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Student Spotlight Sophie Neumann

Meet Sophie Neumann, Master of Public Health candidate under the supervision of Dr. Andrew Papadopoulos through the department of Population Medicine (OVC) at the University of Guelph. Sophie is completing her summer practicum at the College of Veterinarians of Ontario (CVO).

Image of Sophie Neumann.

Sophie is currently working on a project that focuses on engaging Ontario veterinarians in One Health. She will be working to communicate concepts from One Health and public health to both veterinarians and the general public. Veterinarians are unique One Health practitioners who bridge the gap daily between human and animal health and will bring in environmental perspectives when dealing with zoonotic diseases such as rabies or leptospirosis. A study conducted by the CVO indicated that a large proportion of veterinarians do not directly link their work in clinical practice to the One Health approach.

Sophie’s project aims to identify the best way to effectively communicate the importance of veterinarians acting as both public health and One Health practitioners.

Her approach uses knowledge translation and social marketing techniques to familiarize veterinarians with One Health related topics. Sophie also creates infographics to effectively convey One Health topics such as zoonotic disease transmission and antimicrobial stewardship. Antimicrobial stewardship is an interdisciplinary pursuit that encourages appropriate antimicrobial therapy.

Informed antimicrobial therapy improves patient outcomes and limits the development of antimicrobial-resistant organisms. Additionally, Sophie will be investigating how COVID-19 has impacted veterinarians’ perceptions of their public health identity.

Before her Master’s, Sophie completed an honours B.Sc. in biomedical sciences from the University of Guelph. As a student in the MPH program, she has taken courses focused on health communication strategies, giving her a unique perspective for creating effective written and visual communication pieces. Sophie is currently working from her home in Toronto, ON due to COVID-19. When Sophie is not at work, she enjoys hanging out with her two cats, Merlin and Zeus.

Article by Sarah Martone

Image of Sophie's cat.

Watch Sophie’s interview here: