Organization Spotlight: Emory Students for One Health (ESOH)

By Kelly Falcone, MPH’23 in Environmental Health-Epidemiology

“We can’t study public health without considering the impact that
the environment and animal health play on human health.”

Trisha Deshmukh, MPH’23 in Epidemiology, Secretary

Are you interested in One Health? Or, have you never heard of One Health before and curious about learning more? Have no fear, the executive board team of Emory Students for One Health (ESOH) is here to tell you about the organization and what you can look forward to as a member of ESOH.

I interviewed the Vice President Mia Colton, MPH’23 in Global Health, Treasurer Angelo Marra MPH’23 in Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Public Affairs and Engagement Coordinator Nick Ripper, MPH’23 in Global Epidemiology, and Secretary Trisha Deshmukh, MPH’23 in Epidemiology, to explain ESOH and share their experiences.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), One Health is a collaborative, multi-sectoral, and transdisciplinary approach with the goal of achieving optimal health outcomes recognizing the interconnection between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment.

Why is having a One Health organization on campus important?
Nick: ESOH is a relatively new (and promising) student organization at Rollins. It was founded shortly before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced its student body and leaders to engage with the field of One Health in a virtual capacity. This past semester, however, ESOH has transitioned to meeting in-person with our peers and with faculty and experts interested in One Health.

What does ESOH do?
Mia: ESOH promotes the One Health initiative by providing a space for students to learn about One Health through school events and providing opportunities for students to become involved in the One Health initiative whether it’s through school or career endeavors.

Why did you Join ESOH?
Angelo: I decided to join ESOH to create an impact on the Rollins community, and to revitalize an organization which had not yet grown its roots. Joining ESOH was a great opportunity for me to get involved with the Rollins community, build friendships with peers, and discuss a public health issue I am passionate about.

Trisha: I decided to join ESOH because I am interested in One Health and the role it plays in the emergence of pandemics and infectious diseases. We can’t study public health without considering the impact that the environment and animal health play on human health.

Mia: I learned about One Health about a year ago and became very passionate in the idea that all health is integrated between humans, animals, and the environment. I wanted to become more engaged and involved with the initiative, so I joined this organization!

Nick: One Health is an incredibly interesting field to me, and I was enthusiastic to have the chance to meet with peers who share my interests. As someone interested in infectious disease, including emerging infectious diseases, One Health is a great framework for understanding how transmission of zoonotic diseases is shaped by the interactions between humans, animals, ecological systems, and the underlying political and economic forces altering these systems.

How has ESOH enhance your Rollins experience?
Angelo: This organization has enhanced my Rollins experience by giving me a community in which I can interact with public health professionals in training. Furthermore, it has exposed me to departments in Rollins that I had previously not been very engaged in. ESOH has truly enhanced my Rollins experience by making my education and interactions much more multidisciplinary.

Trisha: I’ve had such a wonderful time as a member and leader with this organization! I have been exposed to an array of unique One Health opportunities through this. I have also been able to volunteer at various clinics and events. Finally, I couldn’t have asked for a better team to run the executive board.

Mia: It has provided me the opportunity to do something I’m passionate while sharing that passion with peers and experience new opportunities related to One Health.

Nick: It has been a great privilege to interact with my peers and learn more about this critical aspect of public health outside of the classroom. One Health is not a field that my coursework has extensively examined, and this organization has thus contributed greatly to my public health education at Rollins. Additionally, I have met a lot of amazing folks that I did not know beforehand through ESOH, and I am thankful of that, as well. 

Highlights of favorite memories shared by the executive board include: getting to know and work with fellow executive board members, sharing our passion for One Health with other Rollins students, our speaker events to learn about various One Health topics, and hearing from professors and experts about their work in One Health, and of course our celebration of One Health Day with a giveaway and education materials!

One Health is an incredibly important topic, and ESOH aims to educate Rollins students about One Health and provide a community for passionate students that share an interest in One Health.

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