Being a Gator for six months (part 2 of 2)

(Read part 1 here before continuing below)

Learning the One Health approach

In terms of academics, the situation was better than I thought. Learning about the application of the One Health approach was my biggest wish; since I discovered it, I felt fully identified with its pretensions, with its philosophy and with its way of solving things. What I like most about One Health is that it is an initiative of us, the veterinarians, and is designed with holistic thinking. But despite everything I’ve read about it, I always asked myself: How is the best way to apply it? Is it holistic? Who can teach me to link everything related to the approach? Therefore, Ilaria taught me that the most important thing for the application of One Health is communication, politics, and public relations, sparkly! It was obvious, it is necessary to penetrate the heart of power so that a holistic approach can be taken seriously.

About the One Health team

Seeing Dr. Capua work was inspiring, she always had a precise goal, to cooperate. There were no ego demonstrations, there were no achievements to boast, it was simply to be open to every idea, and every proposal that could help solve a problem. The best thing was that each project had a relationship with another, and everything had to do with one health. Another thing that surprised me about Ilaria was the ability to have an open mind for each proposal or project that was suggested. Personally, I believe that greatness is demonstrated in that way. Her willingness to help, even if it were in the least, was a great teaching, because after all that is what knowledge and experience is acquired.

The last thing I learned from her was her method to make people better. Without scolding or threats, she always make you repeat things until they are in the best possible way, and in the end you will not have reproaches, only enormous satisfaction and great teaching.


Regarding my colleagues at the OHC, what can I say? Simply wonderful. From the day after my arrival in Gainesville, Russell demonstrated his capacity for collaboration; always attentive, always willing to help or give good advice. Behind the scenes, he did his best to facilitate the group’s efforts to communicate the one health vision to all UF.


Olga is one of the strangest people but at the same time more interesting than I have known. I can really say that she is someone who lives every day at the same time, without drama or overacting, she always reaches her goals. She was who helped me get to UF, the key that opened the door to “Gatorland”; she was always willing to advise me, she always had the right indication at the right time. On several occasions, our times did not coincide, but I always had a good time with her company because she always had an interesting subject to discern.


With Sara I had the opportunity to receive class, I sailed in the sea of Latin and Greek roots under her tutorship; actually, it was a fabulous journey. She taught me the importance of philosophy, art and language in public health; how they integrate with the One Health approach and the contributions they give to it. Sara also became a friend, with whom even though I am not a coffee drinker, I always enjoyed a good espresso, telling us secrets and laughing at life. We left part of the history of medicine pending to continue researching; I hope we can do something that leaves a contribution.


If any of you believe in angels, let me tell you that Rania is the closest thing that can exist. She is a kind, friendly, companionship and fair being; above all very fair. Rania was one of the people who made my life in Gainesville easier, she facilitated me to the smallest detail I could find so that my stay at UF would be the best possible. Thanks to her friendship, I was able to live the daily life of a university city in the USA; it does not seem complicated, but as a foreigner, I can tell you that it is difficult to adapt to another culture, to another time management, to another currency and to be far from who you are. Thanks again Rania, I will never forget what you did for me.

Final Thoughts

Finally, after doing something that for many was impossible, to adapt to Gainesville and fall in love with the One Health Center. I can tell you that it was worth every second that I was there; my soul is with a dose of American culture and thought, and of course Italian.

At the end of the day, as someone once said: “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible”

Nicolas Hernandez Gallo


Posted: May 13, 2019

Category: UF/IFAS
Tags: Experience, Gainesville, One Health, One Health Center, University Of Florida

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