The association formally unveiled its name and logo change at the AVOHS annual meeting and breakfast, held July 17 during the AVMA Convention 2023 in Denver.
The AVOHS board of directors felt this was appropriate for a few reasons, one being to clarify the association's overall longstanding mission to promote the national and international One Health approach. One Health is defined as an integrated, unifying approach that aims to sustainably balance and optimize the health of people, animals and ecosystems, according to the One Health High Level Expert Panel.
The name change also more accurately reflects the scope of professional recognition awards given by the AVOHS. These recipients have excelled in various disciplines covered by the One Health umbrella and not just veterinary epidemiology.
"In this context, our board of directors felt that our name needed to better reflect the breadth of our awardees and our membership," said Dr. Jack Shere, AVOHS president. "We felt it was not only appropriate, but also important, to include ‘One Health' in our new name."
The AVES, now AVOHS, was founded in 1964 by Dr. James H. Steele, who played an iconic and intellectual role in the evolutionary history of the One Health movement.
As the first U.S. assistant surgeon general for veterinary affairs at the Centers for Disease Control, Dr. Steele pioneered the philosophy that human health is deeply connected to the health of animals and the surrounding environment.
Dr. Karen Becker, incoming AVOHS president-elect, having been a close friend of and mentored by Dr. Steele, said in an announcement, "Jim Steele would have fully approved of the name change as a progressive and visionary leader who loved change, especially when it was wholly justified."
A version of this story appears in the September 2023 print issue of JAVMA