Showing posts from December, 2015

Dedicated women coming together to work towards women’s health.

Soroptimist International of La Jolla (SILJ) is an organization that is known for acting upon community needs. The concern of the group about women’s health led them to take action, especially upon the common practice of not including female subjects in the clinical trials taking place at the time and the outcome for women when facing illness.  Their mission became VERY clear:  get women’s health on the radar.

The premise under which the Foundation was created in 1995 still remains:  to get students excited about a career in research.  By awarding grants to students who were involved with scientific mentors, there was a guarantee that women’s health issues would be addressed at the most basic level:  research.

Soroptimist International of La Jolla (SILJ) has been supporting the  scholarship program EVERY year for the past 20 years.  “We are very proud of the men and women who have participated; very proud of our group’s involvement in helping the Doris Howell Foundation into making …

“It’s not who you are or where you’ve been. It’s where you are going that counts“.

Dr. Howell couldn’t have said it better.  Addressing the audience at the Foundation’s 20th anniversary event, she told us the story about the challenges she faced when studying at McGill University; known for its extensive focus on research.  She says humbly that the technicalities of research may have been difficult at times but yet never missed a lecture.  And that is how she learned that information is the key for women's health advocacy.  

“Take the research that is being done, translate it, and put it into practical use.  Please take it seriously because we have no way to go but up, no way to go but success, no way to go but needed.  It is filling that need that I hope our Foundation will constantly try to do as its mission; and so far I believe we’ve succeeded.”

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, adv…

Welcoming our newest Board Members

"I am passionate about empowering women in their paths towards healthy living and doing so, through valid and credible research and resources." 
Abigail D’Agostino is a medical professional with over 13 years of wide ranging experience in the healthcare industry and has demonstrated proven success with increasing levels of professional responsibility. Ms. D’Agostino obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Registered Nurse license and Public Health Nursing certificate in 2002 and sought medical-surgical and critical care clinical experience for several years where she won an award for clinical excellence and obtained her critical care certification. 
Ms. D’Agostino further advanced her education and earned her Master’s in Business Administration and then became certified in Plant-Based Nutrition. Ms. D’Agostino is the Director of Patient Care Services for LightBridge Hospice & Palliative Care and is an Associate Consultant with Weatherbee Resources, Inc. She is a vol…

How much exercise do Latina women get during pregnancy? Study finds cultural aspects play a significant role.

It was at the end of 2012 when the Howell Foundation awarded its first Community Engagement Award, "For our Health”.  The aim of the study was to pilot test the impact of a physical activity intervention on the physical activity practices of pregnant Latinas. Considering the important influence of family and friends in Latino culture, a social support approach was utilized to develop an intervention that targeted individual, social, and cultural influences on physical activity. 
Since the Howell Foundation Community Engagement Initiative was launched in 2012, a sub-committee led by Camille Nebeker (Foundation Board Member and member of the UC San Diego Family and Preventive Medicine faculty) has developed and tested procedures for the CEI grant application and review process.  The application is modeled after the National Institutes of Health (NIH) mechanism to initiate collection of preliminary data necessary for most large grant proposals. Likewise, the application review proc…

Twenty Years of Accomplishments, Twenty Years of Appreciation. Ending our 20th anniversary year with a bang!

Our 20th anniversary celebration truly represented what the Howell Foundation stands for:  a sense of community, the importance of women's health research, empowering women with informational events, and introducing young minds to science with our scholarship program.

Today, after 20 years, the inspiration brought about by Dr. Howell has allowed the Foundation to award  over 200 scholarships to aspiring researchers and doctors,  to hold over 80 educational events and to fund 3 grants addressing the health of underserved and/or "at risk" women in our community.

The celebration was marked with testimonials from our scholars, all of whom are on their way to success.  Our first CEI program is starting to create an impact on Latino women in our community.  The support of our sister organization, Soroptimist International of La Jolla, was felt with donations towards our 2016 programs and fabulous attendance at our luncheon.  Dr. Stanley Maloy from one of our dear partners, S…

Touching young scientific minds: Researcher turned teacher among the first to receive the Howell Scholarship.

It is often said that an individual without education is like a building without a foundation.  One of our first scholar's career path allows her to inspire in others the passion of scientific studies.  Education: without a doubt, the gift that keeps on giving!

From Dr. Susan Bailey: "I welcome the opportunity to share my experiences since receiving the scholarship back in 1995!

After earning my PhD in Biomedical Sciences at UCSD, I completed two postdoctoral fellowships.  In the first, I continued work on the topic of my graduate work in Pamela Mellon's laboratory- regulation of pituitary development and gene expression.  In the second, I moved to the Neurobehavioral Genetics group at the Genomics Institute of Novartis, where my research focused on identifying genes associated with anxiety and depression-related disorders.  I moved with the group to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where I held a position as Research Assistant Professor.

I began teaching…

Why a universal health initiative is needed: shifting the current research paradigm to stop illness before it gets to you.

We were very fortunate to have Dr. Stanley Maloy from SDSU speak at the Foundation’s 20th year anniversary celebration last November.  The topic: one world, one health.

As recently as 2011, there was an E. coli outbreak in Germany that very rapidly moved through Europe to Canada.  The outbreak resulted in a few cases at the beginning of May, to over 200 cases by the end of the month.

Aside from the typical, critical symptoms – among them diarrhea and loss of blood-- this particular strain of E.coli was creating a secondary problem. For unknown reasons a substantial number of patients were showing complications from Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), creating a series of problems related to kidney failure.   So the health consequences typically known to affect children predominantly had now changed such that 25% of patients were middle aged women –a variation on the patient profile of victims of E.coli.

On May 20th of  that year, the first case was reported to the corresponding health…

Health is a gift. Don't take it for granted. What are you doing TODAY to keep the women you love healthy?

More often than not, women’s health IS  family health.  By donating towards the Howell Foundation’s community research and scholarship programs you help ensure that the illness in the lives of the women you love are diagnosed and treated accordingly.  Women’s health starts with research and continues with education.  As the year comes to an end, consider us in your giving efforts.   Your contributions are tax deductible, and the women in your life who have unfortunately been touched by illness will certainly appreciate it!   

Donate towards the gift of health. Visit to learn about the many ways you can give! 

### 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 foru…