Free Thinkers meeting notice

Fran Berman

On Sunday, October 23, 2016, at 9:30 a.m. in the MountainView Ballroom, SaddleBrooke Freethinkers welcome Dr. Bonnie Buntain who will speak about “One Health.” One Health is the interconnectedness of the health of people, domestic animals and wildlife and our shared environment called ecosystems. This interconnectedness has positive and negative impacts on our shared health. There are fascinating and rapidly changing interactions among animals, humans and ecosystems resulting in positive changes and negative health challenges. Diseases like Salmonellosis, the “hamburger disease,” avian influenza, “mad cow” disease, Ebola, plague and Lyme disease, result from complex world changes. These changes include human encroachment on animal habitats, more and faster global travel, displaced human and animal populations, globalization of the food supply and microbial adaptation. Consequently most emerging infectious diseases now arise from animals. Even so, animal-human bonds and our commonality bring new discoveries, improving the health of all species. This talk explains how it’s all “One Health.”

Dr. Bonnie Buntain holds Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Animal Science and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. She became board certified in equine veterinary medicine and veterinary preventive medicine. She was recently honored as a Fellow of Aberystwyth University (Wales) in One Health and Professor Emeritus University of Calgary (Canada) in Public Health.

Raised in Hawaii, Dr. Buntain had an ambulatory equine veterinary practice there for 10 years. Afterward she had a fascinating 17-year career in the federal government at the Food and Drug Administration and at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She was one of the few veterinarians who rose to the Senior Executive Service, ending her career as the Chief Public Health Veterinarian of the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. Dr. Buntain was recruited to be a founding faculty and assistant dean of a new, innovative veterinary college in Calgary, Canada. When her father, Robert Buntain, died, she moved to SaddleBrooke to be closer to her mother, June. She was immediately hired by the University of Arizona in Tucson as the program coordinator for the new and innovative School of Veterinary Medicine where One Health is a foundational pillar.

SaddleBrooke Freethinkers is free and open to all regardless of religious belief, political persuasion or gender preference. Sunday meetings feature a guest speaker, usually at the MountainView Ballroom on the fourth Sunday morning each month, October through April. Dates and venues may change, so check the website. To defray costs we request a $2 per person contribution. Non-perishable food or cash donations for the Tri-County Community Food Bank are always welcome.

Informal “Thirdsty Thursday” socials are the third Thursday each month at 3:00 p.m. in the Roadrunner Grill. Our charter states, “We believe in the responsible search for truth and meaning, and in the application of reason and science to the understanding of the universe and the solving of human problems. We believe that tolerance, compassion, equity and civility should characterize the interaction among peace-loving persons and organizations.” Information about upcoming presentations and past programs is at