AUBURN, Ala. — To effectively combat the COVID-19 pandemic, it will, as the old proverb tells, “Take a village.” And Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine is committed to its part of the collective effort to ensure Alabama hospitals have what they need to treat the disease.
Only a few days have passed since news of the first COVID-19 positive test result in the state of Alabama. As the number of cases continues to grow, Auburn is assessing how campus resources can support local health care.
The College of Veterinary Medicine has shared a variety of medical supplies from the J.T. Vaughan Large Animal Teaching Hospital and Bailey Small Animal Teaching Hospital with East Alabama Medical Center, or EAMC, in Opelika, Alabama, to help treat local COVID-19 patients. On Sunday, three ventilators and associated disposable supplies were transferred from the College of Veterinary Medicine to EAMC. These ventilators are critical in the treatment of COVID-19’s serious respiratory symptoms.
“Compassion and the commitment to doing what’s in the best interest of all forms of life is what drives veterinarians,” said Dr. Calvin Johnson, dean of the college. “Through the concept of One Health, we know that humans, animals and the world in which we live are interconnected. Doctors and technicians in both arms of Auburn’s veterinary teaching hospital continue to serve our animal patients during this extraordinary time. And we are proud to know that in sharing what we can with local health care providers, we help them to provide the best treatment possible for Alabama’s citizens while we continue to offer the highest standards of care for animals.”
The College of Veterinary Medicine is one of several Auburn units sharing resources in support of EAMC’s COVID-19 efforts. Other units across campus, including Auburn’s School of Nursing, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering and College of Sciences and Mathematics, are also are readying essential supplies for transport.
The American Veterinary Medical Association, or AVMA, is calling for veterinarians in private practices and hospitals across the country to join COVID-19 relief efforts by donating supplies to help meet health care’s growing demand.
Sharing both resources and information is integral in the treatment and prevention of diseases such as COVID-19. Through research, veterinarians play an essential role in not only animal health and welfare, but also in environmental and public health. Studying diseases that affect both animals and humans offers avenues to improved treatments, vaccines and even cures for viral and metabolic diseases such as diabetes.
The idea of One Health emphasizes the importance of all areas of medicine working together to achieve optimal health for all living things. This is the foundation upon which Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine was built, and the mission by which all veterinarians practice.
(Written by Jayne Hart, Auburn University)