Speaker Profile


Gary Vroegindewey
United States
Director, One Health
Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine
Veterinary Behavioral Health in Disasters- A Call to Action

Veterinarians have been identified as a professional group at high risk for behavioral health issues. Disasters create stress levels that can exacerbate ongoing behavior health issues. Prior studies associated with specific transboundary animal disease disaster management demonstrated significant and long-lasting mental health impacts on veterinary responders. An online anonymous survey was conducted with veterinarians who had participated in disasters in Asia-Pacific, Africa, Europe, Latin America, North America regions. The results of the survey indicated numerous behavioral health issues reported by 55.1% of respondents during and up to six months after the disaster. Behavioral health issues reported included: loss of sleep, anxiety, difficulty with personal and professional relationships, mood swings, depression, nightmares/flashbacks, and suicidal thoughts. The scope and magnitude of veterinarians with behavioral health issues associated with disasters underscores the need for guidelines, standards, education, training, and research in this area.

Professor, One Health LMU-CVM; DVM, MSS, Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine. Chair, OIE ad hoc Committee on Disasters, Consultant to International Atomic Energy Agency, Consultant to WHO, Editor, OIE Science and Technology Review Disaster Management edition 2020, Former Director of United States Department of Defense Veterinary Service Activity.