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Tennessee Animal Health Division Names One Health Program Director

Tuesday, November 09, 2021 | 09:17am
Dr. Alexa McCourt

NASHVILLE – The Animal Health Division of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture announces Dr. Alexa McCourt, D.V.M. as director of the One Health program.

One Health is a collaborative effort among veterinarians, physicians, environmental scientists, public health professionals, and others to address health challenges that affect people, animals, plants, and the environment. Dr. McCourt will oversee the department’s role in improving communication and outcomes for a variety of health concerns, including emerging infectious diseases, antibiotic resistance, and emergency preparedness.

“The One Health approach recognizes that the health of people is closely connected to the health of animals and our shared environment,” State Veterinarian Dr. Samantha Beaty said. “As a veterinarian, Dr. McCourt is well-versed in these principles. She will provide education and outreach and work with experts in other state departments and veterinarians to optimize the One Health structure to benefit us all.”

“Success of the One Health program hinges on communication across all health-related disciplines,” Dr. McCourt said. “I look forward to engaging across networks to share valuable information and promote One Health goals. It’s essential for people to understand the impact human, animal, and environmental health have on one another.”

Dr. McCourt will act as a liaison with other One Health partners, including the Tennessee Departments of Health and Environment and Conservation, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, academic institutions, and extension services. 

In March of 2021, Dr. McCourt joined the Department of Agriculture as a staff veterinarian responsible for engaging with stakeholders regarding animal health in Tennessee, planning for animal-related disasters and emergencies, collaborating to implement state animal health programs, monitoring animal regulatory issues and movement, and developing outreach resources for livestock health and welfare.

Dr. McCourt earned her Animal Science Bachelor of Science degree and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University in New York. Before moving to Tennessee, she was an associate veterinarian at Bovine Veterinary Services in Dexter, New Mexico.