Howell Foundation awards the Cheryl A. Wilson Nursing Scholarship to Jennifer Buechel

·       PhD Student from the University of San Diego will be focusing on HPV Vaccine knowledge and use among military personnel. 
·       2013 Scholar, now Ph.D. Carmen Colombo speaks at women's health luncheon

Latest on Women's Health by Carolyn Northrup
Cheryl Wilson and Jennifer Buechel 
San Diego, CA – August 2014. The Doris A. Howell Foundation announced Jennifer Buechel as the recipient for USD’s Cheryl A. Wilson Nursing Scholarship.  She will be focusing on HPV vaccine knowledge and uptake among military personnel and working under the direction of Dr. Ann Mayo, Professor and member of the American Academy of Nursing. 
“As an Adult Nurse Practitioner, I have first-hand experience in how challenging it is for clinicians to provide routine and preventive care for female military populations in an operational environment, including sexual health and immunization prevention programs.  I have the opportunity as a future nurse scientist to significantly improve health policy and education through research and evidenced-based practice.  My experience as a clinician, coupled with the skills learned at the University of San Diego and the mentoring by expert faculty, will allow me the privilege to learn the skills as a researcher and principal investigator in high risk populations” she comments. 
Human papilloma virus is the most commonly reported sexually transmitted infection in the U.S., with an estimated 6.2 million new infections diagnosed each year and 79 million are currently infected with HPV (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013).  The American Cancer Society (2013) predicts that nearly all sexually active women will get HPV at some point in their lives.  Despite only representing 25% of the sexually experienced population, America’s youth (ages 15 to 24) are especially affected by HPV and account for half (50%) of all new HPV cases (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013). 
Human papilloma virus is the major etiology of genital warts and results in 70% of cervical, 90% of anal, 40% of penile, and 30% of laryngeal cancers (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013).  Human papilloma virus results in more than three to five million Pap smears each year due to frequent follow ups and procedures.  Approximately 360,000 people will contract genital warts and more than 10,000 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer alone in the U.S.  Additionally, HPV now causes nearly as many cancers of the upper throat as tobacco and alcohol.
Although research suggests high human papilloma virus (HPV) rates in uniformed personnel; the U.S. military reports lower vaccination uptake rates than the national average.  U.S. Navy personnel are at greater risk for contracting the HPV virus globally, and females due to their minority status in the military.  This study will use a descriptive, cross-sectional, correlational research design to assess the general HPV knowledge, HPV testing knowledge, HPV vaccine knowledge, and HPV vaccine uptake among U.S. Navy personnel.  Results will allow policy makers to develop effective HPV immunization programs and eliminate barriers by increasing awareness of HPV and the HPV vaccine. 
Information gained from this study will assist health care leaders to target educational tools that advertise HPV testing and HPV vaccine uptake that is geared towards the current knowledge level of this high risk population.  Additionally, this study is especially important for women’s groups and for women’s military health.  Furthermore, the results will assist in the eliminating barriers to the HPV vaccine among this high-risk group by increasing awareness of HPV and the HPV vaccine. 

Update on Dr. Carmen Colombo, Ph.D. and past Cheryl A. Wilson Scholar 


Dr. Colombo briefly
discussed her findings supported
 by the Howell Foundation at
the August luncheon
Carmen Colombo was the 2013 recipient of the Howell Foundation’s Cheryl A. Wilson Nursing Scholarship. She is a 2014 graduate of the University of San Diego’s Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science with a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing degree.  Carmen is the Chief Nursing Officer of Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns.

The Howell Foundation Scholarship provided funding for her research dissertation, “Fetal Heart Monitoring, Nursing Surveillance, and Cesarean Birth”. Dr. Colombo designed this study to determine the role nurses’ monitoring and interpretation of fetal heart rate during labor predicted a Cesarean section outcome. The importance of this study rests on the fact that in 2012, the most recent statistics available, one in three births in the US were by Cesarean section. 

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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.   
For more information about the Doris A. Howell Foundation, please visit www.howellfoundation.org.   

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