In 2010, Dr. Pam Schreiner, a cardiovascular epidemiologist and full professor in the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health, was awarded a grant from CENSHARE to look at companion animal ownership and health in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study, of which she is the Principal Investigator. In 2013, she was invited to take over as Director of CENSHARE, and she worked on continuing the reputation of public service and leadership built by Dr. Anderson and Ms. Foster. Under her leadership, CENSHARE is evolving into a center that provides support for designing studies related to the human-animal bond, and also to advise on appropriate statistical analysis for these data.
Animals can be defined as companion animals, service animals, therapy animals, animals used in agriculture, or wildlife and the ecosystem, with health encompassing physical, mental or social health. Benefits can be measured through biological measures such as blood chemistries or physiologic parameters such as blood pressure, weight, reduction in stress measured by biomarkers or standardized questionnaires, diet, and a wide range of psychosocial instruments.