AKC Canine Health Foundation Recognizes 2022 Leaders in Canine Health

AKC Canine Health Foundation Recognizes 2022 Leaders in Canine Health


RALEIGH, NC (December 19, 2022) – The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the health of all dogs and their owners, recognizes the following leaders in canine health with their annual awards.


Mari-Beth O’Neill receives the 2022 President’s Award.

The President’s Award is given to a person or organization that has made an exceptional contribution to advancing canine health. Mari-Beth O’Neill has dedicated much of her life to dogs as Vice President of Sport Services for the American Kennel Club, a breeder of top-producing dogs of several breeds, and dedicated supporter of CHF.

She pioneered several collaborations between AKC-affiliated organizations, including outreach to veterinary students and the AKC/AKC CHF/TF Small Animal Theriogenology Residency Program to invest in canine reproductive specialists that support the health of current and future generations of dogs.


The Kennel Club of Philadelphia is named the 2022 Distinguished Research Partner.

The Distinguished Research Partner Award is given annually to clubs or organizations for their ongoing and outstanding commitment to support canine health research. The Kennel Club of Philadelphia has been a long-time supporter of CHF-funded canine health research and educational programs, including their Champion Sponsorship in 2022.


Dr. William and Tina Truesdale receive the Legacy Award.

The Legacy Award is given in special recognition of a lifelong champion for dogs and supporter of the AKC Canine Health Foundation and its mission. This year’s recipients, Dr. and Mrs. Truesdale, have supported CHF’s mission on the board of directors, as tireless volunteers, event hosts, and members of the Foundation’s Heritage Society.


Amber Koerner receives the inaugural Inspiration Award.

The new Inspiration Award is given to honor an individual creatively expanding awareness of the role that the AKC Canine Health Foundation plays in advancing canine health. Amber Koerner receives the 2022 award in recognition of her annual walk-a-thon to raise awareness about canine cancer and donations for CHF-funded cancer research.

2022 Leaders in Canine Health Awards were presented at CHF’s annual gala, Canines & Cocktails, on December 15, 2022.

CHF is honored to have the support and enthusiasm of creative and dedicated advocates like this year’s award winners,” says Dr. Darin Collins, CHF Chief Executive Officer. “In their own ways, each of them raises awareness about our mission to improve the health of all dogs and we could not do this important work without them.

CHF is currently managing a portfolio of 165 active canine health research grants studying cancer, tick-borne disease, epilepsy, and more. By collaborating with dog clubs, veterinary professionals, and individual donors, CHF works to find and fund breakthroughs to help all dogs live longer, healthier lives.

  • Since 1995, the AKC Canine Health Foundation has leveraged the power of science to address the health needs of all dogs. With more than $66 million in funding to date, the Foundation provides grants for the highest quality canine health research and shares information on the discoveries that help prevent, treat and cure canine diseases. The Foundation meets and exceeds industry standards for fiscal responsibility, as demonstrated by their highest four-star Charity Navigator rating and Candid Platinum Seal of Transparency. Learn more at www.akcchf.org.

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