Dr. Doris Howell - Our Founder

Our Founder:
The Legacy of Dr. Doris Howell

Howell Foundation - Dr. Doris Howell Portrait

"How many of you have wives;
how many of you have daughters;
how many of you have sisters?
And I know you all have mothers...

What do you do to help them stay healthy?

Dr. Doris Howell Celebration of Life

Known as the “Mother of Hospice” in our community, our founder, Dr. Doris  Howell, M.D. was a graduate of McGill University. A Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist, and an internationally renowned leader in pediatrics and hospice care, she was a faculty member at Harvard and Duke Schools of Medicine, Chair of the Dept. of Pediatrics at the Medical College of Pennsylvania, and on the faculty of UCSD Medical School where she chaired the Dept. of Community and Family Medicine. Serving on the San Diego Hospice Board of Directors since its inception, she was a driving force for San Diego Hospice, a model of care that is recognized throughout the nation. She was elected Director Emerita in 1989.

During her career, Dr. Howell recognized the critical need to improve women’s health care and research, not only for the sake of women, but also for the sake of their family and loved ones. Women are the protectors and gatekeepers of their family’s health. The promotion of family health begins with the knowledge base of the women who are responsible for safeguarding the health of the family. Hence, the more research accomplished in women’s and family health, the greater the benefit to the community at large.

In 1995, Soroptimist International of La Jolla helped establish the Doris A. Howell Foundation for Women’s Health Research” to recognize Dr. Doris A. Howell’s efforts to better the lives of women in the community. The premise under which the Foundation was created 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 continues to support our scholarship program and until 2017, Dr. Howell was an active board member of the Howell Foundation as Chair Emeritus.

The Howell Foundation has, as a core objective, to advance women’s health through outreach efforts, education, and the funding of undergraduate and graduate research related to women’s health.

In 2013, Interim Mayor Todd Gloria declared December 2nd as Doris Howell Day. In addition, Dr. Howell was also the recipient of the McGill University Life Time Achievement Award in October of the same year. Tributes to a life-long focus on health and education include numerous awards: the Salvation Army Woman of Distinction Award, the Humanism Award from the Health Care Foundation of New Jersey, and awards for leadership and service from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Howell was honored by KPBS during Women’s History Month in 2012.

Devoted to improving the lives of others, her pervasive humanitarian outreach to those in need and to education is legendary, and her legacy of care will continue. UC San Diego Health has named their palliative care service after Dr. Howell. Rady’s Children Hospital has also honored Dr. Howell by naming the palliative care service after her. In 2016, the CSU Institute of Palliative Care headquartered at Cal State San Marcos inaugurated the Annual Doris Howell Award for Advancement of Palliative Care.

From Dr. Howell

A Legacy of Care Series: CSUSM holds its third installment of the Doris A. Howell MD Award for Advancing Palliative Care with touching tributes to Dr. Howell.

A Legacy of Care Series: CSUSM holds its third installment of the Doris A. Howell MD Award for Advancing Palliative Care with touching tributes to Dr. Howell.

 In an emotional ceremony, California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) awarded its third Doris A. Howell MD Award for Advancing…
Meet the "Mother of Hospice" and her endless support for women's health!

Meet the "Mother of Hospice" and her endless support for women's health!

In celebration of National Hospice and Palliative Care month, we celebrate the dedication of Dr. Howell, known as the “Mother…

Dr. Beatrice Rose speaks at the Dr. Doris Howell
Celebration of Life

Dr. Rose speaks at the Dr. Doris Howell Celebration of Life
A small window into a big friendship.

A Legacy of Care: Our Inspiration!

It is with great sadness that the Doris A. Howell Foundation for Women’s Health Research announced the passing of  our founder Dr. Doris Howell. She passed peacefully in her sleep early morning on Friday, November 23rd, 2018 just short of her 95th birthday. Dr. Howell will be lovingly remembered by her family, friends, past and current Board Members.

We are comforted by the kind words from our community.
Thank you!

Dr. Doris Howell: Inspiration to us all

Dr. Ellen Fleishman

2018 Cheryl A. Wilson
Nursing Graduate Award

Dr. Michelle Lee

2018 Cheryl A. Wilson
Nursing Graduate Award

Dr. Patricia Roth

Executive Director,
Hahn School of Nursing

Cheryl A. Wilson

Howell Legacy Member

Galdys Kohn

Legacy Council Member

Pattie Wellborn

Legacy Council Member

Jean McGrath

Legacy Council Member

We thank you for your kind words about our founder, Dr. Doris Howell. Now, more than ever, we are determined to place women at the forefront of medical research!

I so admired Doris and thought the world of her. She was a mentor and an inspiration. Very few people have the sense of humor, brilliance, class and elegance that was always shown by Doris to everyone. I am honored to have known her.
~Tina SN

Thank you for everything Dr. Howell. Your legacy will live on forever. ~USD Hahn School of Nursing

We all know her as a fierce advocate for undergraduate researchers. She had a long, impactful and inspirational career as a physician, philanthropist, and palliative care advocate. She will be greatly missed by the CSUPERB community. ~CSU Program for Education in Biology (CSUPERB)

Dr. Howell was truly incredible and such an inspiration. She touched so many people in her 95 years of dedication to medicine, research and hospice care. Beyond being such an accomplished woman, she was a kind, dear person to all who know her. I feel so lucky to have known her for the last 12 years and will cherish my memories of her wit, intelligence, humor and kindness. ~Tanya F

Dr. Howell will continue to inspire and serve as a role model to us all. ~Patty R
Dr. Howell was an inspiration to thousands of people. Her extraordinary work as Founder of San Diego Hospice helped to change the way medicine is practiced to support those at the end of life, and it was an honor to be a part of that incredible community treasure. ~Melissa D.
She was a pioneer and leader in her field. Her legacy of providing scholarships to students researching women’s health issues will live on through the Howell Foundation. Constance M.
Dr. Howell was an amazing, amazing person. What a beautiful heart she had for everyone. Always there to help anyone who had a need. She made a tremendous impact in the lives of so many. I am blessed in so many ways to have had the privilege to know her and work with her. ~Cheryl N.
Boy do we need more of HER in our world. I was honored to gain some of the best nuggets of wisdom in my life at her feet. She impacted the generations behind her. Grateful is too small a word. She was a living legacy. ~Kristen C.

Dr. Doris Howell Celebration of Life: June 1, 2019

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