Compelled by the rise of the Coronavirus pandemic and a desire to find those faculty at Penn State interested in One Health research, teaching, and practice, the Penn State One Health Group was formed in March 2020. This group represents a significant step forward in growing Penn State’s capacity for interdisciplinary health and environmental research between Hershey Medical Center and University Park. Yet, the effectiveness of such integrated efforts is vulnerable to a myriad of barriers, including incompatible vocabularies and isolated datasets.
While there are substantial data focused on human health, animal health, socio-political, and demographic characteristics of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth, there are equally substantial barriers to integrated analysis and action. Each data may be available in varying formats, scopes, and/or resolutions within disciplinary and institutional silos. Starting with an initial focus on the socio-environmental and ecological factors of perinatal health in humans and animals, we seek to unify diverse data through a common spatial lens while engendering conversations to break through disciplinary jargon and create a platform for integration of faculty within Penn State. Both process and product have the potential for far-reaching impacts in growing the Penn State One Health network, future external funding, supporting junior faculty research agendas, and training interdisciplinary students.