Showing posts from 2014

The Doris A. Howell Foundation: 2014 at a Glance.

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. 

Read the yearly review by clicking on the image.

Putting Parkinson’s Disease on Top of the World: Searching for the Cure -- Part 2 of 4.

Part one of the Howell Foundation's Panel on Parkinson's Disease presented the latest research being conducted by Jeanne F. Loring, Ph.D., Research Professor at Scripps Research Institute.  NIH funding for this kind of research has dropped by 34%.  A research program such as the one Dr. Loring is conducting has only a 1 in 10 chance of being funded by NIH. So funding additional lines of research requires more creativity each day.

Funds are currently and concurrently -- and very creatively-- being raised under the leadership of Sherrie Gould, a nurse practitioner in the Scripps Clinic Division of Neurology’s Movement Disorder Clinic and a founding member of the Parkinson’s Association’s Summit4Stem Cell (S4SC) Fundraising Group.  
An active partner with Scripps, the Parkinson’s Association provides the most relevant news and resources on advances in Parkinson’s.  It has also had  tremendous success in raising research monies for the clinical trials of stem cell transplantation…

Information you won’t want to miss: Is the cure for Parkinson’s Disease right around the corner? Part 1 of 4.

The Doris A. Howell Foundation hosted a panel of Parkinson’s disease specialists who presented the advances in research and the challenges that still lie ahead in the search for a cure for this terrible disease.    The panel presented and discussed topics related to the research advancements currently being conducted, the efforts of the Parkinson’s Disease Association to continue funding Parkinson’s Disease research, testimony from a Parkinson’s patient, the latest in treatment, and a caregiver’s perspective on the challenges of providing care for a Parkinson’s Disease patient. 
To understand the advancements made to treat patients with Parkinson’s, it is important to understand what happens in our brain that causes this degenerative disease.   We all have nerve cells that release dopamine, responsible for sending signals to the part of our brain that tells our bodies how and when to move.  When these nerve cells break down, dopamine production is interrupted and our bodies have trou…

Talk From the Heart and be Brief.

This is Pattie’s favorite quote-- words given by Susan K. Weber that she lives by.   But although her work comes from her heart, it is far from being brief.  
A San Diego Native, Pattie Welborn attended SDSU to pursue a career in Psychology and Education and transferred to UCLA, where she eventually got her Master’s degree in Psychology.  She has been involved in the San Diego community ever since she was a teenager.   She gets her love of Philanthropy from her mother, who pioneered several community programs as staff member at the WYCA.
Pattie met Dr. Howell as neighbors.  She was immediately drawn to Dr. Howell’s idea of promoting women’s health.  Dr. Howell always stressed the importance of women being their own health advocates; anywhere from researching information on women’s - health related issues, to keeping their own medical records.    For years research addressing women hadn't included female subjects in the process, not even at its basic level.  Simply put:  more often …

From Restaurateur to Financial Advisor, Philanthropist and all the Stars in Between

Brad Benter is a third-generation San Diegan.  He graduated from Torrey Pines High School and remembers being brought to the river beds in Carmel Valley for a science class right were the Shell  gas station now stands, two blocks from where I sat down to chat with him.  
He had always been interested in the Hospitality industry and started pursuing it at age 14.  By 19, he was a restaurant manager; among the restaurants he managed: the Fish Market and the Crab Catcher Chain.  He attended San Diego State, and hard work and perseverance landed him in Hawaii at the famous Black Orchid.  
And let’s not forget the surfing! He started to surf at 11 at the YMCA in Imperial Beach.   “Surfing teaches you a lot about life.  It’s about patience --waiting and being in the right place for THAT perfect wave.  It’s about balance and staying ON the board.  Both lessons have remained my entire life.”  

During his life in the Hospitality industry, he met many stars:  Tom Selleck, Mel Gibson, Tom Hanks an…

Life: Better or Worse after Breast Cancer?

Many can’t imagine how having a better life after being diagnosed with invasive breast cancer is even possible.    Kathleen Franklin, retired Superintendent in charge of a large territory of parks and beaches in the Malibu area remembers that day:  “Imagine being told in the prime of your life, that you have stage 3 breast cancer.  Your everyday world screeches to a halt.  You’re in shock. You go through the motions with this terrible background noise ever present in your mind.  Your doctor gives you the protocol:  Chemo, operations, radiation!  If you were to ask me then if I would be better for having breast cancer I would have said no.  Unequivocally, NO”!
Her journey to recovery wasn't easy either…   Is it ever?  It just seems that cancer has a way of making itself present at that precise moment when one is on the track of enjoying life; when one is supposed to be living the fruits of one’s work, family and friends.  Or maybe so it’s thought, until one day, the diagnosis is in……

Taking a Proactive Approach to Wellbeing in the Difficult Road of Depression and Sadness.

Personal health begins with being our own health advocates.  When dealing with a health crisis, time and time again we are told to be proactive:  research the best doctors, write down our questions, get informed, keep a journal, seek peer groups that are dealing with the same issues…  the conclusion is always: our health stars with us.
The Howell Health and Happiness Series presentation “Depression vs. Sadness:  Learning to Know the Differences” offered by Dr. Christina Zampitella provided an overview of pragmatic and realistic approaches to achieving wellness when dealing with sadness, and provided guidance on when to seek help if suspecting depression.
There is more to depression than sadness, and sadness can lead to depression if left untreated.  Although the road seems difficult, there is hope.  A wellness approach will depend on how we balance our health-body-spirit components effectively, and what steps to take to achieve such balance.

To understand the differences between s…

Sad, Mad, Bad, and a Remarkable Woman’s Journey to Recovery

I would add taking control.  That’s Judy’s philosophy in life.  She truly represents how to take a sad situation and turn it into a learning experience; and more so, a living philosophy.  
Judy has always enjoyed life; the kind of enjoyment where you are ready to just go and get life going, instead of just watching it pass by.   That’s how she and Tony ended up living a two year adventure in New Zealand.  She enjoyed skiing, being in the outdoors and traveling.   He thought it would be an adventure they both could live. 
A Registered Nurse by trade, she lost her first husband Tony to pancreatic cancer.  Facing the challenges of raising 4 kids on her own she remembers the day she met her second husband:  “With so many things I wanted to do, he just didn’t seem like the right man for me”.   What she didn't know is that he would become an excellent husband and more of a friend than father figure to her adult children.  It was a combination of this sixth sense and a very strong gut f…