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Dog in Grass

Program for Pet Health Equity

Donate Today to help families in need of access to veterinary care.

We believe that all pets deserve access to veterinary care.

The Program for Pet Health Equity (PPHE) exists to improve access to veterinary care for pets and their families not adequately served by the current system. We promote and facilitate national collaborations and public policy development, to remove barriers to veterinary care. Our activities include education, community service, and social and public health research. PPHE is developing AlignCare, the first One Health healthcare system that addresses the needs of people, their pets, and their ecosystem, which is largely defined by socioeconomics. We connect families with veterinary service providers, while leveraging community resources and activities. 


Congratulations Dr. Blackwell!

Maddie’s fund is thrilled to announce that the 2020 Avanzino Leadership Award recipient is Dr. Michael J. Blackwell, for his outstanding leadership and purposeful dedication to the human-animal bond.

The award is named after Rich Avanzino, the father of the no-kill movement and Maddie’s Fund President from 1999-2015. It recognizes significant achievement and courage to look beyond the status quo and make bold decisions to improve the lives of pets and their people. The award is presented with a $25,000 grant to be designated by recipient.
“What Dr. Blackwell has accomplished thus far in his lifetime, and continues to pursue, is nothing short of impressive,” said Amy Zeifang of the Maddie’s Fund Executive Leadership Team. “He has continuously followed his passion to do what’s right, focusing on the fact that people and pets belong together. His mission to improve access to veterinary care, especially for those with limited means, is meaningful for families throughout our country.”

Over the past three years, Maddie’s Fund has awarded a total of $3.3 million to Dr. Blackwell and his team at the Program for Pet Health Equity, College of Social Work, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He conducted foundational research on barriers to access to veterinary care and best practices among those who seek to improve access to veterinary care. Based on the incredible findings from this research, he then launched into research and development of a new healthcare system called AlignCare.
Read the full press release to learn more.


Thank you to the Dave & Cheryl Duffield Foundation for your generous support!

We are excited to share this wonderful news! We can now move forward to create AlignCare Communities in Reno and Las Vegas.


Calling all veterinarians in Reno and Las Vegas!

Thanks to the generous funding from the Dave & Cheryl Duffield Foundation to help families in your communities whose pets are in need of veterinary care. Please contact us today for more information at 865-315-7729 or by email at ppheweb@utk.edu. We look forward to partnering with you!


AlignCare is the main project of the Program for Pet Health Equity and is a collaboration among the University of Tennessee, Maddie’s Fund, veterinary service providers (VSP), social service agencies, animal welfare organizations, veterinary social work (VSW), and community partners who are committed to family welfare through improving access to veterinary care.

Download the AlignCare Overview Brochure Here


Thank You to Maddie’s Fund!

The Program for Pet Health Equity is a proud recipient of funding from Maddie’s Fund. #ThanksToMaddie, PPHE can help keep families together through access to veterinary care.