Robert Santiago, a 63-year-old veteran being treated for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, has a routine check-in with a Veteran’s Administration nurse practitioner to refill his anti-depressant medicine. He tells the health care professional he has been feeling poorly for a couple of weeks, suffering dull headaches, dizziness, nausea, and fatigue.
Robert’s six-year-old Golden Retriever also is ill. Robert is particularly concerned because Siri is his PTSD service dog and constant companion. He tells the veterinarian Siri has not been eating normally, is lethargic, and not interested in favorite walks in the woods. The veterinarian also learns Siri is not up-to-date on her shots nor has been given flea and tick medication.
This scenario is the premise for a “Veteran and His Dog,” an award-winning case study developed by NC State CVM, the University of North Carolina, and Banfield Pet Hospital for a One Health Inter-professional Education Initiative sponsored by the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC).
CVM clinical veterinary pharmacy residents Drs. Erika Rost and Erin Brewer, co-lead authors of the case study, are recipients of the AAVMC “One Health Scholar” status and $1,000 stipends for the study. As part of the national recognition, they presented the case study at the recent AAVMC convention and will also present at the Society of Veterinary Hospital Pharmacists meeting in June.
According to the AAVMC, the purpose of the program is to begin educating new generations of professionals about the One Health approach—the concept that links the health of the environment, wildlife, domestic animals, and people.
Other groups involved in the national initiative are the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research and the Healthy People Curriculum Task Force. The AAVMC-led working group reviewed 34 case study submissions before selecting 15 to be honored.
Rost and Brewer helped lead the development of a curriculum package containing facilitator and student guides for “A Veteran and His Dog.” Facilitators are provided with appropriate resources to lead the workshop. Students from various health fields watch the videos and receive background on PTSD, veteran’s affairs, use of service animals, and various psychological and health issues.
“In the first session, students ask basic questions, come up with a list of more information they believe might be useful—like results from medical tests and information from in-take history,” says Brewer.
“They then move into the second session where the facilitator plays the role of Robert or the nurse practitioner or the veterinarian,” says Rost. “The students can then ask more specific questions. Working together in the final session, they write a complete assessment plan using a provided format.”
The original idea to enter the AAVMC competition originated with Gigi Davidson, director of clinical pharmacy services at the NC State Veterinary Hospital and her colleagues at the School of Medicine, the School of Nursing, and the Eshelman School of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina.
“We’re very excited about launching this One Health Scholar project,” says AAVMC Executive Director Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe. “This is one of our most promising initiatives in the area of One Health.”
In addition to co-lead authors Rost and Brewer, other contributors to “A Veteran and His Dog” are:
- Davidson, director of clinical pharmacy services at NC State CVM;
- Durham, professor of nursing at the UNC School of Nursing and director of the Education-Innovation-Simulation Learning Environment (EISLE) Program;
- Hobbs, clinical instructor and associate director of simulation at the UNC School of Medicine and Department of Pediatrics;
- Joyner, director of the pediatric intensive care unit at UNC, clinical director of the clinical skills and patient simulation center as well as associate professor in the UNC School of Medicine and Department of Pediatrics;
- Scolaro, clinical assistant professor at the LECOM Bradenton School of Pharmacy and former director of pharmaceutical care labs in the Division of Practice Advancement and Clinical Education at UNC School of Pharmacy;
- Cozart, veterinarian at Banfield Pet Hospital in Augusta, GA.