Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Dr. Howell's Legacy in the Palliative Care Community.

Pictured Above CSUSM President Karen Haynes, Suzi K. Johnson, Darlene Marcos Shiley, Dr. Daniel Hoefer, Helen McNeal, and Dr. Doris A. Howell.

CSU Institute for Palliative Care names award after Dr. Doris Howell 
  • Award to recognize community leaders that advance palliative care in our community. 

SAN DIEGO, CA – Sept. 2016.  CSU announced the Doris A. Howell MD Award for Advancing Palliative Care during the Institute for Palliative Care inaugural ribbon cutting ceremony earlier in September in the San Marcos Campus.  Information on the ceremony can be seen here. 

Long-time recognized for her work in palliative care, and affectionately named 'the mother of hospice', the award seeks to recognize the efforts of those who improve or manage the quality of life of patients and their families during a life-threatening illness through identification, assessment and treatment of pain and other physical, psychosocial and spiritual issues.

The first recipients of the prestigious award are Dr. Daniel Hoefer, Chief Medical Officer for Sharp HealthCare’s Outpatient Palliative Care Program --Transitions --  and associate medical director for Sharp HospiceCare; and Suzi K. Johnson, MPH, RN, vice president of Sharp Hospice and Palliative Care, a program of Sharp HealthCare located in San Diego.

In a press release issued by CSU San Marcos, Helen B. McNeal, Executive Director of the Institute commented: “Dr. Howell has been a role model and champion for palliative care in San Diego and nationally. This award will commemorate Dr. Howell’s work and encourage providers to continue her legacy.  This year we will be honoring palliative care pioneers in San Diego and next year we look forward to expanding the recognition to all of the communities where there are CSU Institute for Palliative Care campus partners, and potentially nationally.  Palliative care champions need to be recognized for the important work that they do every day.” 


Doris A. Howell, M.D., Professor Emeritus, UCSD, is a graduate of McGill University who has devoted her life to improving the lives of others.  A pioneer (1949) in pediatric hematology, oncology, and community medicine, she was a faculty member at Harvard and Duke Schools of Medicine and in 1963 was the first woman to chair a US medical school pediatric department, At the Medical College of Pennsylvania.  

She was recruited by UCSD in 1974 to be Professor and Chair of Pediatrics, and in 1974 was named Chair of the new Department of Community Medicine. She was instrumental in developing the model of primary care medicine as we know it--one that views patients as a whole person. 

All of this led Dr. Howell to become the driving force in establishing San Diego Hospice and the Institute for Palliative Medicine in 1977. Her commitment to providing compassionate, dignified, quality palliative and end-of-life care has been unswerving. Recognized nationally and locally, the Institute is honored that Dr. Howell has given permission for the award to carry her name. 

“It was truly heartwarming to see the love, respect and appreciation showered on Dr. Howell for her role in establishing the field of Palliative Care in San Diego and beyond. The Howell Award, given each year to outstanding Palliative Care practitioners at multiple sites throughout California, and potentially nationwide, will be an enduring legacy honoring a spectacular woman", comments Dr. Carole Banka, who chairs the Doris A. Howell Foundation.  


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About the CSU Institute for Palliative Care:

The CSU Institute for Palliative Care leverages the strength of CSU’s system through its 23 campuses’ workforce development infrastructure and solid community relationships, to achieve the Institute’s mission: to expand access to and awareness of palliative care by educating current and future health care professionals and community members.

The Institute, now entering its fourth year, is charged with positively impacting the critical shortage of nursing, physician, social work, spiritual and other professionals with palliative care skills and training; the Institute has pioneered a groundbreaking educational model that delivers best practices while expanding the base of professional care providers who embrace an interdisciplinary standard of care.

About the Doris A. Howell Foundation for Women's Health Research

The Doris A. Howell Foundation for Women’s Health Research is committed to keeping the women we love healthy, advancing women’s health through research and educating women to be catalysts for improving family health in the community.

The organization does so by funding scholarships to scientists researching issues affecting women’s health; providing a forum for medical experts, scientists, doctors, researchers, and authors to convey the timely information on topics relevant to women’s health and the health. of their families through its Lecture and Evening Series, and by funding research initiatives that will create women’s health awareness and advocacy in the community.


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Monday, September 26, 2016

Howell Foundation presents the field of research of the latest Cheryl Wilson Nursing Scholars

Pictured above from left to right Noelle Lipkin Leveque, Dr. Patricia Roth and Tina Campbell.

  • The health of the caregiver tending to Alzheimer's and dementia patients, and training for the health care provider in human trafficking victims as the 2016 Hahn School of Nursing research projects.  

San Diego, CA - August, 2015.   The Doris A. Howell Foundation announced the recipients of the Cheryl A. Wilson Scholarships to Ph.D. candidates Noelle Lipkin Leveque, sponsored by Cynthia D. Connaly, Ph.D. RN FAAN, and Trista Campbell, sponsored by Jane Georges, PhD.   Lipkin will be addressing care for victims of human trafficking while Campbell will addressing the health issues of the caregivers of dementia and Alzheimer's patients.

In her project description, Lipkin mentions: " Published research shows between 68 and 97% of health care providers say they have had NO training in identifying or treating victims of human trafficking.

This dissertation focuses on the gap in nursing knowledge regarding the health care of people (particularly women) who have been/are victims of human trafficking.  A lack of awareness of human trafficking and lack of training on how to recognize and manage a trafficking situation have been identified as barriers to care for this population. This study offers a first glimpse into the physical and mental health needs and receipt of health   services of trafficked women in San Diego,  CA.

The aims of the study are to: (a) document the health conditions of trafficked women; (b) identify the social and economic determinants of health among these women; and (c)  assess whether or not receiving health care improves the health of the women and their children".

Campbell, on the other hand, describes the need to address the health of the caregiver tending to dementia and Alzheimer's patients: " According to the Alzheimer Association, there are about 10 million women currently providing  unpaid  24-hours a day care to someone with Alzheimer's or dementia.  They  are more likely than men to help with the more intense, personal aspects of care, such as bathing, dressing, toileting, and managing incontinence. They receive less family and friend support than male caregivers caring for wives in similar situations. This takes a toll on their health and well­ being. They are concerned about the ability to maintain their own health since becoming a  caregiver. These responsibilities are physically stressful, isolating and commonly linked to depression.

The aims of the study are to: (1) identify and provide the specific activation needs of the caregivers from the baseline assessment of the three instruments by referring the caregivers to the appropriate healthcare providers, (2) identify the dependent variable for best practices based on the measures of the TEI instrument, CB instrument and CIDI-SF instrument reflecting all major health care domains in caregiving, and (3) analyze the results of the surveys of the related constructs of the instruments identifying potential caregiver predictors of activation, predictors of depression and caregiver burden that should be useful as markers of caregiver needs for education and behavioral change coaching, and as the foundation for developing interventions to enhance caregiver activation and successful partnership with the formal caregivers".

The Cheryl A. Wilson Scholarship was established 6 years ago to honor the current CEO of St. Paul’s for all her work at the Howell Foundation.   She is the Chief Executive Officer of St. Paul's Senior Homes & Services in San Diego.  The application review process engages academic researchers at the Foundation and the Hahn School of Nursing who provide a critical review and score each proposal according to established criteria.  Proposals are assessed for their impact on women’s health, research design, scholar qualifications and feasibility of accomplishing study goals.  Each student must have a qualified research mentor to direct and guide them. 

We wish our scholars all the success, and are anxious to hear about the findings of their valuable research. 

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About the Doris A. Howell Foundation:

The Doris A. Howell Foundation for Women’s Health Research is committed to keeping the women we love healthy, advancing women’s health through research and educating women to be catalysts for improving family health in the community.

The organization does so by funding scholarships to scientists researching issues affecting women’s health; providing a forum for medical experts, scientists, doctors, researchers, and authors to convey the timely information on topics relevant to women’s health and the health of their families through its Lecture and Evening Series, and by funding research initiatives that will create women’s health awareness and advocacy in the community.

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Friday, August 26, 2016

What DOES it take to be happy? Save the Date: September 29, 2016


"The purpose of our lives is to be happy”.   –Dalai Lama 

Did you know...  
  • Over 70% of people report living in a state of chronic stress? 
  • Happiness results from the strength of your neurological pathways and strengths are more powerful than weakness? 
  • Your emotions have executive power in your brain?

There is not one strategy that leads to happiness; it results from dedication to a holistic—or mind, body, and spirit—approach. It takes focus, effort, and intention on a daily basis.

Life then, becomes a happiness journey, not a destination to attain. 

Everyone wants to be happy. In fact, most everything we do is because we believe on some level it will make us happy.  We have been led to believe that when we are unhappy or stressed, all we need to do is change the way that we think and we will be happier. Or is it?

The Happy Map is a result of two decades of researching and applying the best of conventional and unconventional strategies for happiness.  In The Happy Map, Drs. Stokes and Ward take you on a step by step journey to developing the habit of happiness.  The novelty that Kim and Hilary bring to the search for happiness is an understanding of the latest neurological research and a method for reprogramming your brain to achieve happiness.

About our speakers: 

Kim and Hilary have studied and experienced the gamut of mind-body therapies. Together they have over 20 certifications in holistic modalities including biofeedback, neuro-linguistic programming, Tibetan Buddhism psychology, hypnosis, energy psychology, coaching, visualization and meditation.  Upon realizing their like-minded paths, they founded Authenticity Associates, a coaching and counseling practice, that brings the synergistic power of mind, body and spirit to individuals and couples. Through their bestselling books, online programs, private practice and speaking events they have shown thousands how to use their mind, body and spirit connection to heal and be happy.

A must-attend presentation and book signing.  Looking forward to sharing your happiness! 

When:    September 29, 2016

Time:     5:00-6:00pm – Networking time / Hors d’oevres & cash bar         
              6:00-7:30pm – Program    

Where:  The McMillin Center @ Liberty Station (Bldg. 177)
      2875 Dewey Rd., San Diego, CA  92106

Cost:     $10.  Online Registration is Required.            
              www.howellfoundation.org


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About the Doris A. Howell Foundation: 
The Doris A. Howell Foundation for Women’s Health Research is committed to keeping the women we love healthy, advancing women’s health through research and educating women to be catalysts for improving family health in the community.

The organization does so by funding scholarships to students researching issues affecting women’s health; providing a forum for medical experts, scientists, doctors, and researchers to convey timely information on topics relevant to women’s health and the health of their families through its Lecture and Evening Series, and by funding research initiatives that improve the health of under-served women and increase awareness and advocacy in the community. 

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Power of Genomics in the Future of Healthcare


Genomics is changing everything from oncology, to reproductive health, to genetic diseases.  And it is the underlying structure for the concept of 'personalized medicine'.  

In the realm of recent biomedical discoveries, the mapping of the human genome has to be the most revolutionary... and illumina is the at the forefront of research involving the human genome.  As a matter of fact, 6 of Time Magazine's top ten science breakthroughs in 2012 included research done by illumina.  According to Mr. Matt Possard, Senior Vice President of Translational and Consumer Genomics at Illumina Inc., the breakthroughs he presented in 2012 illustrate how genomic sequencing can help inform the decision making and care for patients from early to late care.  You can see the impact illumina is having in the research community here

Why is Genomics so important? 

You have probably heard the saying "It is more important to know what sort of person has a disease, than to know what sort of disease a person has."  So,on August 26th, come hear Karen Possemato, Chief of Staff at illumina, discuss the promise of unlocking the power of the genome to improve human health.  Her overview will cover the basics of genomics, including its potential and the impact it is having on society today. 

Time:         11:30 am Registration and Social Time
                 12:00 pm Lecture Luncheon  
Cost:          $50.00
Location:   La Jolla Country Club, 
                   7301 High Avenue, La Jolla, CA 92037
Attire:        Business casual, no jeans
Register:   All registrations must be PRE-PAID by August 18th.  We cannot accommodate late registrations due to limited seating.

About our Speaker: 

Karen Possemato is Chief of Staff to the CEO and President of Illumina Inc. In her role, Karen oversees business operations, corporate communications and a variety of corporate programs, including philanthropy and community engagement. In her previous role as Sr. Director, Corporate Marketing, Karen built up the company’s marketing function from a team of two to a team of sixty, scaling public relations, online presence, brand strategy and marketing programs.  With nearly three decades in the life sciences/biotechnology industry, Karen has worked for industry-leading companies such as Qiagen and Invitrogen in commercial roles from technical support to product marketing. An alumni of the University of California, San Diego – Karen believes that the connection between education, industry and the community is essential to innovation.

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About the Doris A. Howell Foundation:

The Doris A. Howell Foundation for Women’s Health Research is committed to keeping the women we love healthy, advancing women’s health through research and educating women to be catalysts for improving family health in the community.

The organization does so by funding scholarships to scientists researching issues affecting women’s health; providing a forum for medical experts, scientists, doctors, researchers, and authors to convey the timely information on topics relevant to women’s health and the health. of their families through its Lecture and Evening Series, and by funding research initiatives that will create women’s health awareness and advocacy in the community.


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Friday, July 22, 2016

Giving Back: Thank you, Alpha Phi!

Pictured above from left to right Taylor Bergstrom, Dr. Carole Banka and Deepika Suresh. 


On May 22, 2016, the Kappa Beta Chapter at UCSD was installed as the newest chapter of the Alpha Phi International Fraternity.  What, you may ask, might this have to do with the Howell Foundation?

Those who attended our May luncheon will remember that Deepika Suresh (a past Howell Foundation scholar) and Taylor Bergstrom, president of the new Alpha Phi chapter, made a brief presentation to inform our audience that the chapter had chosen the Howell Foundation to receive their installation donation. In donating to the Howell Foundation they help make possible a scholarship for another undergraduate to pursue research. The Alpha Phi Foundation, the charitable arm of the sorority, makes a donation each time a new chapter is installed. Supporting efforts to improve heart disease in women is their mission and, in making this donation, they have recognized our support of research and outreach in this area.

We at the Howell Foundation are honored to be the recipient for the Kappa Beta Chapter’s installation donation. Dr. Banka attended the Installation Ceremony to receive the donation. “It was a joy to meet the national dignitaries from Alpha Phi, the proud parents and, most of all, the stellar group of young women who were installed in the newest UCSD sorority,” said Banka.  In addition to the generous monetary donation, the new members of Alpha Phi have committed to volunteer their time for any and all Howell Foundation endeavors in the future.

"The Alpha Phi Foundation provides funds for leadership programs, collegiate and alumnae in need, women’s heart health programs, as well as scholarships and grants. As we join the community at UC San Diego, our Foundation is excited to announce that our installation grant is going to the Doris Howell Foundation! We are not only excited to support this Foundation and the San Diego community, but provide support to research and events planned for women’s health.  In the future we hope to provide a consistent volunteer base for events and operational needs of the Doris Howell Foundation and serve as local advocates for the organization’s mission.  Both as a past Howell Scholar and a member of Alpha Phi, I am looking forward to staying connected with the Doris Howell Foundation for many years to come!" comments Deepika Suresh.

We heartily thank the newest members of Alpha Phi for their time and treasure and congratulate them on their installation to one of the oldest sororities in the United States. You go girls!

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About the Doris A. Howell Foundation:

The Doris A. Howell Foundation for Women’s Health Research is committed to keeping the women we love healthy, advancing women’s health through research and educating women to be catalysts for improving family health in the community.

The organization does so by funding scholarships to scientists researching issues affecting women’s health; providing a forum for medical experts, scientists, doctors, researchers, and authors to convey the timely information on topics relevant to women’s health and the health. of their families through its Lecture and Evening Series, and by funding research initiatives that will create women’s health awareness and advocacy in the community.


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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The not-so-simple lifestyle changes to improve our health and the 4 things you can do today to change.



Just last month we heard Dr. Sears talk about the negative impact of sedentary behavior and nutrition in the presentation 'Simple Lifestyle Changes for Improving Women's Health'; where research on diet and sedentary behaviors opened our eyes to important risk factors in cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.

With obesity being characterized now as a national epidemic, it is becoming imperative that we do revise our lifestyle and most importantly, change it.  As to whether it is simple or not, that depends on the lens under which you are seeing the issue. Whenever someone prefaces any sentence with 'simple' there is an expectation of effortless actions.  Many times our lives will depend on those changes to maintain our health, but 'simple'?

The idea is to create a series of healthy lifestyle 'habits' to improve and sustain our health, as difficult as it might sound!  The National Institute of Diabetes and Kidney Diseases created the Weight Control Information Network (WIN) that has a guide on just how to go about making such lifestyle changes -- I say lifestyle makeover!




It presents a diagram on the stages of change; starting with the 'thinking about' the need of a lifestyle change, on to the implementation phase and up to finally having a new routine.  Like with pretty much everything in life, the pro's an con's are clear; especially after listening to Dr. Sears' talk about the benefits of a lifestyle change. This guide aids in the factors that will make your decisions easier and definitely eliminate the excuses for not having a healthy lifestyle.  Understanding the natural objections to change is just part of the equation. Tracking your progress through the establishment of clear, concise goals is definitely a motivator in bettering your health!

In the mean time, here are the 4 tips you can start implementing today to get motivated!

1. "A body in motion stays in motion." Not my coined phrase but one that I adopted since seeing the commercial on TV.  Create your own mantra and make yourself follow it when thinking about exercise.  Take the stairs.  Park the care yet a little bit farther.  Walk around the block after dinner.

2. Eat healthy.  Avoid the snack aisle at the grocery, and for crying out loud, do not go there hungry.  Nuts go a long way.

3. Make your new habits small and achievable.  The less effort, the quicker the habit becomes.  Mine? "clean as you go"!

4. Create a chain of habits.  Insert new, small changes in your daily routine. Already took the dog for around the block? Try 2 blocks next time.  Don't eat much fruit? Pair your nuts with a pear.

Good Luck!

About the Doris A. Howell Foundation:

The Doris A. Howell Foundation for Women’s Health Research is committed to keeping the women we love healthy, advancing women’s health through research and educating women to be catalysts for improving family health in the community.

The organization does so by funding scholarships to scientists researching issues affecting women’s health; providing a forum for medical experts, scientists, doctors, researchers, and authors to convey the timely information on topics relevant to women’s health and the health. of their families through its Lecture and Evening Series, and by funding research initiatives that will create women’s health awareness and advocacy in the community.


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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Two things to keep in mind when discussing your health: Intermittent fasting and sedentary behavior.


Dr. Dorothy Sears, Associate Professor of Medicine from UCSD came to speak at the Howell Foundation's luncheon last May with pretty interesting research on 2 key concerns and how they, for sure, improve or undermine our health: intermittent fasting and sedentary behavior.

Turns out our parents were right: Eat your fruits and vegetables and exercise!  With the just released information from the CDC regarding the obesity epidemic in the US --now at 40% for women-- it is more than clear that type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease are also on the rise.  The benefits of a lifestyle makeover are clear: not only does it help to improve our health and reduce the risks of a life-changing disease, but also minimizes the adverse effects of medication while promoting healthy aging.

One of the largest studies conducted throughout a 20-year span followed over 3000 participants with pre-diabetic conditions.  Individuals were divided into 2 groups; one would be characterized through drug intervention to study its effect on diabetes, while the other would implement lifestyle changes and how it affected the participants' overall health, including intermittent fasting.  The results speak for themselves: after six months, the part of the study with the drug arm reduced type 2 diabetes factors by 38%.  The lifestyle changes intervention, 58%!

A critical part of the study included individuals over the age of 60. In that group, the lifestyle intervention program reduced type 2 diabetes risks and factors by 71%.

On the subject of simple lifestyle changes for improving our health, age does play a significant role when researching any aspect about human health.  It is no secret that most clinical trials are still excluding women. To make matters worse, current clinical trials include individuals of up to age 65.  However, it is estimated that by 2050, there will be 50 million women over the age of 65 in the US.   Women over 65 also use more healthcare than the rest of the population, making this group a significant percentage of the population we need to study.  Time to start paying attention to postmenopausal women!

Part of the lifestyle changes study included how intermittent fasting affected our health. According to Dr. Sears, the first human study to demonstrate an association of fasting yielded a very positive clinical outcome.  Following a group of over 2300 women who were cancer survivors, research showed that fasting less that 13 hours per night increased the incidence of cancer recurrence by 36%.  

The caveat is letting 12 to 13 hours from the time you eat dinner until the time you have breakfast.  What is a fact is that time restriction feeding, or intermittent fasting, in an effective intervention for losing weight and controlling health risks such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.

Still thinking about that late snack just before you go to bed? Don't. As a matter of fact, during the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) conducted in 2010, results showed that each 3-hour increase in nighttime fasting significantly reduced hemoglobin/glucose and inflammation markers, definite conduits to poor health.

The second part of the equation in changing our lifestyle habits to improve our health is focused on sedentary behavior.  The action of not moving is now on par with the action of smoking.  Even though as detrimental to our health  as it is, there is yet an official guideline to be developed; and whatever resources there are, the effects of sitting are still very vague.

These are the major considerations to think about while we are sitting down:

  • Sedentary behavior is highly associated with obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Risks span over all age groups and gender.  
  • The fact that you work out for half an hour and return to sit pretty much all day is not reducing your health risks.  
  • Sedentary behavior and physical activity are not the same.  As a matter of fact, conducting some physical activity does not eliminate the adverse effects of prolonged sitting times. 

The solution? Don't just get up and move, change your sedentary behavior!  Dr. Sears' current research is focused on determining the accurate and objective measurement of sitting and standing  -- or sit-to-stand ratio-- and physical activity, the contributions of sedentary behavior to our health risks, and the biological and psychosocial outcome of sedentary behaviors and health.

If you haven't already, check out the additional benefits of exercising.

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About the Doris A. Howell Foundation:

The Doris A. Howell Foundation for Women’s Health Research is committed to keeping the women we love healthy, advancing women’s health through research and educating women to be catalysts for improving family health in the community.

The organization does so by funding scholarships to scientists researching issues affecting women’s health; providing a forum for medical experts, scientists, doctors, researchers, and authors to convey the timely information on topics relevant to women’s health and the health. of their families through its Lecture and Evening Series, and by funding research initiatives that will create women’s health awareness and advocacy in the community.


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