One Health Conference

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Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the 2020 One Health Conference hosted by Harris County Public Health, will be held virtually on Tuesday, October 20 and Thursday, October 22. This event is free and open to the public. 

Join us for illuminating conversations as diverse subject matter experts share their insights on the challenges we face and possible solutions. This year’s topics include health equity, global health, zoonotic diseases, and the COVID-19 Pandemic.


Tuesday, October 20 Discussions

Meet the Panelists | Harnessing the Power of Health Equity – Good for One, Good for All

Sandro Galea, MD, MPH, DrPH <br> <small>Dean, Boston University School of Public Health</small> Sandro Galea, MD, MPH, DrPH
Dean, Boston University School of Public Health
Dr Galea is a physician and an epidemiologist. He is the Robert A. Knox Professor and Dean at the Boston University School of Public Health. Prior to his appointment at Boston University, Dr Galea served as the Gelman Professor and Chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. He previously held academic and leadership positions at the University of Michigan and at the New York Academy of Medicine. Dr Galea’s scholarship has been about the social causes of health, mental health, and the consequences of trauma. His work has been principally funded by the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and several foundations. He has published over 850 scientific journal articles, 50 chapters, and 18 books and his research has been featured extensively in current periodicals and newspapers. His work has been cited over 60,000 times and his h-index is 120. He currently chairs the Rockefeller-Boston University Determinants, Data, Decision Making (3-D) global high-level commission. His public writing and other work are summarized at

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Georges Benjamin, MD  <br> <small>Executive Director, American Public Health Association</small> Georges Benjamin, MD
Executive Director, American Public Health Association

Dr. Benjamin is a well-known health policy leader, practitioner and administrator. He currently serves as the executive director of the American Public Health Association, the nation's oldest and largest organization of public health professionals. He is also a former secretary of health for the state of Maryland. Dr. Benjamin is a graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology and the University Of Illinois College Of Medicine. He is board-certified in internal medicine, a Master of the American College of Physicians, a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, a fellow emeritus of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member of the National Academy of Medicine. He serves on several nonprofit boards such as Research!America, the Truth Foundation and, the Reagan-Udall Foundation. He is also a member of the National Infrastructure Advisory Council, a council that advises the President on how best to assure the security of the nation’s critical infrastructure.

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Leana Wen, MD, MSc  <br> <small>Emergency Physician and Professor at George Washington University</small> Leana Wen, MD, MSc
Emergency Physician and Professor at George Washington University

Dr. Leana Wen is an emergency physician and visiting professor of health policy and management at George Washington University’s School of Public Health. She is an expert in public health preparedness and previously served as Baltimore's Health Commissioner. She is a contributing columnist for The Washington Post and an on-air commentator for CNN as a medical analyst. Dr. Wen obtained her medical degree from Washington University School of Medicine and studied health policy at the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. She completed her residency training at Brigham & Women's Hospital & Massachusetts General Hospital. In 2019, she was named one of Modern Healthcare's Top 50 Physician-Executives and TIME magazine's 100 Most Influential People.

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Meet the Panelists | Global Health – The Peril and Promise of Living in a Shared World

Ethan Jackson, PhD  <br> <small>Senior Director, Microsoft Healthcare</small> Ethan Jackson, PhD
Senior Director, Microsoft Healthcare

Dr. Ethan Jackson is a Senior Director and Principal Researcher at Microsoft Healthcare. His research focuses on intelligent systems that make people – and the environments around them – healthier. Ethan’s background is in cyber-physical systems, program verification, and programming languages, which he applies to develop novel health-related technologies. Ethan directs Microsoft Premonition, an advanced incubation project aiming to detect the movements of potential pathogens in the environment, before they cause outbreaks in humans. Microsoft Premonition is developing robotic field biologists and metagenomic technologies to find, collect, and analyze disease-transmitting insects for both known and unknown viruses.

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David Fleming, MD <br><small>Senior Vice President of Public Health, PATH</small> David Fleming, MD
Senior Vice President of Public Health, PATH

Dr. David Fleming is PATH’s Senior Vice President of Public Health, and Chief Medical and Public Health Officer. He works alongside PATH’s leadership to assure the integrity of the processes that strengthen country and global program effectiveness. He provides strategic leadership and guidance to PATH’s CEO, the Executive Team, and the entire organization in achieving its mission of addressing health equity in PATH’s activities around the globe and serves as an organizational representative with PATH donors and partners. Dr. Fleming assumed this role after being PATH’s Vice President of the Global Health Programs division, where he oversaw PATH’s presence in country offices and was responsible for PATH’s scientific expertise in sexual and reproductive health; maternal, newborn, child health, and nutrition; noncommunicable diseases; malaria; neglected tropical diseases; HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis; health systems innovation and delivery; and digital health. In this role, Dr. Fleming led the divisional strategy and directed the Global Health Programs senior leadership team.

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Syra Madad, DHSc, MS, MCP  <br> <small>Senior Director, System-Wide Pathogens at NYC Health + Hospitals</small> Syra Madad, DHSc, MS, MCP
Senior Director, System-Wide Pathogens at NYC Health + Hospitals

Dr. Syra Madad is a nationally recognized leader and epidemiologist in public health and special pathogens preparedness and response, featured in this year’s Fortune 40 under 40 list of most influential in healthcare and Elementals “50 Experts to Trust in a Pandemic.” She’s the Senior Director of the System-wide Special Pathogens Program at New York City Health + Hospitals, the nation’s largest municipal healthcare delivery system, Principal Investigator of NYC Health + Hospitals Institute for Diseases and Disaster Management, Health and Safety Lead of the Enhanced Investigations Unit of NYC Test & Trace Corp, the City’s contact tracing workforce, Core Faculty in the National Emerging Special Pathogens Training and Education Center (NETEC), funded by CDC and ASPR and Fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and member of the COVID19 Expert Taskforce at the Federation of American Scientists. Dr. Madad also plays one of the lead roles in the Netflix docuseries, Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak, which follows a handful of leaders throughout the world on the frontlines to prevent the next outbreak. She’s currently filming additional documentaries on the pandemic and all-hazards.

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Thursday, October 22 Discussions

Meet the Panelists | Zoonotic Detectives – Animals as Ground Zero for Infectious Diseases

Jonna Mazet, DVM, MPVM, PhD  <br> <small>Professor, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine</small> Jonna Mazet, DVM, MPVM, PhD
Professor, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Mazet is a Professor of Epidemiology and Disease Ecology at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and Founding Executive Director of the UC Davis One Health Institute. Her work focuses on global health problem solving for emerging infectious diseases and conservation challenges. She is active in international One Health education, service, and research programs, most notably in relation to pathogen emergence; disease transmission among wildlife, domestic animals, and people; and the ecological drivers of novel disease dynamics. Currently, Dr. Mazet is the Co-Director of the US Agency for International Development’s One Health Workforce – Next Generation, an $85 million educational strengthening project to empower professionals in Central/East Africa and Southeast Asia to address complex and emerging health threats, including antimicrobial resistance and zoonotic diseases.

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Diana Moreno Santillán, MS, PhD  <br> <small>Postdoctoral Researcher, Texas Tech University</small> Diana Moreno Santillán, MS, PhD
Postdoctoral Researcher, Texas Tech University

Dr. Diana Moreno Santillan is an evolutionary biologist interested in understanding the evolutionary dynamics in mammals, with an emphasis in host-pathogen interactions.  She earned her BS degree from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in 2010.  Dr. Moreno obtained a Master and a PhD degree from the National Polytechnic Institute, Mexico. Currently, Dr. Moreno is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Department of Biological Sciences at Texas Tech University, Lubbock.  Her current projects are focused on the evolution of longevity and immunity in bats, and how these species can tolerate a wide diversity of viruses.  Dr. Moreno is currently involved on a recently granted NSF project to analyze the evolutionary genomics of bats immunity and coronaviruses.

Scott Weaver, MS, PhD  <br> <small>Director, Institute for Human Infections and Immunity at UTMB</small> Scott Weaver, MS, PhD
Director, Institute for Human Infections and Immunity at UTMB

Dr. Scott C. Weaver is Director of the Institute for Human Infections & Immunity (IHII), Scientific Director of the Galveston National Laboratory, and Chair of the Department of Microbiology & Immunology, ranked first nationally among its peers for National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding. Dr. Weaver currently holds the John Sealy Distinguished University Chair in Human Infections and Immunity. He directs three major NIH- and CDC-funded center grants at UTMB: The Western Gulf Center of Excellence for in Vector-borne Diseases, the West African Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases, and the World Reference Center for Emerging Viruses and Arboviruses. Dr. Weaver is an internationally recognized virologist and mosquito biologist with more than 350 publications in prestigious scientific journals, many invited presentations at international meetings, and international leadership roles.

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Meet the Panelists | The Post-Pandemic World – Accelerating to the Future

Sheri Fink, MD, PhD <br><small>Executive Producer of Netflix docuseries “Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak”</small> Sheri Fink, MD, PhD
Executive Producer of Netflix docuseries “Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak”

Dr. Sheri Fink is the author of the New York Times bestselling book, Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital (Crown, 2013) about choices made in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. She is also an executive producer of the Netflix documentary television series Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak (2020). She is a correspondent at the New York Times, where her and her colleagues' stories on the West Africa Ebola crisis were recognized with the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting, the George Polk Award for health reporting, and the Overseas Press Club Hal Boyle Award. A former relief worker in disaster and conflict zones, Fink received her M.D. and Ph.D. from Stanford University.

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Peter Hotez, MD, PhD  <br> <small>Dean, National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine</small> Peter Hotez, MD, PhD
Dean, National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine

Dr. Peter Hotez is Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine and Professor of Pediatrics and Molecular Virology & Microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine where he is also the Director of the Texas Children’s Center for Vaccine Development (CVD) and Texas Children’s Hospital Endowed Chair of Tropical Pediatrics. He is also University Professor at Baylor University, Fellow in Disease and Poverty at the James A Baker III Institute for Public Policy, Senior Fellow at the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs at Texas A&M University, Faculty Fellow with the Hagler Institute for Advanced Studies at Texas A&M University, and Health Policy Scholar in the Baylor Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy. Dr. Hotez is an internationally-recognized physician-scientist in neglected tropical diseases and vaccine development. As head of the Texas Children’s CVD, he leads a team and product development partnership for developing new vaccines for hookworm infection, schistosomiasis, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, and SARS/MERS/SARS-2 coronavirus, diseases affecting hundreds of millions of children and adults worldwide, while championing access to vaccines globally and in the United States.

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Ashish Jha, MD, MPH  <br> <small>Dean, Brown University School of Public Health</small> Ashish Jha, MD, MPH
Dean, Brown University School of Public Health

A practicing physician, Ashish K. Jha, M.D., MPH, is recognized globally as an expert on pandemic preparedness and response as well as on health policy research and practice. He has led groundbreaking research around Ebola and is now on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response, leading national and international analysis of key issues and advising state and federal policy makers. He comes to the Brown School of Public Health after leading the Harvard Global Health Institute and teaching at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Jha has published more than two hundred original research publications in prestigious journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine and the BMJ, and is a frequent contributor to a range of public media. He has extensively researched how to improve the quality and reduce the cost of health care, focusing on the impact of public health policy nationally and around the globe.

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Seema Yasmin, MD <br><small>Director, Stanford Health Communication Initiative</small> Seema Yasmin, MD
Director, Stanford Health Communication Initiative

Dr. Seema Yasmin is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, physician, epidemiologist, and author. She is the director of the Stanford Health Communication Initiative, where she studies the spread of health misinformation and disinformation and teaches clinical communication skills; Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at Stanford; and a journalism lecturer. Dr. Yasmin was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news reporting with her team at The Dallas Morning News in 2017 for coverage of a mass shooting. Before her journalism career, she served as an officer in the Epidemic Intelligence Service at the U.S. CDC where she investigated disease outbreaks and led epidemiologic studies. In 2017, she was selected as a John S. Knight journalism fellow at Stanford where she studied the spread of false news in the Ebola and Zika epidemics, and the role of journalists in countering falsehoods. She is currently a science correspondent for Conde Nast Entertainment, medical analyst for CNN, and the author of four books including the forthcoming Viral BS: Medical Myths and Why We Fall for Them.


In recent years, the collaboration of human and animal medicine has advanced science and improved overall community health. Emerging diseases such as avian influenza, Ebola and Zika have highlighted the importance of collaborative/One Health* efforts between the medical and veterinary professions.

Harris County Public Health's One Health Conference brings together animal and human healthcare professionals under one roof to discuss critical and relevant One Health topics with experts in the field. We are committed to creating healthy, resilient communities by promoting and sustaining the health and well-being of humans, animals, and the environment by:

  • Aligning education and communication efforts
  • Creating and enhancing multidisciplinary community partnerships
  • Promoting One Health principles

  *The One Health concept is a worldwide strategy for expanding interdisciplinary collaborations and communications in all aspects of health care for humans, animals, and the environment. The synergism achieved will advance health care for the 21st century and beyond by accelerating biomedical research discoveries, enhancing public health efficacy, expeditiously expanding the scientific knowledge base, and improving medical education and clinical care. When properly implemented, it will help protect and save untold millions of lives in our present and future generations.

Past One Health Conference Attendance
One Health Conference Attendance

*Click on year to view agenda.

  • Date: 2011Total Attendance: 178
  • Date: 2012 Total Attendance: 176
  • Date: 2013Total Attendance: 194
  • Date: 2014Total Attendance: 180
  • Date: 2015 Total Attendance: 189
  • Date: 2016Total Attendance: 250
  • Date: 2017 | Total Attendance: 326
  • Date: 2018 | Total Attendance: 331
  • Date: 2019 | Total Attendance: 374

Here are a few words from our past attendees:

"I am always amazed at how interesting this conference is year to year."

"Speakers are very knowledgeable and dynamic."

"Very informative, great topics, great way to reach clinicians!"

“It’s the public health spin that makes it interesting and different.”