Who are the people behind SAFOSO? What inspires them and how do they contribute to solving animal health challenges? Patrik Buholzer shares his story.
Patrik, what inspires you to come to work every day?
I strongly believe that our work contributes to improving at least part of the world. The fact that we create added value is what inspires me. We are a great team at SAFOSO, supporting and inspiring each other to find good, purposeful and practical solutions for our clients, which is another important source of inspiration.
How do you contribute to SAFOSO?
SAFOSO is a growing consultancy company and as a Director, one of my main responsibilities is strategic development of the company, to determine what we want to be in the future. It is exciting to develop and implement strategies, acquire new projects and ultimately lead the company to new opportunities.
What are you currently working on?
One of the current focus areas is African swine fever, for which we organize trainings and workshops to increase knowledge and awareness for this highly contagious disease. Just last month, we completed an online training with veterinarians in South East Asia in partnership with the regional FAO office. This is a typical example of our knowledge dissemination projects, where we train the trainers, so they can in turn train veterinarians in their region.
In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges in animal health?
I see the biggest challenge in the fact that the animal health sector still too often approaches problems in isolation, rather than approaching them from a broader, more holistic perspective. To find truly sustainable, good solutions, you must be willing to think outside the box, be open to new and different approaches, and be willing to learn new things. We recently contributed a letter to the editor to Transboundary and Emerging Diseases to increase awareness among the scientific community for how a One Health approach to the different epidemics in humans and animals can not only save human and animal lives but also safeguard the global economy. It is critical that we don’t just talk about how important interdisciplinary approaches are, but also act accordingly. At SAFOSO, we seek to integrate the different aspects in our knowledge transfer aswell as in risk analyses.
What has been a highlight in your work for SAFOSO?
One of the activities I have been engaged in lately is to provide customers, who do not have a specific scientific background, with information about COVID-19. The goal is to help them navigate the current challenges around the pandemic. An example is the e-learning course “epidemiology for non-epidemiologists” we have developed, as well as COVID-19 webinars (online seminars) we are organizing for our clients. Hearing back from customers about how well they liked the format and how satisfied they are, has been a real highlight. The fact that we can transfer complex scientific knowledge in an entertaining and captivating manner and that our clients now have the knowledge to build their own opinions regarding COVID-19, makes me really proud.
About Patrik Buholzer
Patrik joined SAFOSO in August 2019 as Director. He studied biochemistry and organic chemistry at the University of Applied Science, Zurich and holds an executive MBA from the University St. Gallen.
He has more than 15 years of experience in the field of production-animal diseases. Working for multiple international diagnostics companies has helped him gain profound knowledge of veterinary diagnostics and its application in different settings. During his career he successfully managed numerous projects with partners from private industry, government and institutions from all over the world.
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