WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) announced today that it has awarded the 2013 AAVMC Senator John Melcher DVM Leadership in Public Policy Award to Dr. Will Hueston, a veterinarian and professor from the University of Minnesota. The award will be presented March 8 at the AAVMC's 2013 Annual Conference in Alexandria, Va.
Dr. Hueston holds a joint professorship in UMN's College of Veterinary Medicine and the School of Public Health. In 2001, he created the university's Center for Animal Health and Food Safety, which he led for seven years before being named UMN's endowed chair for Global Food Systems Leadership and executive director of the Global Initiative for Food Systems Leadership. Working between the College of Veterinary Medicine and School of Public Health, Dr. Hueston catalyzed the development of a dynamic portfolio of public health educational programs for veterinarians, including a joint DVM/Master of Public Health (MPH) program that now involves more than 100 veterinary students drawn from veterinary colleges across the U.S., an executive program in public health practice that allows mid-career veterinarians to complete an MPH while continuing to work full time, and a post-graduate public health residency program, the first such program approved by the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine.
In nominating Hueston for the award, CVM Dean Trevor Ames wrote that "(Hueston's) ability to bring together individuals with varied viewpoints and effectively facilitate discussions is a skill held by few people. His dynamic personality, tireless efforts, and strong ability to champion the balanced needs of veterinary medicine, public health, and policy have earned him the respect of faculty, staff, students, and stakeholders."
This past year, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture awarded UMN funding for an innovative Food Policy Research Center (FPRC). Dr. Hueston is the director and principal investigator of the FPRC. UMN's winning proposal represents a unique, multidisciplinary partnership involving co-investigators from UMN's College of Veterinary Medicine, School of Public Health, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, Extension, and Humphrey School of Public Affairs. A critical component of the grant is its education program, which includes students and faculty from the CVM, providing them with practical experience in policy analysis that integrates biological, public health, environmental, and economic perspectives.
Dr. Hueston also serves as director of an Office of International Education (OIE) Collaborating Center for Veterinary Services Capacity Building, one of four centers worldwide that focus on strengthening the veterinary capacity of countries to control the spread of transboundary diseases and zoonoses in order to fully participate in global trade of animals and animal products.
He earned a master's degree in veterinary preventive medicine, a doctoral degree in epidemiology, and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from The Ohio State University, as well as a bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Virginia. Prior to joining the UMN faculty, Dr. Hueston has held academic appointments at The Ohio State University, Colorado State University and Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (joint appointment at University of Maryland and Virginia Tech.) Dr. Hueston also spent nine years working for the USDA Animal and Plant Inspection Service Veterinary Service, first as an epidemiologist at the Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health in Ft. Collins, Colorado, and later as director of the Washington, DC, policy staffs.
The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) is a non-profit membership organization working to protect and improve the health and welfare of animals, people and the environment by advancing academic veterinary medicine. Its members include all 33 veterinary medical colleges in the United States and Canada, eight departments of veterinary science, eight departments of comparative medicine, 12 international colleges of veterinary medicine, and three affiliate members. On the Web: http://www.aavmc.org
SOURCE Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges