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: Chair of the Board

Dr. 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.

Thierry Fouapon, MD, MPH, MBA: Vice Chair of the Board

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.

Joseph Annelli, DVM: Board Member

Dr. Joseph Annelli is a former USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Veterinary Services Senior Advisor for Agriculture and Health System (One Health Coordinator) and Director of the One Health Coordination Center. He retired this past January after a 32-year career covering a broad range of policy and program development to start his own consulting company "Practical One Health Solutions".

A native of New York, Dr. Annelli received a BS in Biology in 1976 from St. Francis College in Brooklyn, NY, and a MS in Zoology with an emphasis on Oceanography and Wildlife Management from the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at Del La Salle Araneta University in Quezon City, Philippines in 1983 after completing his senior year of clinical practice at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.

Throughout his 32 year federal career he was (and still is) an innovative thinker and one who pushed the needle forward with things like eradicating avian influenza from the live bird market system in NYC, eradicating pseudorabies from the US domestic swine herds, introducing the Incident Command System to Veterinary Services, building the APHIS EOC, building emergency programs activities from being a second thought to a world class response organization. He managed USDA’s engagement in the White House's Avian and Pandemic Influenza Preparedness implementation plan while on detail to the USDA Secretary's Office, leading the USDA International Avian and Pandemic Influenza Response Team, developing a Crisis Management Center at the Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome, leading USDA on Global Health Security at the White House, initiating the USDA wide One Health Joint Working Group, the Federal Interagency One Health Working Group, and finally founding and leading the USDA One Health Coordination Center.

Dr. Annelli sees the biggest challenge for Public Practice Veterinarians and One Health in general the lack of acknowledgement that agriculture and animal health really are the first line of defense for human health. Often times, animal health agencies are considered Livestock agencies limited to animal health and animal welfare. But if you take a step back, you'll see that the true role is to ensure that agriculture provides wholesome, abundant, affordable food for the US and the World. When I say "wholesome", it's encompasses food that is nutritionally rich and rid a of disease, and while the programs may be focused on animals, ultimately they are ensuring human health. For example, when dealing with rabies, we develop animal vaccines, yes, but if we were to focus on developing human vaccines, we'd only be addressing a symptom of the problem and not the root cause itself—rabies.

Today, Dr. Annelli continues to advance the cause of One Health. Post retirement, he has started a consulting business called "Practical One Health Solutions" and has been consulting with the World Health Organization on the development of a Zoonotic Disease Guide and has pulled together a global consortium to submit a proposal on measuring countries National AMR Action Plans, influencing Congress to include One Health in the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Act to name a few.

Carmen Sevilla: Board Member

Carmen Sevilla has been in the field of education for over twenty-five years as a classroom teacher, athletics coach and administrator for neurotypical and special needs students. She was an Assistant Head for Parent Education and 2e Professionals and guided a high performing team of 2e educators as a Middle School Division Head. She graduated from Occidental College with a degree in Economics, a minor in Spanish literature, and a four-year varsity letter in softball. She holds a master’s degree in Educational Technology and is completing her Ed.D. in Cognitive Diversity, with an emphasis in Cognitive Diversity and Educational Psychology. Carmen’s professional and personal experience with the IEP process, Parent Advocacy, Strength-Based Education, and Social Emotional Management are a few areas where she assists families and children in advocating for their educational needs. Carmen enjoys playing many types of games (sports, board games, video games, card games) and traveling. She is currently an Educational Strategist at Preuss & Associates, and is the proud mother of three sons (a singleton and twins). In addition to serving on the One Health Lessons Board, Carmen also serves on the Board of STARS Academy in West Hills, CA and Zeta Tau Zeta Board in Eagle Rock, CA.

Tyler Chuck, M. Ed.: Board Member

Tyler Chuck is an Associate Director of Education and Outreach at Community Resources for Science, an education nonprofit that connects scientists to local classrooms in the San Francisco Bay Area. Community Resources for Science has connected One Health Lessons to teach lessons in classrooms to help inspire the next generation of scientists. Tyler has also worked as a classroom teacher and school athletic director. In his free time, Tyler enjoys hiking, attending concerts, and cheering on the Golden State Warriors.

Noel Lee Miranda: Board Member

Noel Miranda is currently Global Health Security and One Health Advisor, USAID-Philippines GHS Program, GH-TAMS. He graduated from the University of the Philippines and University of London-Royal Veterinary College, respectively, in 1984 and 1992. He specializes on pandemic threats reduction (One Health) and preparedness.

He was the WHO veterinary field responder during the early outbreaks of avian influenza in Southeast Asia. He supported ASEAN’s pandemic preparedness from 2006, and co-developed its ASEAN Public Health Emergency Coordination System and zoonotic disease prevention from wildlife trade policies and strategic plan, 2022.

During the pandemic, he served as FAO regional COVID-19 coordinator.

He was formerly connected with the Philippine Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, where he pioneered One Health collaborations on rabies and Reston Ebola virus.

He was appointed as Veterinary Board Examiner in 2004.

He now serves in WHO Simulation Exercises Technical Advisory Group (SETAG) and is a member of its Country Simulation Exercises & Reviews (CER) operational roster.

He is a member of the World Veterinary Association- One Health Working Group (and Education Sub-group)

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