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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