An MU professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine was elected to a national advisory board for health care.
Rebecca Johnson, an associate professor in the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, is now a member of the National Academies of Practice, which advocates for improved quality in health care and professional practices.
Johnson started working for the MU Sinclair School of Nursing in August of 1999 as the Millsap Professor of Gerontological Nursing and Public Policy. She was appointed as a full professor in the CVM and SSON in 2012.
Johnson said she owed much of her success in the election to her work experiences at MU, especially as director of the Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction, which focuses on studying the health benefits of interaction between humans and animals.
“My research on human animal interaction at MU has led to my nomination and acceptance into the NAP,” she said in an email. “My education in nursing and my work on interaction between humans and animals enables me to consider innovative methods to promote health across species.”
Johnson said the unconditional acceptance of animals and their ability to inspire healthy behavior in people was probably more important than ever during the times of fiscal stress.
“There is growing recognition through the One Health/One Medicine movement that the health of people and animals is integrally linked,” she said. “This awareness is leading to wider acceptance of the importance of companion animals in the lives of people.”
As a new member and advisor in the academy, Johnson said she will apply herself to helping the organization continue to emphasize the importance of the human-animal bond to policy-makers throughout the nation.
“The mission of the NAP is to advise Congress on matters relevant to inter-professional healthcare in the fields of: dentistry, medicine, nursing, optometry, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, podiatric medicine, psychology, social work and veterinary medicine,” she said. “My goal is to work with colleagues in the NAP to bring innovative interdisciplinary approaches to promote the nation’s health to the attention of Congress.”
Johnson will be inducted into the NAP in April during the academy’s annual meeting and forum.