Being Grateful for all the Nurses that cross our path!



National Nurse's week is celebrated May 6th to May 12th.  This incredibly noble profession isn't always recognized as it should.  Aside from treating patients that can be very sick or injured, nurses provide advice and sometimes much needed emotional support to patients and their families as well.  Being a nurse goes beyond helping doctors in the diagnosis and treatment of patients.

In recognition to the amazing work nurses do to help our health in the research field, and to honor the help of one of our own, the Howell Foundation established the Cheryl A. Wilson Nursing Scholarship 6 years ago.

Current CEO of St. Senior Homes & Services in San Diego, Ms. Wilson holds a Master’s degree from the University of Redlands, MA and an RN from Prince Henry's Nursing School.  Ms. Wilson has earlier experience as a Critical Care/Operating nurse and consultant to long-term care programs/new programs & facilities development. Prior to her current position, she also was a Pediatric Clinic Supervisor and an instructor for the Nursing Administration examination for Med-Ed and American Nurses College.  Cheryl has served on the Howell Board in many capacities, including that of Chair.

In her name, important research on women's health is currently taking place.  Meet some of the Howell Nursing scholars, the fields of research and their results below.

And to all the nurses out there who have taken care of us at some point or another, THANK YOU!



"There is an old joke that if you don't remember your anesthesia provider they must have done their job well. While there is a bit of truth and humor in that statement, it is my goal as a nurse anesthetist to disprove that joke. Every interaction is a chance to inform our patients of the value of advanced nursing practice and to hear directly what is most concerning about their health. My role as a Navy Nurse has exposed me to a world of diverse health needs and tremendous opportunities for nursing research- I intend to seize the opportunity!” comments CDR Nations.

One of the 2015 Cheryl Wilson Nursing Scholar LT CDR Ryan Nations continues: “Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB) during pregnancy is associated with significant maternal and neonatal morbidity and in-hospital mortality. A recent prevalence study using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample reported an obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) prevalence of 7.3 per 10,000 in 2013; this is a dramatic increase of 24% per year over the last decade. The increase in OSA mirrors the rise in obesity rates. Women will be screened at delivery for SDB using the Facco Four Variable model to determine the prevalence of SDB and its association with maternal and infant outcomes. The purpose of this study is to identify the prevalence of SDB and its complications in parturients presenting for delivery at a military treatment facility”.


Jodi O'Brien, also a 2015 Howell Nursing Scholar comments: "My study seeks to reduce women's health risk for breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, some (reproductive) cancers, postpartum depression, and rheumatoid arthritis, by investigating infant feeding patterns and nurse factors placing a mother and infant dyad at risk for in-hospital formula supplementation".

"Unnecessary in-hospital formula supplementation denies women and infants the full health benefits of breastfeeding exclusivity and increases adverse health risks for both. Given that 97% of all women in the US deliver their infant(s) in the hospital, this study is important to better understand factors influencing breastfeeding outcomes which directly affect women's health. Results will help clinicians and policy makers improve strategies to increase in-hospital breastfeeding exclusivity, and improve the overall health of women”.

Jennifer Buechel, 2014 Cheryl Wilson Scholar comments: “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".

 "Thank you to Dr. Howell and the members of the Howell Foundation! I was awarded a Howell Scholarship in 2014. The funding helped me to support my dissertation study on HPV knowledge and HPV vaccine uptake among U.S. Navy personnel. I have collected my data from over 350 participants in the U.S. Navy, and currently analyzing the results. The findings will help support preventive medicine and sexual health programs in the armed services. In addition, it will help the fight against cervical cancer (the #1 related cancer to HPV), both nationally and globally".


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 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.

To learn more about the Foundation, visit www.howellfoundation.org.

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