The PETS Act . October 6, 2006.

Antibiotic Resistance

The FDA and the Evidence on an Antibiotic. Washington Post, March 11, 2007.

FDA Rules Override Warnings about Drug: Cattle Drug Moves Forward Despite Fears of Human Risk. Washington Post, March 5, 2007.

Weiss R. FDA Rules Override Warnings About Drug. Washington Post, March 4, 2007.

Healthy Cattle and Healthy Humans. Editorial Page, New York Times, March 9, 2007.

Bryskier, P.A. Aspects of the Use of 4 GCs in Human and Veterinary Medicine in Europe . Food and Drug Administration, Center for Veterinary Medicine. Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee Public Hearing, 25 September 2006.

Johnson, CK. Introduction to Cefquinome (CEQ) and Overview of Microbial Safety Assessment . Food and Drug Administration, Center for Veterinary Medicine. Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee Public Hearing, 25 September 2006