Howell Foundation 2021 Annual Review

Accelerating Women's Health Research

In the News

Read about the Howell Foundation’s vision for 2022. 

In This Issue: 

How your support inspires careers in women’s health: Howell Scholars making us proud. 

Early access to cutting-edge research to accelerate women’s health: Our Lectures Series Summary

Howell Happenings: Working to create a positive impact on women’s health.

First-hand research in women’s health!  UCSD’s “Take Charge of your Marvelous Menopause” Symposium information.  

The Foundation in numbers: Our Impact in the community. 

With our deepest appreciation.  Your invaluable support helps accelerate women’s health research.   

Always Stay in Touch! Subscribe to receive Howell notifications on women’s health research .

    To all our Board Members who are committed to serve in the advancement of women’s health research, and to our volunteers and donors who with their support help us accomplish our mission, THANK YOU!

    In honor of heart health month, we celebrate our academic partners, amazing volunteers and community supporters who make our mission possible!  

    The Road Ahead: Research to Accelerate Women’s Health

    As I reflect on the health of the women in our community, this year’s annual review visually honors our academic partners, past and present members of our Board who carry the Foundation’s mission forward. and, importantly, our supporters and community volunteers who make our work possible.  The introductory image is from our 2017 Heart Health event, where Dr. Pam R. Taub, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at UCSD School of Medicine discussed what was then important research on cardiovascular health. 

    Our mission is to create a long-term, positive impact on women’s health. Although COVID continues to bring challenges and limitations, 2021 was a busy and productive towards achieving our mission. 

    Informational programs such as our Lecture Series is fundamental to accelerating women’s health, and a trademark of the Howell Foundation.  This year, the Howell Foundation presented the critical findings of experts from UCSD Department of Medicine, SDSU School of Public Health and Sharp Medical Center/Behavioral Health.  Click here to learn more about the cutting-edge research presented by our speakers.  (Anchor to events section).  

    Our Scholars excelled in their fields of research as well. Because of your continuous support, the 18 undergraduate and graduate research scholarship awards included areas of study that will accelerate women’s health in the not-so distant or near future.  Several research projects this year included new paths to fight general, breast and ovarian cancer, diabetes, women’s reproductive health, domestic violence and meditation programs for post-partum depression.

    Under the newly adopted phrase “to prosper and grow” I am proud to announce our new slate of Board Directors. We now have the experience and leadership from all our academic partners, and importantly, have representation of our Scholars.

    In 2021, we welcomed Carmen Colombo, PhD, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, Chief Nursing Officer from Sharp’s Mary Birch Hospital; Eileen Gaffen, Founder and President of Steres Gaffen Media; Aditi Gnanasekar, undergraduate bioengineering student at UCSD; Trista Campbell, PHD, RN, CPHQ; CEO of Dream Care Group Homes, Righteous Inc.; and Angel Ryan, Jury Consultant at IMS Consulting & Expert Services.

    The sustainability of our programs continues to be a priority. Our fundraising efforts and the legacy gifts of the Howell, Oeschle and Rose Estates have secured the funding of our programs for the next three years. Our goal is to secure our programs for the next five.  As we continue on the path to making a long-term positive impact on women’s health, we continue to need your support.  As you think about the women in your life, please consider a donation to the Howell Foundation. No gift is too small. Please contact the Howell Foundation to learn more about the many ways you can give.

    2022 looks even more encouraging!  Some of the topics on the schedule include close collaborations to bring early access to cutting-edge research: Menopause, and our Annual Top Ten Stories in Women’s health. So make sure you stay tuned.

    I am looking forward to all that 2022 has to bring, including the opportunity to continue promoting women’s health research to “keep the women we love healthy!” 

    My best wishes for a healthy year! 

    Marla Black                                                                                                                                        Executive Director                                                                                                                          Doris Howell Foundation for Women’s Health Research               

                  Help us continue accelerating solutions to                                            women’s health through research

    Howell Scholar Update

    The Cornerstone to Accelerating Women’s Health: Funding Research.

    It is well known that students who do research as undergrads gain both professional and personal skills such as problem solving, communication and teamwork. Research experience also helps students clarify their career goals and prepares them for success in their graduate school environments.  Many of our Scholars wouldn’t be able to participate in research unless we provide them with financial support, thus by offering scholarship grants to deserving students, we are helping to foster the interest of students in research careers and improve their ability to succeed in any career.  Simply put: funding undergraduate and graduate research projects is the cornerstone to accelerating women’s health. 

    The Howell Foundation congratulates you! 

    Where are they now?

    “The Howell Scholarship Award provided recognition, encouragement, and funding that greatly improved my application and transition into a PhD program. It also helped to instill in me the importance of including women in scientific research. As a PhD student, I studied the role of epigenetics in both autism and Wilson disease, a rare liver disorder.  I recently started a new position at a pharmaceutical company, where I’ll be using genomic data to identify new drug targets.” 

    Inspiring Careers: Howell Foundation Announces 2022 CSUPERB Awards

    Inspiring Careers: Howell Foundation Announces 2022 CSUPERB Awards

    Inspiring careers for the next scientific breakthrough as the cornerstone of women’s health. Topics of research include depression, monoclonal antibody…
    2021 Howell-UCSD Scholars: Reproductive Health as Main Area of Research

    2021 Howell-UCSD Scholars: Reproductive Health as Main Area of Research

    The 2021 Howell-UCSD Scholars will research reproductive health in women.  We know research requires a constant infusion of talent to…
    Howell Foundation Announces the 2021 USD-Cheryl Wilson Awards in Nursing

    Howell Foundation Announces the 2021 USD-Cheryl Wilson Awards in Nursing

    Partner Violence in the Latino Community and Meditation for Post-Partum Depression as the 2021 fields of research. Howell Foundation’s Research…

    2021 Howell Lecture Series

    First Hand, Early Access to Cutting-Edge Research

    The Howell Foundation is known for its Lecture Series Program.  We provide a forum for medical researchers and experts to convey cutting-edge research on topics relevant to women’s health. We promote health education that encourages self-advocacy for the long term health and well-being of women, their families and the community in which they live.  By turning knowledge into action, we help keep the women we love healthy. 

    Top 10  Stories In Women’s Health, 2021 Edition.

    In February, the Howell Foundation hosted three experts in the field of women’s health. The Annual Howell Foundation Top Women’s Health Stories reviewed an update of the most relevant research stories that took place in 2020, and the impact it has in women’s health during 2021 and beyond: 

    • Effects of COVID-19 in women during pregnancy and lactation, and how it affects newborns
    • Heart disease awareness during menopause
    • Most important health issues affecting women in the later stages of life

    Christina Chambers, Ph.D.
    Professor of Pediatrics and Co-Director of the Center for Better Beginnings @UC San Diego

    Cynthia Stuenkel, MD
    Clinical Professor of Medicine and Founding Member and Past President of the North American Menopause Society UC San Diego

    Andrea LaCroix, Ph.D.
    Distinguished Professor and Chief of Epidemiology and Director, Women’s Health Center of Excellence UC San Diego

    COVID-19 and Pregnancy: Early Research Provides Critical Answers

    COVID-19 and Pregnancy: Early Research Provides Critical Answers

    Do you know someone who is pregnant? This information may be useful. Dr. Christina Chambers’ area of research focuses on…
    Relevant Research Stories for Aging Women, 2020 Edition

    Relevant Research Stories for Aging Women, 2020 Edition

    The ‘Top Ten Health Stories in Women’s Health, 2020 Edition’ Howell Webinar in February included a presentation from Dr. Andrea…
    Taking your health to heart during Heart Health Month

    Taking your health to heart during Heart Health Month

    For the first virtual luncheon of the year, the Howell Foundation hosted three experts in women’s health: Dr. Christina Chambers,…

    The Importance of Sleep in Aging Women: Why Can’t Grammie Sleep?

    Sonia Ancoli-Israel, Ph.D.
    Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Center for Circadian Biology at UCSD

    In March, Dr. Ancoli-Israel addressed the reason older adults are not getting the sleep they need, pointing to the fact that it is not a result of aging per se, but rather a result of all the things that happen to women as they age. Her presentation focused on the need vs. the ability to sleep, the consequences of poor sleep in older adults, the co-morbidities associated with poor sleep, the primary sleep disorders in older adults, and the cardinal rules for good sleep.

    Wearable Electrochemcial Sensors for non-Invasive Monitoring of Health Status

    Juliane Sempionatto, Ph.D.
    Postdoctoral Researcher at Caltech

    In May, Dr. Sempionatto introduced the application of non-invasive wearable devices –or point-of-care sensors – currently in development, and discussed the challenges of the application of nanoengineering to biochemical measurement, as well as the opportunities involved in building a successful electrochemical wearable biosensor for monitoring important parameters related to women’s health.

    Molly Quillin-McEwan,
    Clinical Lead Educator, MICU/SICU

    Jen Wojciechowski, PhD                        Clinical Child Psychologist 


    Fadi Nicolas, MD   Chief Medical Officer                       

    Dara Schwartz, PsyD            Clinical Psychologist and Program Developer                  

    Finding Resilience through Challenging Times: Self-help Care Tips for Women

    The Howell Foundation partnered with Sharp Healthcare to bring a first-hand account on how COVID 19 affected women. It examined the different perspectives and, importantly, the impact of stress experienced during the pandemic. The panel of experts focused on strategies for tapping into resilience and finding meaning during challenging times, and discuss skills to support your self-care and well-being during the beyond the pandemic.

    November, 2021

    Finding Self-Empathy and Compassion: A Unique Way to Reduce Stress via Kelee Meditation

    Empathy is rooted in caring, but caring for others often comes at the expense of those providing care in the form of emotional exhaustion, for instance. Can you care for another person without affecting yourself adversely?  Dr. Daniel Lee  and Dr. Amy Sitapati walked us through the basics of  Kelee meditation, a 5 minute meditation performed twice daily to help you to learn mental stillness and how to calm and relax your mind, so that you can be more centered and present, when caring for yourself and others.

    Daniel Lee, MD 

    Clinical Professor of Medicine,
    UC San Diego Department of Medicine, Owen Clinic

    Amy Sitapati, MD

    Clinical Professor of Medicine, UC San Diego Department Of Medicine and Biomedical Informatics, Chief Medical Officer of Population Health, Clinical Systems

    September, 2021

    Microplastic pollution and human health


    Eunha Hoh, PhD
    Professor, School of Public Health,
    San Diego State University
    Dr. Hoh presented the overall issues and concerns regarding microplastic pollution such as coastal pollution with microplastics, their fate and transport, exposure to wildlife and humans, and toxicity.  

    Howell Happenings

    Working to create a long-term, positive impact on women's health

    Message from the Chair 

    Carol Tuggey    2021 Chair Person 

    Dear Friends:

              This has been quite a year for the Howell Foundation.  I’d like to start by recognizing our past ant present Board Members who continue to work and deliver our mission to Keep the Women we Love Healthy.

    We have continued our research grants at a high rate even though COVID has presented many challenges.  

     Our education efforts continue to focus on cutting edge research with our webinar program and an in-person luncheon this year.  We also hosted a Donor Appreciation event with a presentation by one of our scientists on her current research that hasn’t even been published yet!

              Our Board of Directors has had the expertise, guidance and accomplishment of Dr. Mandy Butler for many years.  She has been the Chair of the Scholarships Committee.  In December, she retired from the Board and has become a member of our Legacy Council.  Mandy assures us that she will continue to help with Scholarships.  We will miss her and thank her for all she has done as a part of the Howell family!

      I have had the pleasure of welcoming five new members to the Board of Directors this year.  


    Eileen Gaffen joins us, having just completed her term as President of the San Diego Press Club.  She brings us her extensive experience in public relations and connecting to our community.  Trista Campbell and Carmen Colombo join our leadership having been former Howell Scholars.  Carmen holds a PhD in Nursing Research and heads the Specialty Hospital Care at Sharp Healthcare.  Trista also holds a PhD in Nursing and is the CEO of a healthcare company.  Undergraduate student, Bioengineering: Biotechnology, UCSD, Aditi  brings the passion of following a career in women’s health.  Angel has a degree in journalism from the University of Southern California and her juris doctor from the Whittier School of Law. These are wonderful women and offer so much to making our programs successful.

              I am privileged to work with a dedicated Board that makes women’s health research a priority.  I want to be sure to emphasize how much we value our Friends of Howell!  Our donors are the key to making everything else happen.  This year we hope to expand our reach with joint work with more academic institutions and health leaders.  We cannot do this without you!

              Thank you so very much!


                                                                                Welcome on Board! 

    Trista R. Campbell, PHD, RN, CPHQ        CEO,  Dream Care Group Homes, Righteous Inc.      

    M. Carmen Colombo, PhD, MBA, RN          Chief Nursing Officer Specialty Hospitals, Sharp Health Care

    Eileen Gaffen 
    Public Relations Strategist, Founder and President, Steres Gaffen Media

    Aditi Gnanasekar
    Undergraduate student, Bioengineering: Biotechnology, UCSD

    Angel Ryan                        Social Media Researcher and Jury Consultant, IMS Consulting & Expert Services

    Mandy Butler, PhD,                                               Associate Professor of Teaching Emerita, Division of Biological Sciences,                  UC San Diego

    Thank you Mandy, for your years of service to the Howell Foundation. 

    Mandy served on the Howell Foundation Board of Directors from X to X . Throughout her history with the Foundation, she  led the Scholarship Committee until her retirement in 2021, and held many positions over the years including Secretary of the Board.  

    Voted unanimously for Board Emeritus, Mandy will now serve in the Foundation’s Legacy Council, where she will continue to provide valuable feedback on the best road to keep the women we love healthy.   Thank you for your dedication and support! Your leadership will be missed. We wish you a happy retirement.

    Support for Community Research Affecting Women's Health

     Save the date:  UCSD’s Taking Charge of your Magnificent  Menopause       

    One of the benefits of being part of the Howell Community is the ability to learn, first-hand, about research efforts taking place in our community that will  have a profound impact in the future  women’s health.  

    We are pleased to announce that fellow Board Member and Director of the Women’s Health Center of Excellence UC San Diego,  Dr. Andrea LaCroix, will be part of the panel of speakers at UCSD’s Taking Charge of your Magnificent Menopause Symposium, to be held March 3rd.  The organization offers in person or virtual attendance alternatives, and is free of charge.   

    (Quote from Andrea) “This is the longest longitudinal study in the country (and in the world?)   It has collected data from xxx women throughout xxx years.  – Main highlights of the study.  

    The symposium will present research in areas such as scientific paradigm shifts, sleep, vaginal health, menopause mitigation plans, and will close with Keynote Speaker XXX addressing XXXX.    (Per Invitation) 

    The Howell Foundation launched it’s Lecture Series Seminar addressing menopause in 1995, and today has a has a track-record of supporting scientific research affecting the health of the women in our community.  In 2018, we supported the Wisdom Trial (Women Informed to Screen Depending On Measures of risk).  In 2019, we were approached by the Komen Foundation to participate in their  Metastatic Breast Cancer Conference as part of  the panel of judges evaluating researchers and their research proposals to find a cure for Metastatic Breast Cancer.  

    We hope you can join us in attending the Magnificent Menopause Symposium at UCSD.  Click on the registration links to learn more.  

    Foundation in Numbers

    Our impact in the community, why donate to the Howell Foundation, and the many ways you can give. 

    Top Reason for Howell Foundation Support:

    50% or our supporters appreciate our commitment to advance women’s health research

    34% support us to learn about the latest research impacting women’s health

    14% support our commitment to fund research scholarships  


    What in our Mission Resonates the Most with our Suppporters? 

    50% or our supporters appreciate our commitment to advance women’s health research

    What information do our supporters MOST want to receive?

    68% or our supporters appreciate learning about critical research in women’s health first hand. 

    21% appreciate information on the top 10 issues impacting women’s health.


    Supporter Support Satisfaction 

    51% of our supporters are satisfied with first-hand access to cutting-edge research.  

    30% would like more virtual webinars. 


    Thank you for Keeping the Women we Love Healthy

    Your support accelerates research for the benefit of women, their families and the communities in which they live. 

    Women’s Health Research Accelerator 

    Full Scholarship Donor

    Women’s Health Research Pioneer 

    Women’s Health Innovator 

    Women’s Health Advocate  

    Friend of Howell 

    Friend of Howell 

    “We have entered a new era in Women’s Health. Tomorrow’s research breakthrough depends on what we do today to make a difference in the future of healthcare.  It’s an honor to be part of this incredible group of people who believe in women’s health causes.”

     ~ Maryanne Sorge, Family Nurse Practitioner and Friend of Howell

    Why Give to Women's Health Research?

    By focusing on women-specific issues, the Howell Foundation serves to close the gender disparities in medical research that may lead to adverse outcomes for women. The best reason is knowing that your investment supports an emerging scientist and contributes to a lifetime of furthering women’s health, family health and the health of our community.

    Today’s Howell Scholar raises the importance of science dedicated to women’s health.  With your support, today’s Howell Scholar will have the possibility of unleashing the next scientific breakthrough in women’s health research.

    I want to Donate/Fund Scholar Research

    I want to Sponsor the Next Presentation 

    I want to Donate to Community Research 

    Other Ways to Accelerate Women's Health Research:

    • Visit out Donation Page
    • .Attend our educational events. Learn first-hand about cutting-edge research affecting women’s health.
    • Donate on behalf of your organization and invite us over. Get up close and personal with experts on the field of women’s health research.
    • Consider us in your planned giving efforts.  Honor the life of the women and men who mean the most to you.

    Meet your Board: Driving Women’s Health Research Forward 

    Executive Directors: 

    Carol Tuggey                                                        Board Chair Person

    Susan Baxter, Ph. D                                            Board Vice-Chair  

    William A. Wurch, JD, CPA, LLM               Chief Financial Officer/Treasurer 

    Stanley Maloy, Ph.D                                Secretary 

    Board of Directors

    Trista R. Campbell, PHD, RN, CPHQ, Co-Chair of Scholarship Committee
    CEO,  Dream Care Group Homes,      Righteous Inc.              


    M. Carmen Colombo, PhD, MBA, RN, Co- Chair of Scholarship Committee              Chief Nursing Officer Specialty Hospitals, Sharp HealthCare

    Eileen Gaffen                              

    Public Relations Strategist, Founder and President, Steres Gaffen Media 



     Jane M. Georges, PhD, RN,                         Chair of Scholar Relations                          Dean, Hahn School of Nursing & Health Science

     Aditi Gnanasekar                              Undergraduate student, Bioengineering: Biotechnology, UCSD 

    Diana Hill                                                    Soroptimist International of La Jolla  

    Andrea Z. LaCroix, Ph.D., Chair of Community Outreach & Education Committee                                                    Professor and Chief of Epidemiology, Director, Women’s Health Center of Excellence – UC San Diego 

     Bill Littlejohn, Chair of Development Committee

    Senior Vice President and CEO, Sharp HealthCare Foundation

    David Mulvaney                                       Fundraiser, Philanthropist and Community Leader


    Carolyn NorthrupChair of Communications Committee

    Marketing Consultant
    Colleen PetersonChair of Strategic Planning, Nominations and Governance Committee                                                        Founder and President of Peterson Hill, Philanthropic Leader

    Katherine “Meg” Richman, MD, FACR
    Clinical Professor of Radiology and Medical Director of Thornton Radiology at UCSD Health Sciences


    Angel Ryan Social Media Researcher and Jury Consultant, IMS Consulting & Expert Services
    Marilyn Tedesco Founder and President of Training One and Consultants to Management


    Marla Black, Executive Director               Tanya Fortuna,  Administrative Coordinator (

    Howell Scholarship Program

    We inspire and fund undergraduate and graduate researchers to pursue scientific innovation for the next-generation pool of physicians and scientists who will accelerate solutions to women’s health issues.

    Outreach and Events

    We promote health education by presenting cutting-edge research that encourages self-advocacy for the long term health and well-being of women, their families and the community in which they live.

    Community Engagement Initiative

    Howell Foundation Community Engagement Initiative

    We award pilot research grants to scientists working with community organizations to develop and evaluate programs designed to address the most pressing health issues affecting underrepresented women in our community.

    Always Stay In Touch

    Subscribe to our newsletter and get updated information about the latest in Women’s Health Research.

      Get In Touch

      Contact Details

      If you are interested in working with us then please reach out, we would love to hear from you.

      PO Box 910016
      San Diego, CA 92191
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