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Our Mission

True to its mission of leading the veterinary profession and public in understanding heartworm disease, the American Heartworm Society aims to further scientific progress in the study of heartworm disease, while informing its membership of new developments. The Society currently invests hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in heartworm research, both directly and through grants to the Morris Animal Foundation.

Every three years, the American Heartworm Symposium draws researchers and veterinarians from all over the world to present, hear and discuss the latest scientific information on heartworm disease. These presentations are also published in a peer-reviewed proceedings, and the information is shared with the wider veterinary community through the communications efforts of the Society.

One of the most valuable services provided by the American Heartworm Society is the Current Guidelines for Canine and Feline Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment of Heartworm Disease. These guidelines, which are periodically updated as new information becomes available, can be downloaded at no charge.

The American Heartworm Society also provides a number of additional educational resources and services, including symposia, publications, client education materials and heartworm outreach to veterinarians and the public. The ultimate goal: to promote effective procedures for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of heartworm disease.

Mission Statement

To lead the veterinary profession and the public in the understanding of heartworm disease.


Founded During The Heartworm Symposium Of 1974, The American Heartworm Society Aims To:

  • Further scientific progress in the study of heartworm disease
  • Inform the membership of new developments
  • Encourage and help promote effective procedures for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of heartworm disease


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President: Dr. Stephen Jones

Lakeside Animal Hospital
615 East Main Street
Moncks Corner, SC 29461

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Vice President: Cristiano von Simson, DVM, MBA

Bayer Healthcare LLC
Animal Health
P.O. Box 390
Shawnee, KS 66201-0390

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Secretary/Treasurer: Dr. Robert Stannard

Adobe Pet Hospital
1543 First Street
Livermore, CA 94550

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Editor: Dr. Doug Carithers

Merial Ltd
3239 Satellite Blvd. Bldg. 500
Duluth, GA 30096

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Immediate Past President: Dr. Wallace Graham

VCA Oso Creek Animal Hospital
7721 South Staples Street
Corpus Christi, TX 78418

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Executive Board Officers & Members

The American Heartworm Society was founded in early 1974 by a group of veterinary practitioners and scientists concerned about heartworm disease. Since then, the Society has continued to thrive and grow.  Active membership is open to all veterinarians and scientists with interests in any aspect of heartworm disease.  Membership as a Subscriber or Student Member is also available to other individuals interested in keeping abreast of the latest developments in this area.

The American Heartworm Society is governed by an Executive Board made up of veterinary practitioners, academicians and researchers. Executive board members are actively involved in the day-to-day operations of the Society and volunteer hundreds of hours of time in the Society’s service. Only members in private clinical practice may serve as President. To reach any of our board members, send an email to

The American Heartworm Society is an international organization, with members from five continents and 13 countries.



Chris Duke


Chris Duke, DVM, is a practitioner and co-owner of Bienville Animal Medical Center in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.


Immediate Past President

Christopher J. Rehm, Sr., DVM, is the owner of Rehm Animal Clinics of Mobile and Baldwin counties, four small animal clinics in south Alabama.


Vice President

Doug Carithers, DVM, is Director of Applied Research and Publications at Boehringer Ingelheim in Duluth, Georgia.



Elizabeth Clyde, DVM, is the owner of Clyde’s Animal Clinic in Mattoon, Illinois and the Animal Family Vet Care Center of Paris in Paris, Illinois.



Brian DiGangi, DVM, MS, DABVP (Canine & Feline Practice, Shelter Medicine Practice), is a Senior Director of Shelter Medicine at the ASPCA and is based out of Gainesville, Florida.


Research Chair

Charles Thomas (Tom) Nelson, DVM, is Medical Director at the Animal Medical Centers of N.E. Alabama, based in Anniston, Alabama.


Executive Board Members

AngeleBiceAngele Bice, DVM is owner of Summerville Pet Clinic in Summerville, South Carolina and also practices shelter medicine part-time at Dorchester Paws and the Charleston Animal Society.

MarisaAmesMarisa Ames, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology) is an Associate Professor of cardiology at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, and AHS Triennial Symposium Program Co-Chair.

AndyMoorheadAndrew Moorhead, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVM (Parasitology) is an Associate Professor at the University of Georgia and is Director and Primary Investigator of the Filariasis Research Reagent Resource Center in Athens, Georgia.

JenniRizzoJennifer Rizzo, DVM, is an Emergency Veterinarian at Blue Pearl Pet Hospital in Gainesville, FL, and Founder of Lone Star Veterinary Academy.

LindsayStarkeyLindsay Starkey, DVM, PhD, DACVM (Parasitology), is Assistant Professor of Parasitology in the Department of Pathobiology at Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in Auburn, Alabama.

Bianca Zaffarano

Bianca Zaffarano, DVM is the Clinical Associate Professor Emeritus at Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.

Ex-Officio - Non-Voting

ChrisAdolphChris Adolph, DVM, MS, DACVM (Parasitology), Veterinary Specialist (Parasitology) at Zoetis in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Paola Dominguez Lopez Paola Dominguez-Lopez, CVT is a veterinary technician with the Veterinary Community Outreach Program at the University of Florida Small Animal Hospital in Gainesville, FL.

JohnMcCall2John W. McCall, MS, PhD, is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Infectious Diseases at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in Athens, Georgia.

C.RoyalChristine Royal, DVM, is Director of Veterinary Professional Services, Companion Animal and Equine, at Merck Animal Health in Tallahassee, Florida.

AHS Association Management Team

Sease Management, LLC serves as the Association Management Team of the American Heartworm Society. Please contact the following persons for specific needs:

Lisa Scott
Partner, Sease Management, LLC
Director of the Association Management Team
Sponsor Contact, Triennial Symposium Coordinator, General Information

Sonya Hennessy
Partner, Sease Management, LLC
Financial Inquiries, Membership, Heartworm University

Public Relations

Sue O'Brien
SKO’Brien Communications


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