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Source: Michael B. Cates, 785-532-2117, mcates@vet.k-state.edu
Photo available. Contact media@k-state.edu or 785-532-6415.
News release prepared by: Katie Mayes, 785-532-6415, kmayes@k-state.edu

Friday, May 1, 2009

K-STATE'S MICHAEL CATES ASSUMES LEADERSHIP ROLE ON ONE HEALTH JOINT STEERING COMMITTEE

MANHATTAN -- Michael B. Cates, director of Kansas State University's master of public health program, has been named the American Veterinary Medical Association's representative to the One Health Joint Steering Committee.

Cates, who was the first veterinarian to head the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine, the Army's primary public health organization, brings a considerable amount of experience to the committee. He also was the 23rd chief of the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps and the first veterinarian to serve as the senior public health and preventive medicine adviser to the Army surgeon general. He retired from the U.S. Army in 2008 after 28 years of service.

One Health is a collaborative effort of multiple disciplines, working to attain optimal health for people, animals and the environment. The need for One Health is underscored when considering recent public health events, including the current outbreak of swine flu, the 2006 E. coli outbreak in spinach, the spread of West Nile virus throughout the U.S., avian influenza, and the global epidemics of dengue, chikungunya and Rift Valley fever.

"Recent and historic health challenges around the world clearly demonstrate the inextricable linkages between humans, animals and our environment," Cates said. "It is crucial that we use the expertise among all health professionals to develop the best possible solutions, and I am honored to have this new role in our efforts."

As director of K-State's master of public health program, Cates oversees a program which allows students to address a wide variety of public health issues, such as zoonotic diseases and other infectious diseases, food safety and biosecurity, human nutrition, physical activity and environmental toxicology. The interdisciplinary program takes 42 credit hours and involves courses and faculty from K-State's colleges of Agriculture, Arts and Sciences, Human Ecology and Veterinary Medicine.

The American Veterinary Medical Association's executive board appointed Cates to the post at a meeting in April. Cates will help create a One Health Commission and also contribute to a global One Health Initiative.

Along with directing K-State's master of public health program, Cates is a professor at K-State's College of Veterinary Medicine and is a distinguished diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine.