Public Health is Tied to Veterinary Science, Health of Animals

Dr. Kelly Giesbrecht

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 75 percent of the new diseases that have affected humans over the past 10 years originated from an animal or an animal product.

As the new state public health veterinarian, Dr. Kelly Giesbrecht, DVM, will provide leadership and supervision regarding issues related to the identification and evaluation of human health hazards of animal origin that could potentially impact the health of Kentuckians.

“We are very pleased to have Dr. Giesbrecht join our staff at the Cabinet for Health and Family Services,” said CHFS Cabinet Secretary Vickie Yates Brown Glisson. “Her wealth of experience in public health and veterinary science is a perfect fit for this extremely important role and will be a tremendous asset to our work to improve the public health of Kentucky.”

Among other things, the state public health veterinarian is tasked with;

  • Identifying and evaluating hazards to human health of animal origin.
  • Developing policies, guidelines, and strategies for the control of zoonotic and foodborne diseases.
  • Disseminating relevant information to experts in public health, veterinary science and other scientific disciplines, as well as to consumer groups and the public.
  • Contributing to field and laboratory investigations of zoonotic and foodborne diseases.

As state veterinarian, Dr. Giesbrecht will be a part of the Division of Epidemiology and Health Planning in DPH. She comes to the department with over 22 years of combined experience in veterinary medicine and public health.  She has a doctorate in veterinarian medicine from the University of Florida and a masters of public health from the University of Texas.

After clinical practice, she spent 11 years in the Air Force as a public health officer and most recently worked at the Northern Kentucky Health Department where she served as a regional epidemiologist.

Additional information is available at http://chfs.ky.gov/.

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