Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine Highlights Food Safety and Security Initiatives for One Health Day

November 15, 2021

CHICAGO – November 15, 2021 –  In recognition of the global One Health movement, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine (RUSVM) recently brought together community leaders, researchers, faculty and students to highlight initiatives that use a One Health, multi-disciplinary approach to recognizing and preventing patterns of disease transmission that are a result of changing ecosystems around the world.

The week-long event, which was held in recognition of One Health Day Nov. 3, is held each year at RUSVM, which is based on the island of St. Kitts. Initiatives highlighted by RUSVM are particularly relevant to Caribbean nations. This year’s theme was on food safety and security, with topics including the introduction of new animal breeds to the island community; food security and health linkages in crop farming; and growing green tilapia as part of aquaculture practices. The event was held in conjunction with RUSVM’s Research Week, and students participated with “three-minute thesis” presentations.

“It is increasingly important for those of us who are preparing students in the animal health, human health and environmental health continuum to coordinate efforts on behalf of local and global communities,” said Dean of RUSVM Sean Callanan, MVB, CERTVR, MRCVS, PHD, FRCPATH, DIPLECVP. “As a veterinary school, we are committed to preparing graduates in approaches that recognize the interconnection of health across the ecosystem by bringing a focus to recognizing zoonoses (animal-borne diseases), food safety and security, species extinction and habitat loss. These One Health approaches are pivotal.”

RUSVM, which offers a curriculum built on a foundational One Health approach, offers veterinary students a unique island and global community setting to explore these topics that are aligned with emerging efforts to prepare a One Health workforce. RUSVM is part of Adtalem Global Education, which provides access to education, certifications and upskilling programs at scale through its network of universities that have a focus in the healthcare sector, including doctor, nursing and veterinary programs. The One Health approach aligns with both Adtalem’s integrated approach to supporting public and community healthcare needs, as well as that of the Caribbean region. 

“The Department of Agriculture embraces the One Health concept as part of its transformational and development strategy for the agricultural sector,” said Director of the Ministry of Agriculture, St. Kitts Tracey Challenger, BSc, DVM, MSc. “As the gateway for food safety and food and nutrition security, hence the pathway to sustainability of life, we must ensure that all elements of AHFS, inclusive of Environmental Health and Veterinary Public Health, be considered at every stage of planning and implementation of the new road map.” 

Guest speakers at the event included:

  • TRACEY CHALLENGER, BSc, DVM, MSc, Director, Ministry of Agriculture, St. Kitts. Challenger is involved in shaping local and regional policies aimed at enhancing food safety and food security on St. Kitts and across the wider Caribbean region.   

  • STUART LAPLACE, Founder/Proprietor of Green Leaf and Director of St. Kitts-Nevis Bureau of Standards. LaPlace is a published author in hydroponics and general biology.

  • LEIGHTON NARAINE, PhD, MA, BA, Director of Employee and Programme Development, Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC). Naraine serves as a member of the St. Kitts-Nevis National Commission for UNESCO and became an expert on the UNESCO Technical and Scientific Advisory Group (Uruguay Headquarters) for Bioreserves and Geoparks.

  • MELVIN JAMES, Agricultural Development Advisor, Former Director of the Ministry of Agriculture, St. Kitts. James’ goal is to contribute to the sustainable development of St. Kitts and Nevis and to the wider Caribbean, particularly through pest management to sustain the value of the region’s agriculture and economies.

  • RANIA SIAM, MBBCh, PhD, Course Director and Professor of Microbiology. Siam holds a PhD in microbiology and immunology from the faculty of medicine, McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She also held positions at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and The Scripps Research Institute. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), six out of every 10 known infectious diseases in people can be spread from animals, highlighting the strong inter-connectiveness of animals, humans and the ecosystem, in addition to the valuable role of veterinarians. One Health is supported by global organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), CDC, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and CARICOM.

RUSVM has been coordinating with St. Kitts government health officials and other government officials to support community health initiatives. The One Health approach is at the core of the veterinary curriculum, as well as a Master of Science in One Health degree and a Certificate in One Health. With four immersive research centers, RUSVM is regionally recognized for its scholarly endeavors. While each center offers its own perspective, all coalesce behind an integrated One Health research philosophy. The One Health Center for Zoonoses and Tropical Veterinary Medicine focuses on research aimed at understanding and combating zoonotic, vector-borne and other infectious diseases affecting human and animal health. To learn more about RUSVM’s One Health Day events (which were recognized Nov. 1-5, 2021):

About Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine
Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine (RUSVM) is an institution of Adtalem Global Education (NYSE: ATGE). Founded in 1982, RUSVM is committed to preparing students to become members and leaders of the worldwide public and professional healthcare team and to advance human, animal and ecosystem health (One Health Initiative). RUSVM offers postgraduate Masters’, Ph.D. and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) programs accredited by the St. Christopher & Nevis Accreditation Board . Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine confers a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree, which is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education (AVMA COE), 1931 N. Meacham Road, Suite 100, Schaumburg, IL 60173, Tel: 800.248.2862. Ross Veterinary Clinic is accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association. For more information visit and follow RUSVM on Twitter (@RossVetSchool ), LinkedIn, Instagram (@rossvetschool) and Facebook (@RossVetSchool).

About Adtalem Global Education
Adtalem Global Education (NYSE: ATGE), a leading workforce solutions provider, partners with organizations in the healthcare and financial services industries to solve critical workforce talent needs by expanding access to education, certifications and upskilling programs at scale. With a dedicated focus on driving strong outcomes that increase workforce preparedness, Adtalem empowers a diverse learner population to achieve their goals and make inspiring contributions to the global community. Adtalem is the parent organization of ACAMS, American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine, Becker Professional Education, Chamberlain University, EduPristine, OnCourse Learning, Ross University School of Medicine, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine and Walden University. Adtalem has more than 10,000 employees, a network of more than 275,000 alumni and serves over 82,000 members across 200 countries and territories. Adtalem was named one of America’s Most Responsible Companies 2021 by Newsweek and one of America’s Best Employers for Diversity 2021 by Forbes. Follow Adtalem on Twitter (@adtalemglobal), LinkedIn, or visit for more information.