Veterinary Public Health Organization Club

Past Events

Spring 2017

Career and Student Opportunities with USDA-APHIS with Dr. Detwiler

4/26/17

Dr. Linda Detwiler, DVM from USDA-APHIS presented several externship and job opportunities that USDA-APHIS offers to veterinary students and veterinarians. She also led an interactive activity where all the attendees got to think critically about a public health scenario that actually occured, and compare our ideas to what APHIS veterinarians actually did!

Fall 2016

Smith-Kilborne Program Snack Talk

December 2, 2016, Valley 1041

If you are interested in hearing about an amazing summer opportunity for second year students interested in foreign animal diseases, large animal medicine, pathology, and/or regulatory medicine, consider coming to hear about the USDA Smith-Kilborne program!

Spring 2016

Outbreak Scenario

April 30, 2016

USDA/HPAI Joint Snack/Lunch Talk with Dr. Kerk

March 29, 2016, Valley 1043

Dr. Amber R. Kerk, DVM, MPH, Veterinary Medical Officer from USDA APHIS VS SPRS District 6: will talk about her career path so far (DVM-MPH, etc.), and things she has learned about USDA and emergency response. Between Iowa and Indiana HPAI deployments, she's done site management, surveillance/outreach, and logistics so she can speak on the different aspects of the response. Information will be provided on the CDC Epi Elective pre-approved externship for senior vet students!

Snack Talk with Dr. Hullinger

February 4, 2016, Valley 1043

Fall 2015

Lunch Talk with Dr. Motroni

December 8, 2015, Valley 1010

Dr. Motroni will talk about how she went from studying foothill abortion here at UC Davis to working for the Agriculture Defense branch of the Department of Homeland Security.

The Uncommon Vet with Dr. Elliott Garber

December 7, 2015, Valley 1010

I know you've all been waiting for Elliott Garber (who was unable to make it in April)!!! Dr. Garber is a veterinarian, Army officer, and author who writes about opportunities for veterinarians outside of traditional clinical roles. You may be familiar with the Uncommon Veterinarian blog, podcast, or Facebook page, which provide valuable and practical advice for both current and prospective veterinarians. This talk will provide an overview of "uncommon" careers in veterinary medicine, relevant to public health, One Health, wildlife medicine, and more!

FOOD Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)

December 1, 2015, Valley 1010

FARM Club and VPHO are proud to present Drs. Sara Leisgang and Gregory Abreu, two FSIS veterinarians who will be talking about their federal jobs. Topics will include: what FSIS does as a public health regulatory agency, ante mortem/post mortem inspections, pathogen sampling, tissue residue, epidemiology, recalls, import/export, career opportunities for new veterinary graduate, FSIS jobs, and so much more!

Plum Island Snack Talk with Kristen Alldredge (c/o 2017)

November 10, 2015, Valley 1010

Do you have an interest in infectious disease or public health? Who doesn't! That's why you should come hear Kristen Alldredge discuss her experiences with the Smith-Kilborne Program at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center. For you first and second years, she'll also be discussing how you too can go to Plum Island!

Activities of the Department of Homeland Security's Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases: the example of Rift Valley Fever

September 8, 2015, Valley 1030

Dr. Jurgen A. Richt, a Regents Distinguished Professor specializing in emerging zoonotic diseases, will be discussing his research that established the first reverse genetic system for studying swine influenza virus pathogenesis in its natural host the pig. This led to the development of the modified live H3N2 virus vaccine. Later, he took part in developing a Rift Valley Fever vaccine candidate, vaccine invention #2. Dr. Richt has come to share his experiences and to introduce CEEZAD, which is based at Kansas State Vet School, adjacent to the new > $1 billion National Bio- and Agro-Defense facility (NBAF), and the existing and functional Biosecurity Research Institute BSL-3 facility.

Veterinary Public Health Outbreak Series: Spring 2015

One Health Approach to Lead Pollution in Argentina Wetlands with SOH by Dr. Marcela Uhart

February 25, 2015, Valley 1047

Dr. Marcela Uhart from the UC Davis One Health Institute presents this talk (sponsored by the Students for One Health Club) about a one health approach to address lead pollution due to hunting in Argentina wetlands.

Lunch Talk with Michelle S. - USDA-APHIS externship and a student panel on public health opportunities and tracking

March 26, 2015, Valley 1047

Interested in infectious diseases or public health? Come hear Melissa Schack talk about her experience doing a senior externship with USDA-APHIS, as well as a student panel to discuss tracking decisions and opportunities to become involved in public health.

VPHO/LGVMA/HABC Lunch Talk: Vet Med and the AIDS Pandemic with Dr. Ken Gorczyca

April 1, 2015, Valley 1010

This talk will explore the history of the unexpected roles veterinarians played during the initial AIDS crisis, and their continued role in the one-health approach to providing care for the pets of patients with HIV/AIDS and other debilitating illnesses.

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) Lunch Talk with Dr. Rodrigo Gallardo

April 16, 2015, Valley 1010

Career and Student Opportunities with USDA-APHIS with Dr. Detwiler

Monday, April 27, 2015, Valley 1041

Dr. Linda Detwiler of USDA will be coming all the way out to Davis to give a really exciting lunch talk about some of the amazing externships and jobs that APHIS has to offer.

Careers in Public Health with Dr. Elliott Garber!!!!!

Postponed to later April, 2015

Our annual Careers in Public Health talk will be delivered by Dr. Elliott Garber, "The Uncommon Veterinarian." Dr. Garber is a veterinarian, Army officer, and author who writes about opportunities for veterinarians outside of traditional clinical roles. You may be familiar with the Uncommon Veterinarian blog or facebook page, which provide valuable and practical advice for both current and prospective veterinarians. This talk will provide an overview of "uncommon" careers in veterinary medicine, relevant to public health, One Health, wildlife medicine, and more!

Cultural Competency in the Field with Cortni Borgerson

Tentatively February 2015

FMD Socioeconomic Effects with Dr. Hullinger

January 6, 2015, Noon, Valley 1010

Dr. Pam Hullinger will present her experience in the UK during the Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak, specifically the socioeconomic impacts it had on the people--the farmers, the public, the veterinarians. Dr. Hullinger will also discuss what public health projects she is currently working on.

Anyone can attend, but food is for paid members only. Please respond by Monday January 5th at 4 pm for food orders.

Veterinary Public Health Outbreak Series: Fall 2014

Plum Island Lunch Talk by Radhika Gharpure c/o 2016

November 13, 2014, Noon, Valley 1041

Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC) is the only lab in the US that works on foreign animal diseases; it helps protect US livestock from foreign animal diseases. Come learn about what PIADC is all about and the opportunities for students to be involved, in particular, the Smith-Kilborne Program that Radhika, our lovely Secretary, participated in.

The Smith-Kilborne Program is designed to acquaint veterinary students with various foreign animal diseases which potentially threaten our domestic animal population. The program includes both classroom presentations on diseases and their implications combined with laboratory experiences. Following the seminar, students are expected to share their new knowledge with others. The Smith-Kilborne Program is conducted at two locations: USDA Center at Riverside in Riverdale, MD, and the Plum Island Animal Disease Center, Plum Island, NY.

Snacks will be provided!

Army Vet Corps Lunch Talk by Peony Kim c/o 2016

September 16, 2014, Noon, Valley 1020

Interested in a career as an army veterinarian??? The responsibilities and opportunities to LEARN and SERVE are vast--a couple primary ones being to oversee the medical care of the military working animals and to participate in the public health food safety and defense mission. Did you know you could also get involved in things like foreign development work as a civil affairs vet in the army? Did you know that the Navy has a marine mammal program?? (Yes, Army vets serve all branches of the military, not just Army). The possibilities are endless.

Not to mention the benefits (both career-wise and financial) are pretty darn good. You can choose to pursue residencies at academic institutions through the army in specialties like pathology, surgery, lab animal medicine, MPH/MPVM, etc. Financial benefits include loan repayment or getting paid for/through school WHILE in school.

1st, 2nd years: come learn about the HPSP (Health Professions Scholarship program)! Everyone: come with questions on direct commissioning upon graduation, as well as reserve duty.We will be hearing from local recruiters and from the army vets themselves. Food to be provided by.... your tax dollars!

Lunch Talk: "Ebola Virus" with Dr. Bruno Chomel

August 26, 2014, Noon, Valley 1010

Worried about getting EBOLA? Interested in the role animals play in this deadly outbreak? Curious about the involvement of veterinarians in studying Ebola? We've all read the headlines, now come hear an expert speak! Dr. Chomel will provide a crash course in what you need to know about Ebola and will be answering any and all questions students might have concerning the current outbreak.


Wet Labs/Tours/Events/Exercises

Outbreak Investigation Simulation Wetlab with SOH

Cancelled, Tentatively Fall 2015?

The scenario will consist of an interactive case study that puts participants in the driver's seat to contain an outbreak of an emerging infectious disease. A role-playing activity will spark a discussion highlighting the different perspectives and interests that intersect in this effort. Participants will come away with a better understanding of the cultural and environmental factors that impact the health of a community, and the importance of cross-disciplinary strategies in addressing global health challenges.

CAHFS Tour

Tuesday, March 10, 2015, 3:30-5pm

CAHFS is a diagnostic lab that provides surveillance for foreign animal diseases, helps control livestock and poultry disease, ensures food safety and helps protect against the spread of zoonoses.

Poultry Swabbing Wetlab with FARM Club

N/A

Field Necropsy Wetlab

2013-2014 SERIES


Info Talk: "Plumb Island Scholarship" with Michelle Sanborn c/o 2015
September 2013

"Murine Typhus in Feral Cats" with Shelter Medicine Club
October 15, 2013

Backyard Chickens with Dr. Maurice Pitesky" with AEMC and Poultry Medicine Club
October 29, 2013


  "Efforts and Employment in Public Health on the Global Field" with Dr. Edie Marshall
Febuary 4, 2014

Dr. Marshall currently leads the Science Team for Signature Science, on behalf of Bechtel Inc., on the U.S. government-funded Cooperative Biological Engagement Program in Baku, Azerbaijan. She is working to improve surveillance capabilities for infectious disease in both humans and animals. Dr. Marshall also works with Azerbaijani scientists to help them develop and execute their own research projects.


  "Public Health and Regulatory Medicine of Meat Processing" with Dr. Yudhibir Sharma (USDA FSIS)
February 12, 2014

A slaughter facility?! The government!?!? Scary, right? Nope! We learned why they are important, great (not so scary either) when run correctly, and how Public Health Veterinarians keep our food supply safe. United States Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Deputy District Manager for CA, AZ, and NV, Dr. Yudhbir Sharma, DVM, and Livingston/Modesto area Frontline Supervisor, Dr. Gregory Abreu, DVM spoke about regulatory medicine for meat processing.


  "Veterinary Involvement in the California Epidemiologic Investigation Service" with Dr. Elizabeth Roberts, Dr. Monica Murphy, and Dr. Karen Ramstrom (EIS)
March 10, 2014

Elizabeth Roberts, DVM, MPH

Elizabeth completed her MPH at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and her DVM at the University of California, Davis. Her MPH concentration was in infectious diseases, with a project that examined the epidemiology of H5N1 in migratory birds. Following her MPH she worked in shelter medicine, including medical and surgical outreach in underserved communities. For the past two years she worked as a public health veterinarian for San Mateo County, primarily with the Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Communicable Disease Departments. Her interests include all things public health, and her goals are to practice public health at the state or federal level.

Monica Murphy, DVM, MPH

After graduating from University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine and completing two clinical internships at University of Pennsylvania, Monica practiced small and exotic animal medicine in Seattle and New York, and then went back to school to earn her MPH from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2010. Her interests include infectious disease epidemiology and environmental health. She has for the last two years been working as a writer, co-authoring the book, Rabid: A Cultural History of the World's Most Diabolical Virus. Following completion of her Cal-EIS fellowship, Monica hopes to practice public health at the state or local level.

Karen Ramstrom, DO, MSPH, Director of CAL-EIS


Superior Farms Field Trip
March 10, 2014

Superior Farms fabricates carcasses into cuts for retail and food service customers and harvests around 1200 head of lamb, goat, and mutton per day. We had the opportunity to tour theentire operation! This was a really awesome opportunity to learn more about the slaughter process and how a slaughter facility runs! As food animal and public health enthusiasts, it is really important to have a good understanding of these aspects of the food animal industry


  "Superior Farms"
March 13, 2014

As a second part to our Superior Farms slaughterhouse and processing facility tour on Monday, the Superior Farms Quality Assurance Veterinarian, Dr. Melissa Garrod-VanLaningham, gave an informal talk about the life of a veterinarian in the food safety field.


Outbreak Simulation Wetlab
April 5, 2014

UC Davis Veterinary Public Health Organization (VPHO) with the help of veterinarians, animal health technicians, and staff from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) put on an outbreak simulation wet lab. Students participated in this event to work through a simulated vesicular disease outbreak that was presumptively positive for Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD). In this simulation, students played the role of temporary federal employees, that mobilized in this situation under the National Animal Health Emergency Response Corps (NAHERC).

The goals of the exercise included: Familiarizing students with the government-approved biosecurity procedures involved in handling a suspected foreign animal disease (FAD) outbreak

  • Understanding how to establish biosecurity zones on the infected premise, use PPE, and decontaminate all involved personnel and equipment
  • Understanding how to collect, package, and label samples from exposed animals, including blood samples as well as nasal and oral swabs
  • Understanding the epidemiology of a FAD (particularly FMD) outbreak, including the establishment of zones around the infected premise, trace-in and trace-out investigations, and how to conduct the epidemiological interview
  • Understanding how premises quarantines and movement controls work in such a situation, including state and federal level quarantines as well as how quarantines can be lifted.

Students split into 3 groups, which rotated between a sheep handling and sample collection station, an epidemiology station, and a quarantine station, where the above-mentioned topics were explored. Students stayed at each station for around 30-40 minutes. These groupings may be revisited in future execution of the wet lab to allow students more hands-on time for additional practice of sheep handling skills, including restraint, physical exam, and blood draws.


2012-2013 SERIES


 "Vets in Public Health" by Dr. Robyn Stoddard
October 26, 2012

Dr. Robyn Stoddard, a current veterinary microbiologist for the CDC's Bacterial Special Pathogens Branch is back to offer students an introduction to the very diverse career options and pathways toward veterinary public health careers. She discusses key organizations and government branches involved in veterinary public health, provides biographical insight into the career paths of several public health veterinarians, and is a valuable contact at the CDC. Her email is frd8@cdc.gov

Download

Dr. Stoddard's Presentation

"Opening the Window on Public Health to Veterinary Students" Stoddard 2009


"Field trip to California Animal Health and Food Safety Lab on UC Davis campus"
November 6, 2012 

In the fall, VPHO is offering CAHFS, the University's California Animal Health and Food Safety diagnostic lab. CAHFS offers support services in livestock & poultry animal disease control and health management, animal-origin food safety, protection from zoonotic disease, equine health and performance, and public health education and dissemination of knowledge. Club members will see the various departments and technologies encompassed within CAHFS, including: Microbiology (where they do testing for things such as anthrax), Immunology (where they do things like AGID testing for EIA), gross Pathology, Toxicology (you can put anything organic in front of their DART mass spectrometer and it will tell you what it is; i.e. almost all dollar bills have traces of cocaine), Microscopy ( how to make TEM and direct EM images seen in our various classes for looking at viruses or parasites in tissues), Histopathology, Cell Culture, BioTech/Virology (PCR machines and machines that can test for multiple diseases at once i.e. to test a sample for all vesicular diseases). Tour of the Bio Security Level 3 - isolation facility where research and diagnostics is performed on suspect or high-risk samples that may involve anything from foreign animal diseases to highly contagious pathogenic matter.

"Cargill and McDonald's "Farm to Fork" Fieldtrip"
November 12, 2012

Students will tour the Fresno Cargill Meat Solutions plant which slaughters and processes cull dairy cattle. Students will observe the entire process, from arrival of animals at the facility to the production, packaging, and shipping of meat products to clients such as McDonald's. The tour emphasizes public health and the regulatory procedures, including how cattle are screened for Brucellosis, the role of the on-site USDA-FSIS veterinarian, how cattle are determined safe for human consumption vs. condemned (either ante-mortem or post-mortem), various on-site and laboratory tests for disease and antibiotic drug residues, and all of the antimicrobial and safety measures employed by Cargill in their production processes. Afterward, students will visit a local McDonald's restaurant to see how the restaurant works behind the scenes, including all of their food safety protocols and procedures.


2011-2012 SERIES


Scrapie Sampling Wet Lab
October 26th 2011 

Dr. Ramos and his colleagues from USDA led his wetlab. Students learned to collect correct samples for laboratory diagnosis of scrapie infection in sheep and goats.  Students had an opportunity to practice collecting samples from sheep heads from a slaughter facility.  Faculty from the California Animal Health and Food Safety (CAHFS) Laboratory, located on the UC Davis campus, explained how the samples are processed and read once received by the lab.


Field Veterinary Medical Officer and Army Reserves Talk

Wednesday, November 2nd at 12pm

We were pleased to have Dr. Bob Bonifacio, a field Veterinary Medical Officer for USDA, APHIS, Veterinary Services in Central California.  He spoke about how he got into the firld of public health and what he does as a field Veterinary Medical Officer.  Dr. Bonifacio is also an officer in the US Army Reserve Veterinary Corps.  He shared how he got involved with the Army Reserves and how veterinarians play an important role in the reserves.


Role of Companion Animals in promoting Public Health

Wednesday, November 9th at 12pm

In this lunchtalk VPHO welcomed Dr. Lynette Hart.  Dr. Hart is a UCD SVM faculty who specializes in animal behavior, sociology of animals, animal communication and cognition, and human-animal interactions.  She spoke about the role of companion animals in ameliorating public health issues such as obesity, depression, social isolation, and diabetes.


WAAM and VPHO present Ben Gonzales DVM, MPVM

Friday, November 18th at 12pm

Dr. Gonzales is a wildlife veterinarian currently employed with the California Department of Fish and Game. He spoke of his careers as a wildlife veterinarian, including as a zoo veterinarian and his experience with public health issues in the wildlife sector.


Smith Kilborne Program Student Experience Student Presentation

Friday, January 13th, 2012 at 12:00pm in Valley 1043

Each year, one 2nd year student from each veterinary school in the country is chosen to participate in this one week program at Cornell University and Plum Island in New York. Students will have the opportunity to learn and witness various foreign animal diseases.


Dr. Michelle Jay-Russell: Raw Milk Facts

Friday, March 9th, 2012 at 12:00pm in Valley 1020

We were pleased to have Dr. Michele Jay-Russell, a veterinarian and food safety specialist at the Western Institute for Food Safety and Security (WIFSS) at University of California, Davis, give a talk about the science behind the risks and health benefit claims of raw milk.


VPHO and PATH Club present - Dean Michael Lairmore My journey as a Veterinary Pathologist in One Health

Thursday, May 3rd at 12pm

Before he was your dean, Dr. Lairmore had already established himself as a scientist who bridged multiple disciplines to address issues in medicine affecting both animal and human health. Come for a chance to learn about his career in veterinary medicine as a pathologist, researcher, and professor in One Health. 


Tour of Superior Farms meat processing facility

Various times

VPHO and FARM hosted this tour of the local (Dixon) Superior Farms meat processng facility. 


The Use of Antimicrobials - Resistance, Public Policy and how it will affect YOU!

Tuesday, May 22nd 6pm, 1030 Valley

A resident expert on antimicrobials for the AVMA, Dr. Hoang has testified before a congressional subcommittee over proposed legislation looking into whether or not to ban antibiotics as feed additives. She has served as a knowledgeable resource to the media and public in areas including public health, food safety, zoonotic diseases, and antimicrobial resistance.


Brucellosis Traceback Investigation

Wednesday, May 2nd 5-7pm, 1047 Valley

In this interactive exercise, students will get a taste of field epidemiology or “boot leather” epidemiology. Dr. Greg Ramos, DVM, MPVM, USDA-APHIS-VS Area Epidemiology Officer for California and Nevada, will discuss the tools and methods utilized in actual traceback investigations conducted on suspect surveillance diseases and cases of public health concern. Following this introduction, students will be divided into smaller groups to work through their own trace back investigation, deciding what locations to “visit” during their investigation and what questions to ask, and will have progressive assistance from USDA and CDFA personnel will role-play the various individuals with whom students must interact.



Brucellosis Traceback Investigation

Wednesday, May 2nd 5-7pm, 1047 Valley

In this interactive exercise, students will get a taste of field epidemiology or “boot leather” epidemiology. Dr. Greg Ramos, DVM, MPVM, USDA-APHIS-VS Area Epidemiology Officer for California and Nevada, will discuss the tools and methods utilized in actual traceback investigations conducted on suspect surveillance diseases and cases of public health concern. Following this introduction, students will be divided into smaller groups to work through their own trace back investigation, deciding what locations to “visit” during their investigation and what questions to ask, and will have progressive assistance from USDA and CDFA personnel will role-play the various individuals with whom students must interact.


2010-2011 SERIES


Introduction to Opportunities in Veterinary Public Health: Dr. Robyn Stoddard
October 1, 2010

Based on Dr. Stoddard's paper Opening the window on public health to veterinary students." Rev Sci Tech. 2009 Aug; 28(2): 671-9, where the authors "describe the existing opportunities for training in or practicing as a public health veterinarian, with a particular focus on the United States of America."

Careers in Public Health for Veterinarians - pdf 


Veterinarians in the Army
November 4, 2010

Dr. Reed, the veterinarian at Travis Air Force Base spoke about his experiences working as an Army veterinarian. He discussed the roles, responsibilities, and benefits of being a veterinarian in the Army. His discussion included talking about running a clinic on base, conducting food safety inspections, travel, and training opportunities.

US Army Veterinary Corps Brochure - pdf


Food-borne Illness Outbreak Investigations: Dr. Michele Jay-Russell
November 17, 2010

Dr. Jay-Russell spoke about her experiences during the 2006 outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in bagged spinach. She discussed the role of the different agencies involved in food safety and as well as the role of the veterinarian in food safety. Dr. Jay-Russell talked about the steps taken during the investigation to identify the source of the outbreak as well as about some of the methods of spatial and molecular epidemiologic techniques that were used to trace the contamination of spinach fields to feral swine.


A Government Public Health Career: Dr. Stephanie Ostrowski
February 9, 2011

Dr. Stephanie Ostrowski, DVM, MPVM, Dip.ACVPM, spoke about her wide-ranging experiences in her career as a public health veterinarian, including her experiences with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS), Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), and the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.  Dr. Ostrowski’s talk included several of the emergency response efforts she’s been involved in, include the 2001 foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in the United Kingdom, Washington D.C. anthrax investigations of 2001, and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Public Health CDC Career - pdf

Public Health Service Handout 1 - pdf

Public Health Service Handout 2 - pdf


Detecting Wildlife Zoonoses to Prevent Human Pandemics: Dr. Kristen Gilardi
February 14, 2011

Dr. Gilardi is Assistant Director of the Wildlife Health Center (WHC), and Executive Director of the WHC's SeaDoc Society, a marine wildlife and ecosystem health program operating out of Washington state.  Dr. Gilardi's clinical and research areas are in primate medicine and free-ranging wildlife health, with a current emphasis on marine and aquatic species.  Her talk focused on the impact of wildlife and ecosystem change on emerging zoonotic diseases, as well as the U.S. Agency for International Development’s PREDICT Program for emerging zoonoses, in which UC Davis is heavily involved.


Shelter medicine: Dr. Rich Bachman
March 3rd, 2011 at 12pm

Dr. Richard Bachmann is a graduate from UC Davis and has played a major role in shelter animal medicine. For the last 15 years he has directed Shelter Medicine Support, a private shelter medicine consulting practice specializing in design, development and management of animal shelter medical programs. Dr. Bachman has worked internationally in India, Ethiopia, Romania and Mexico with various animal welfare organizations primarily in assisting with shelter operations and sterilization projects. He was awarded AHA Shelter Veterinarian of the Year in 1999 and is a current member of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians. Dr. Bachmann discussed how a shelter veterinarian's role is evolving into new areas of public heath, what is changing historically and what lies in the future. He also spoke about his experiences internationally and on the issue of street dogs and rabies.


UN Food and Agriculture Organization: Dr. Gary Brickler
March 7th, 2011 at 12pm

Dr. Brickler spoke about his experience working as the APHIS IS Deputy Manager/ Planning Coordinator for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome, Italy. His talk provided a veterinary perspective of DVM careers in the UN FAO and discussed his role in managing FAO missions in African, Asian, and Eastern European nations. Dr. Brickler is the current USDA/ APHIS Veterinary Service Area Veterinarian in Charge for CA/NV and participated in the active duty Army Vet Corp.

APHIS International Careers - pdf

Claudia Cartwright Fellowship - pdf


Raw Milk and Public Health: Dr. Michele Jay-Russell
Tuesday, May 24th at 12pm

In this talk, Dr. Jay-Russell gave an overview of the science, policy, and legal implications surrounding the raw milk debate, and highlighted a website created by a consortium of AVMA members and other food safety professionals (www.realrawmilkfacts.com). Michele Jay-Russell is a veterinarian and food safety specialist at the Western Institute for Food Safety and Security (WIFSS) at University of California, Davis, and Project Director of the Western Center for Food Safety.


Field trip to California Animal Health and Food Safety Lab on UC Davis campus
November 3 and 5, 2010, and 2011

In the fall, VPHO offered two tours of CAHFS, the University's California Animal Health and Food Safety diagnostic lab, guided by virologist Dr. Beate Crossley. CAHFS offers support services in livestock & poultry animal disease control and health management, animal-origin food safety, protection from zoonotic disease, equine health and performance, and public health education and dissemination of knowledge. Club members were able to see the various departments and technologies encompassed within CAHFS, which included: Microbiology (where they do testing for things such as anthrax), Immunology (where they do things like AGID testing for EIA), gross Pathology, Toxicology (you can put anything organic in front of their DART mass spectrometer and it will tell you what it is; i.e. almost all dollar bills have traces of cocaine), Microscopy ( we saw how they make those TEM and direct EM images we see in our various classes for looking at viruses or parasites in tissues), Histopathology, Cell Culture, BioTech/Virology (PCR machines and machines that can test for multiple diseases at once i.e. to test a sample for all vesicular diseases). We also were given a tour of the Bio Security Level 3 - isolation facility where research and diagnostics is performed on suspect or high-risk samples that may involve anything from foreign animal diseases (i.e. FMD) to highly contagious pathogenic matter.


Outbreak Simulation Wet Lab
November 6, 2010

On November 6, 2010, the UC Davis Veterinary Public Health Organization (VPHO) with the help of veterinarians, animal health technicians, and staff from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) put on an outbreak simulation wet lab. The twenty students that participated in this event worked through a simulated vesicular disease outbreak that was presumptively positive for Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD). In this simulation, students played the role of temporary federal employees, such as would be mobilized in this situation under the National Animal Health Emergency Response Corps (NAHERC).

The goals of the exercise included: Familiarizing students with the government-approved biosecurity procedures involved in handling a suspected foreign animal disease (FAD) outbreak

  • Understanding how to establish biosecurity zones on the infected premise, use PPE, and decontaminate all involved personnel and equipment
  • Understanding how to collect, package, and label samples from exposed animals, including blood samples as well as nasal and oral swabs
  • Understanding the epidemiology of a FAD (particularly FMD) outbreak, including the establishment of zones around the infected premise, trace-in and trace-out investigations, and how to conduct the epidemiological interview
  • Understanding how premises quarantines and movement controls work in such a situation, including state and federal level quarantines as well as how quarantines can be lifted.

Students were split into 3 groups, which rotated between a sheep handling and sample collection station, an epidemiology station, and a quarantine station, where the above-mentioned topics were explored. Students stayed at each station for around 30-40 minutes. These groupings may be revisited in future execution of the wet lab to allow students more hands-on time for additional practice of sheep handling skills, including restraint, physical exam, and blood draws.

Overall, students had a great time and feedback was extremely positive. We feel that this is the kind of hands on application of public health / public veterinary practice that students need to get excited about these fields. Additionally, it provided an extremely positive interaction for students with the dozen or so folks from CDFA and USDA, helping forge stronger relationships between students and these public practice veterinarians.


Cargill and McDonald's "Farm to Fork" Fieldtrip
January 17, 2011

The fieldtrip was held on January 17th. Students were taken on a tour through the Fresno Cargill Meat Solutions plant which slaughters and processes cull dairy cattle. Students were able to observe the entire process, from arrival of animals at the facility to the production, packaging, and shipping of meat products to clients such as McDonald's. The tour emphasized public health and the regulatory side of the experience, including how cattle are screened for Brucellosis, the role of the on-site USDA-FSIS veterinarian, how cattle are determined safe for human consumption vs. condemned (either ante-mortem or post-mortem), various on-site and laboratory tests for disease and antibiotic drug residues, and all of the antimicrobial and safety measures employed by Cargill in their production processes. Afterward, students visited a local McDonald's restaurant to see how the restaurant works behind the scenes, including all of their food safety protocols and procedures.


Food Animal Infectious Disease Trace-back Investigation Exercise: Dr. Greg Ramos
February 16, 2011

In this interactive exercise, students will get a taste of field epidemiology or “boot leather” epidemiology.  Greg Ramos, DVM, MPVM, USDA-APHIS-VS Area Epidemiology Officer for California and Nevada, exposed students to the tools used by the government in conducting traceback investigations on diseases of public health concern. Students were then divided into three small groups where they worked through their own real-life Brucellosis traceback investigation, starting from laboratory reports of animals that had tested positive for brucellosis at slaughter.  Students had to decide what sites to “visit” (slaughter plant, saleyard, feedlot, producer, etc.) and what questions to ask during their investigation.  USDA and CDFA personnel role-played the individuals with whom the students interacted during their investigations.

Traceback Exercise - pdf

MCI Investigation Form - pdf