VetNet: Integration of Veterinary and Animal Health Professionals
A Good Idea
The Metropolitan Milwaukee Area "VetNet" (Veterinary Network) is an electronic information and alert messaging system developed by the City of Milwaukee Health Department (MHD). The MHD recognized the need to develop a more formalized communications network and relationship with the animal health community as result of responding to a monkeypox outbreak during the summer of 2003. During the monkeypox outbreak, the MHD became aware that there was no reliable and efficient way to contact animal health professionals (AHPs) and leverage their expertise. Monkeypox represented a disease never before seen in North America and little information was available regarding interspecies animal transmission, human susceptibility, routes of exposure and level of contact necessary to propagate disease within a population. Furthermore, the MHD had limited knowledge of animal surveillance systems, data availability or capacity within the community and surrounding region. It became clear that the monkeypox outbreak investigation would have been greatly facilitated if veterinarians and the animal health community would have been integrated immediately into the emergency outbreak response. VetNet provides a tool in which AHPs can be rapidly alerted to provide assistance and expertise in managing zoonotic outbreaks of public health importance.
Goal / Mission
The goal of VetNet is to improve communication between animal health professionals and the public health infrastructure.
Results / Accomplishments
VetNet has forged a critical link between AHPs and the public health community that facilitates communication about zoonotic outbreaks of public health importance. Currently there are 184 members in the VetNet directory. MHD expects to have 250 members (90 facilities represented) over the coming year through continued outreach to veterinary technicians and other interested public health agencies.
About this Promising Practice
- Primary Contact
- Paul Biedrzycki, Manager, Disease Control
Health / Immunizations & Infectious Diseases
Health / Other Conditions
- City of Milwaukee Health Department
- National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)
- Date of publication
- Date of implementation
- Geographic Type
- Milwaukee, WI
- For more details
- Additional Audience
- Animal Health Professionals