One Health ven diagram illustrating the interdependence of human, animal and environmental health

What is One Health? 

One Health recognizes the interdependence of human, animal and environmental health, and that a holistic approach to the well-being of all will lead to improved health outcomes and enhanced resilience. 


Veterinarians coined the term “One Health” to capture how relationships between humans, animals and the environment affect the spread of diseases. More than 70 percent of emerging human diseases are zoonotic, meaning they originate in animals. It’s a critical area of research, education and outreach.

One Health employs an interdisciplinary approach to problems. By seeking to treat root causes, it’s often more successful than traditional methods that focus on symptoms. The One Health paradigm has been endorsed by the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Medical Association, the World Health Organization, the United Nations and the Arctic Council.

One Health concepts and ideas lie at the core of Indigenous worldviews and are inextricably linked to the development of a sustainable future in the Arctic.

At UAF, we define health as a state of individual and community well-being that encompasses not only physical health but also mental, behavioral, emotional, cultural and spiritual health. Every discipline at UAF can contribute vitally to building our One Health initiative.

We plan to create interdisciplinary teams to build research, education and outreach programs around a strong and inclusive One Health center.

  • Improve our research capacity and more effectively promote well-being in the North.
  • Build teams to create research, education and outreach programs around One Health.
  • Create long-term funding opportunities through collaboration.