On September 30th, we gathered with staff, board members, and friends of One Health Organization to celebrate a significant milestone—the organization's 15th anniversary.
Hosted at the home of our founder, Dr. Anna M. van Heeckeren, this event was a joyous occasion filled with reflection, gratitude, and a reaffirmation of our commitment to our mission. As we mark this momentous occasion, it is fitting to take a journey back in time to understand the roots of One Health Organization and the incredible legacy that brought us to where we are today.
A Legacy of Compassion and Community Leadership
The story of One Health Organization is deeply intertwined with the remarkable legacy of the van Heeckeren family. Dr. Anna M. van Heeckeren, the organization's founder, is the daughter of Doris van Heeckeren, a renowned horse breeder, animal lover, and volunteer, and Dr. Daniel van Heeckeren, an avid sailboat racer and renowned heart surgeon at University Hospitals.
Dr. Dan volunteered his professional services to low-income patients in Northeast Ohio, exemplifying a commitment to caring for those in need. And Doris instilled a love and appreciation for the role that animals play in people's lives. It's no wonder that Dr. Anna became a veterinarian dedicated to public health and animal welfare.
Furthermore, Dr. Anna's husband taught her the importance of philanthropy and supporting causes that are deeply personal. It is within this context that One Health Organization was born.
With a vision rooted in compassion and a dedication to continuing her family's legacy of community leadership, Dr. Anna founded our organization. Her passion for helping low-income pet owners access veterinary care became a driving force that has shaped our work over the past 15 years.
A Journey of Compassion and Impact
Over the past 15 years, One Health Organization has grown and evolved, but our commitment to our mission remains unwavering. We made great strides in expanding access to veterinary care for low-income pet owners. Also, we developed a unique veterinary social work model, which leverages education, outreach, and service provision, to create a positive impact on both animals and humans in our community.
As we celebrate our 15th anniversary, we are filled with gratitude for the support of our dedicated staff, board members, friends, donors, and partners who have joined us on this journey. Together, we have made a meaningful difference in the lives of countless pets and their owners, ensuring that they can stay healthy and happy in loving homes.
Looking Forward: The Next 15 Years and Beyond
As we look ahead to the future, One Health Organization remains committed to our mission of improving the well-being of humans and their pets through accessible veterinary care. With the continued support of our community, we are excited to embark on the next 15 years and beyond, making an even greater impact and furthering the legacy of compassion and community leadership that inspired our founding.
Thank you to everyone who has been a part of our journey so far. Together, we will continue to make a difference, one pet and one person at a time.
For more information about One Health Organization and our work, review our website.
Here's to 15 years of compassion, dedication, and making a positive impact!
What's a celebration without cake?
Ira Reynolds, staff member since 2010, with Dr. Anna.
Pictured left to right: Jill Katzenberg, Melissa Elick, Madi Maruna, & Jennifer Lynch-McKinney
Kenyon Mau, volunteer since 2010, and Past Board Chair with 6th grade classmate Dr. Anna.
Pictured from left to right: Sandy Rapp, Molly Balunek, and Dr. Jess Bibbo
Pictured from left to right: Muffi Sherwin, Ira Reynolds, Kenyon Mau, & Kathy Mau