The Passion behind
One Health Lessons

Meeting the global need. One classroom at a time.

History of One Health Lessons

One Health Lessons was officially launched in 2020 but was in development since 2016 when the Founder, Deborah Thomson, taught her first lesson about One Health in a middle school in California. Since then, whenever she had a day off from her full-time job, she taught more and more classrooms about One Health to change the way students view the world. She never stopped, and One Health Lessons was eventually born.

Meet the Leadership Team

Deborah Thomson, DVM: Executive Director

Dr. Deborah Thomson develops highly interactive learning material about One Health for children and adults, so that they can understand the inextricable connections between our health and the health of animals, plants, and the environment and appreciate the teamwork required to address One Health challenges.

She is passionate about science and has taught her One Health lessons in underserved public schools and online. Based on teacher feedback, she has inspired thousands of children to consider a future in science. Her lessons have been taught internationally and are available in more than30 languages.

Besides developing curricula (which are delivered virtually or in the classroom) and leading a global team of interns, she is a veterinarian, science policy advisor, author, award-winning public speaker and musician, and overall One Health advocate.

Before becoming a veterinarian, Deborah taught music in a primary school, tutored math to adults, and was a full-time instructor of English Language Learners between the ages of 11 and 65. Throughout veterinary school and years after graduation, she has never lost her passion for teaching. With One Health Lessons, she combines her two passions: One Health and primary/secondary school education.

Patrice Pages, PhD: President/Chair of Board

Patrice Pages is the Communications Director at the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office, which coordinates the nanotechnology research and development activities of 20 Federal government agencies. Patrice’s passion is to help organizations focused on making a positive social impact. By combining a deep analytical background with a strong communication background, he helps organizations evaluate the effectiveness of their programs and enhance their strategy in a way that allows them to grow their most impactful programs and secure the support they need to thrive and grow. Patrice has a Ph.D. in particle physics and an M.S. in science and technology journalism. When he met Deb Thomson, the executive director of One Health Lessons, in May 2021, he was fascinated by the possibilities offered by One Health Lessons, and he has since offered his help to grow this organization and increase its impact on students and communities alike. He became the Chair of One Health Lessons’ Board of Directors in 2023.

Dr. Thierry Fouapon serves as the Vice-Chair of One Health Lessons’ Board of Directors. He is a veteran of the United State Army and theDeputy Director of the One Heath Branch at the WRAIR Center for Infectious Diseases Research. Dr. Fouapon received his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Bamako School of Medicine in 2006, his Master of Public Health degree with a concentration in Environmental Health in 2011 from American Military University (West Virginia), and his Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Healthcare Management in 2022 from Liberty University (Virginia). Thierry joined One Health Lessons in September 2022 after completion of the inaugural U.S. Army Fellowship with the Global Health Division at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation headquarters in Seattle,supporting the Malaria team and the Neglected Tropical Diseases team. Thierry is originally from Cameroon.

Simone Soso, PhD: Board Member

Dr. Simone Soso is an animal ecologist and environmental scientist, Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) diversity advocate, and community activist. She is the Program Director of the Quality Education for Minorities Network. In this role, she guides the development, execution, and funding of programmatic activities (professional development trainings, technical assistance grant writing workshops, and communities of practice for faculty at Minority-Serving Institutions) dedicated to enhancing the education of students of color. Simone received her B.S. in Animal Science from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and M.S. in Animal Health Science from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. She received her Ph.D. at Iowa State University in Environmental Science. As a doctoral student, she developed novel sampling and analytical methodology using multidimensional gas chromatography-mass spectrometry-olfactometry and solid phase microextraction for the chemical and odor analysis of lion and tiger cat scent-markings to prevent their eradication. She has peer-reviewed publications on the analysis of mammal scent-markings, one of which was published in Nature.

Engaging the public and broader scientific community on the need for inclusion in STEM and scientific advocacy has been integral to Simone’s personal mission. She serves on the Board of Directors of One Health Lessons, in which she works with volunteers around the world to deliver educational lessons to K-12 students on environmental, public, and animal health. Simone volunteers her time working for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and other organizations as a policy writer and committee member, advocating for environmental justice and educational equity.

A special thanks goes to Dr. Kyle Novak, mathematician and member of the Noun Project, who designed the One Health Lessons logo.