Since February 2017, Marshalette Smith-Anthony, MBA, MPA, BscN, RN, TNCC has served the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine (Ross Vet) community by providing medical care through triaging, urgent care treatments, planning and executing health and wellness programs, and contributing to the overall well-being of the community. Known for her dedication to those she serves and continuous professional development, her participation in a Ross Vet One Health research event in November 2019 presented Smith-Anthony a new opportunity to continue her efforts.
One Health, a discipline that the American Veterinary Medical Association defines as “the integrative effort of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally, and globally to attain optimal health for people, animals, and the environment” is a global health initiative that Ross Vet is well-prepared to address, offering a Master of Science Coursework and Certificate in One Health programs.
Specifically understanding the role that humans, animals, and the environment play in zoonoses, emerging and re-emerging diseases that can pass from animals to humans, is what drew Smith-Anthony to the Certificate in One Health program. Says Smith-Anthony “The increase in housing developments, little or no protection for animal habitats, and the destruction of the environment by whatever means leads to interconnectivity and with this comes zoonotic diseases, food safety issues, and the emergence of new diseases. The objective of the One Health initiative is not to teach people about animals, but rather it’s a way to clearly educate people on how actions or inactions affect people, animals, and the environment.”
While not a requirement, Smith-Anthony feels that being a medical professional gave her an advantage in the One Health program, “My background and experience helped in my understanding of concepts and theory, disease conditions were familiar to me. I truly believe other medical professionals can benefit wholeheartedly from this program. Given the global environmental changes and the closer interaction that exists between humans and animals, it is important all health professionals have an interdisciplinary working knowledge of these issues, not only in the treatment of their patients but for the impact they can have on policies and protocols.”
December 2020 marks Smith-Anthony’s completion of the Postgraduate One Health Certification program. Marshalette Smith-Anthony is, in fact, Ross Vet’s first graduate of the certificate program. Completing the online program in one year while managing through a global pandemic had its challenges, “The health and safety of the Ross Vet community is my priority, and managing through the pandemic while working on my certification, at times, was truly a challenge. While the online program platform was very user-friendly, I credit the Ross Vet professors for their encouragement and support, as well as the varied background and expertise my fellow students brought to the program. Together, they helped me through those extra challenging days.”
The future is an open door for Smith-Anthony, “What I have learned will make my diagnostic processes more interesting, especially since the larger patient population that I serve works closely with animals. I also want to be able to join decision-makers about wellness policy as well as occupational safety policies.”
The Ross Vet community is well-served under the care of Marshalette Smith-Anthony and sends their congratulations to her for her One Health Certification and is very proud to recognize her as the first graduate of Ross Vet’s One Health Certificate program!