We live in an era of climate change, environmental degradation, mass migration, emerging and re-emerging zoonotic diseases, and increasing threats to biodiversity, food safety, food security and health inequality. These are among the grand challenges for the next generation of health leaders.
The One Health Institute is helping U of G meet the challenges we face on this planet. The Institute celebrates and promotes opportunities to forge multidisciplinary partnerships between natural and social scientists, agri-food industries, and the health professions locally, provincially, nationally, and globally, and benefits from close ties to federal, provincial, and municipal public health, animal health, and environmental agencies.
The scale of the global challenges we face is enormous. There is no easy answer, no quick-fix, and we know this. We undertook our strategic planning process with this in mind. We have the will to Improve Life. This strategic plan will help us amplify the means with which we intend to do so.
This strategic plan is a link between where we have been, and where we will go. Our activities will be organized and structured around three strategic drivers: Enriching Student Experience, High Impact Research, and an Engaged One Health Institute Community. Having a concrete set of priorities will help us develop metrics to which we can hold ourselves accountable, linking our day-to-day activities to global challenges and complexities. This plan arose from an intensively consultative process, and it is with this spirit that we will plan our next steps forward.
Read more about the OHI and our 2023-2028 Strategic Plan by scrolling down.
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What is One Health?
What is One Health?
One Health is an integrated, unifying approach that aims to sustainably balance and optimize the health of people, animals, and ecosystems. It recognizes the health of humans, domestic and wild animals, plants, and the wider environment (including ecosystems) are closely linked and inter-dependent.
The approach mobilizes multiple sectors, disciplines, and communities at varying levels of society to work together to foster well-being and tackle threats to health and ecosystems, while addressing the collective need for clean water, energy and air, safe and nutritious food, taking action on climate change, and contributing to sustainable development.
One Health promotes a sustainable and healthy future through collaboration, communication, coordination and capacity building.
Citation: One Health High-Level Expert Panel (OHHLEP), Adisasmito WB, Almuhairi S, Behravesh CB, Bilivogui P, Bukachi SA, et al. (2022) One Health: A new definition for a sustainable and healthy future. PLoS Pathog 18(6): e1010537. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1010537
The One Health Institute (OHI)
Vision: The University of Guelph will be a recognized leader in One Health—preparing our future leaders for the complex challenges at the confluence of human, animal, plant, and environmental health, working across disciplinary boundaries, conducting transdisciplinary research, mobilizing knowledge, and informing policy.
Mission: The One Health Institute enhances and promotes academic, research and outreach programs to propel the University of Guelph to the forefront of One Health scholarship internationally.
OHI Core Values
Collaboration: We recognize the importance of collaboration among professionals from various sectors, including human medicine, veterinary medicine, environmental science, and social sciences. Encouraging cooperation and facilitating partnerships are essential to every aspect of our work.
Transdisciplinarity: To foster a holistic understanding of complex health issues, we must break down traditional boundaries between medical, veterinary, ecological, and social sciences. Transdisciplinary teams can better understand the interconnected factors driving global challenges, including climate change, and disease emergence, antimicrobial resistance, and food insecurity. This integrated understanding is crucial for developing effective prevention, control, and mitigation strategies.
Global Perspective: Health challenges are not bounded by geographic or socially constructed borders. We understand that taking a global perspective to address health disparities, biodiversity loss, and environmental health problems on a worldwide scale is essential to our shared future on this planet.
Social Justice and Advocacy: We acknowledge the many injustices faced by people in Canada, and across the world. Peoples living in poverty, lacking access to safe water, sufficient food, and education experience disproportionate health challenges. We recognize that we must raise our voices – collectively and individually – to promote positive change, and combat racism, bias, and stereotypes. We will work towards social justice, equity, and the recognition of human rights in all our actions.
Sustainability: We value the long-term sustainability of human and animal health systems and environmental resources, and we acknowledge the interdependence between human and animal health and a healthy environment, emphasizing the need for sustainable practices and conservation efforts.
OHI STRATEGIC PLAN | TIMELINE
Developing the One Health Institute’s 2023-2028 strategic plan was a consultative and collaborative effort. It began in fall 2022 through discussions with the University of Guelph’s One Health Institute leadership team. In 2023, we engaged internal and external stakeholders including partners in academia, industry, government, directors of Centres and Institutes at the University of Guelph (U of G), as well as members of college-level and executive leadership teams.
Phase 1: Strategy Exploration
We conducted five focus groups in the winter of 2023. The focus groups were comprised of One Health Institute stakeholders. In total, 32 individuals participated in these groups and included representatives from the following areas:
- OHI Board (6 people)
- Government partners (7 people)
- OHI Leadership Team (2 people)
- U of G Centre and Institute Directors (8 people)
- U of G One Health Thought Leaders (9 people)
The project team reviewed the data and developed drivers and themes.
Phase 2: Strategy Development | 2023
Validating, reviewing, testing themes and drivers with the OHI Board, OHI Leadership Team, University of Guelph Centre and Institute Directors, and University of Guelph One Health Thought Leaders
Validating, reviewing, testing objectives with the OHI Leadership Team, OHI Board, and University of Guelph One Health Thought Leaders
OHI Strategic Plan endorsed by the OHI Director, and the OHI Advisory Board Chair
OHI Strategic Plan endorsed by the OHI Advisory Board and U of G Thought Leaders. Internal and external launch of OHI Strategic Plan.
Engaging the One Health Institute community means that there is a place for all to participate in, collaborate on and communicate about the shared understanding of the interdependence of human, animal, plant, and environmental health. Together, the One Health Institute community will promote the potential for One Health research to solve significant health challenges, domestically and internationally, and to inform public policy. To do this, we will invest in relationships and define responsibilities – within the Institute itself and the wider community.
OHI BRAND IDENTITY
Develop and communicate a clear brand and key performance indicators of success for OHI.
Optimize roles and processes to deliver on OHI strategic priorities and mandate.
Embed EDI and Indigeneity into practices and processes.
UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH COMMUNITY RELATIONSHIPS
Foster deeper relationships and OHI brand awareness across the academic and administrative community to advance the OHI mandate.
GUELPH COMMUNITY RELATIONSHIPS
Deepen community relationships in partnership with One Health affiliated faculty.
ONE HEALTH POLICY DEVELOPMENT
Influence and guide One Health policy and funding development at a provincial and national level.
High Impact Research provides a focal point for those in the University of Guelph community engaged in One Health research, and a ready conduit for dissemination of research results, methodological advances, and the sharing of successful multi- and trans-disciplinary initiatives.
Identify and promote key One Health challenges to focus research efforts.
Develop programs that support major funding applications by OHI faculty.
Foster and strengthen university relationships provincially, nationally and internationally to expand One Health research collaborations.
Conduct robust knowledge translation that demonstrates the importance and impact of University of Guelph One Health research to peers, community members and policy makers.
We will promote and advance opportunities for individuals who come to the University of Guelph to learn, to gain comfort with complexity and to connect across disciplinary boundaries. We endorse broad competencies, including systems thinking, project management, digital literacy, leadership, and an understanding of One Health approaches to solving complex human, animal, plant, and environmental health problems.
ONE HEALTH EDUCATION
Support and enhance the development of strong One Health academic programs at the undergraduate and graduate level.
Build key networks with One Health graduates to demonstrate a record of success.
Promote opportunities for student-led activities and provide avenues to showcase One Health student achievement.
Foster and strengthen intra- and inter-university collaborations to expand One Health training opportunities for University of Guelph students.
LIFELONG LEARNING AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Develop lifelong learning and professional development opportunities.
Foster industry relationships to create avenues for student employment opportunities.
To our colleagues, partners, collaborators, and stakeholders – thank you for providing the input, feedback and insights that shaped this plan. We acknowledge the many perspectives and narratives that laid this strategic platform, a solid foundation upon which the One Health Institute can continue to grow. We look forward to continuing our engagement with the many communities that shape our world, as we work together to Improve Life.