Heartfelt recognition to the nurses making an impact on the health of women in our community!

Heartfelt recognition to the nurses making an impact on the health of women in our community!

In this year, our 25th anniversary year, we celebrate the Howell – Cheryl Wilson Nursing Scholars that are making an impact on the health of women in our community, not only with their care, but with their research. We additionally celebrate the donors and mentors who make this effort a reality!

Howell Nursing ScholarshipsWe have seen many nurses from USD’s Hahn School of Nursing conducting research in areas that are critical to women’s health. “Dr. Doris Howell and the Howell Foundation have been ardent supporters for nursing research for many, many years” comments Dr. Patricia Roth, former Director of the Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Program & Professor as USD. “You will be glad to know that our graduates now serve as nursing scientists and neuroscientists at the Naval Regional Medical Center here and at the Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. They also serve as Directors of Research locally here at the VA, and as Chief Nurse and Chief Executive Officers in our local hospital system. They have accomplished a great deal in being the directors of schools of nursing throughout the state and throughout the country. The Howell-Nursing Scholars have made a large impact in the health community and we are really grateful for the Doris Howell Foundation supporting them.”

Where are they now?

Loralie Woods (left) and Theresa Nguyen

Loralie Woods (left) and Teresa Nguyen (right) were the 2019 recipients of the Cheryl A. Wilson Award in Nursing. Coincidentally, both research projects studied the outcomes of substance abuse and recovery programs for pregnant women.

Teresa Nguyen is Clinical Assistant Professor at USD’s Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, Beyster Institute for Nursing Research. She teaches in the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program. Her research project, “Recovery from Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders in an Intensive Outpatient Program” focused on understanding the associations between marijuana and mental health during pregnancy, and looked to determine if an intensive outpatient program was effective in improving depression, anxiety, and mother-infant bonding in woman. ” The Howell Scholarship facilitated my formative summer research experiences as an undergraduate. The chance to be fully immersed in research during these summers was what ultimately fueled my desire to pursue training as a physician-scientist who can both directly help patients and investigate the mechanistic underpinnings of disease.”

Loralie Woods is Director of Inpatient Services at Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital. Her project “Determining Promoters and Barriers of Treatment Utilization among Pregnant Women with Opioid Use Disorders“ studied the promotors of, and barriers to, seeking treatment among pregnant women with opiate use disorders (OUDs). Loralie analyzed data from the National Surveys on Drug Use and Health conducted in 2016 and 2017 correlated the relationship between demographic factors, socioeconomic status and clinical evaluation to treatment accessibility and use. “The Howell Scholarship Award was essential to completing my PhD dissertation. I was able to use the funds to purchase a computer to run high powered statistics. Thus, I was able to analyze 3 years of data.” Today, she is responsible for creating the vision for nursing practice and creating a safe environment for patients and nurses.

2018 Recipients of Howell-Cheryl Wilson Awards in Nursing who researched neonatal care from two perspectives –anxiety/mood disorders and lactation — are both taking care of women in our community.

The 2018 Cheryl A. Wilson Award in Nursing research projects focused on peri/ postpartum treatment for women in 2 key areas: mood and anxiety disorders, and promoting the healthy benefits of breastfeeding.

“With the assistance from the Howell Foundation I was able to present my research at an international women’s mental health research conference. Attending this conference significantly broadened my awareness of challenges and solutions to women’s health worldwide”

Ellen Fleishman researched mood and anxiety disorders in perinatal women. The purpose of her research study was to examine the relationships between the stigma of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMAD), depressive symptoms, social support, and the decision to seek neonatal care treatment in postpartum women. Her research proposed that stigma can be a barrier to women coming forward and seeking treatment for PMAD.

Today she is part-time Professor at the University of San Diego and Performance Improvement Manager at Scripps Health.

Michelle Lee conducted her research on the effects of galactagogues on lactation in 2018 (a galactagogue is a substance that is proposed to promote lactation in humans and other animals). They may be synthetic, plant-derived, or endogenous, and may be used to treat lactation failure. In her application, Michelle stressed the benefits of breastfeeding in neonatal care, which include decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, ovarian cancer, and breast cancer. Today she is a Lactation Consultant at Kaiser Permanente.

2017 Howell-Cheryl Wilson Awards in Nursing brought in a new research light on often overlooked psychosocial and nutrition support of bariatric surgery, while continuing to highlight the need for training for healthcare professionals in the area of sex trafficking.

Raelene Brooks & Cheryl Boyd

Cheryl Boyd researched a difficult topic for women in our community. Her project “Determinates of Survivalism in Female Victims of Sex Trafficking” focused on the data needed to implement successful treatment of abused women. “Sex trafficking is a form of human trafficking, and is considered a massive human rights violation, a public health crisis and is a form of modern day slavery involving the illegal trade of people for exploitation. Nurses may be the first or only health care provider a victim of sex trafficking may ever see. Yet, there is a lack of nursing research related to the physical and emotional captivity issues and needs. Access to the correct data will provide the appropriate understanding and interventions needed for a highly victimized and stigmatized sector of the population. Access to the correct data will provide the appropriate understanding and interventions needed for a highly victimized and stigmatized sector of the population.” Today, Cheryl is Assistant Professor at Azuza Pacific University.

Raeline Brooks focused her research on the impact a healthy lifestyle has on women, specifically those who underwent bariatric surgery. Although it appears to be a magic bullet and provides success in a short amount of time, the percentage of weight recidivism in this population cannot be ignored – 15% or recidivism and higher is observed in 1 1/2 years to 2 years after bariatric surgery. “There continues to be a lack of consistent health care provider follow up addressing psychosocial and nutrition education support.” The outcome of her research provided the ability to provide guidance and application of interventions to support long term follow up care for women post bariatric surgery. Today, Raeline is Associate Dean at the University of Phoenix, and Undergraduate and MSN non-FNP Programs at University of Phoenix.

2016 Howell-Cheryl Wilson Awards in Nursing brought attention to the need for care of the caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients. It also introduced the growing need for training on the detection and recognition of victims of human trafficking.

Drs. Levique, Roth and Campbell
Drs. Noelle Lipkin Levique (left), Patricia Roth (center) and Trista Campbell

Her project focused on the unsung heroes who provide unpaid, 24-hours a day care to someone with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, often taking a toll on their health. Trista was looking to set the foundation for developing interventions to enhance caregiver care while developing a successful partnership with the formal caregivers.

At the time, she described the need to address the health of the caregiver tending to dementia and Alzheimer’s patients: “According to the Alzheimer Association, there are more than 10 million women currently providing unpaid, 24-hours a day care to someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia, taking a toll on their health and well¬ being.”

Today, Dr. Campbell is Manager of Nursing Performance Improvement /Department of Nursing Research Cedars-Sinai Medical.

Along with Trista Campbell, Noelle Lipkin Levique was the recipient of the 2016 Cheryl Wilson Award in Nursing. In her project description, Lipkin mentioned: “Published research shows between 68 and 97% of health care providers say they have had NO training in identifying or treating victims of human trafficking.” Her dissertation focused on the gap in nursing knowledge regarding the health care of people (particularly women) who have been/are victims of human trafficking. A lack of awareness of human trafficking and lack of training on how to recognize and manage a trafficking situation have been identified as barriers to care for this population. This study offered a first glimpse into the physical and mental health needs and receipt of health services of trafficked women in San Diego, CA. Today, Dr. Noelle Lipkin is an instructor at the College of Nursing of South Carolina.

The 2015 Howell-Cheryl Wilson Awards in Nursing funded research for pregnant women in two areas: Sleep disorders and breast feeding supplementation.

In 2015, CDR Ryan Nations discussed the details of his project Sleep-Disordered Breathing and Pregnancy: Prevalence and Outcomes at Delivery”. “There is an old joke that if you don’t remember your anesthesia provider they must have done their job well. While there is a bit of truth and humor in that statement, it is my goal as a nurse anesthetist to disprove that joke. Every interaction is a chance to inform our patients of the value of advanced nursing practice and to hear directly what is most concerning about their health. My role as a Navy Nurse has exposed me to a world of diverse health needs and tremendous opportunities for nursing research- I intend to seize the opportunity!” In 2018, Ryan was featured in the Navy Times. He is part of the team charged with improving the number of C-Sections by creating a safer plan of care that ensures emergency deliveries can be responded to in a timely manner.

In 2015, Jodi O’Brien also received the Cheryl A. Wilson Nursing Award for her project “Examining Breastfeeding Patterns and Nurse Factors Associated with In-hospital Formula Supplementation”, focused on understanding the factors influencing breastfeeding outcomes that directly affect women’s health.

At the time she commented: “My study seeks to reduce women’s health risk for breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, some (reproductive) cancers, postpartum depression, and rheumatoid arthritis, by investigating infant feeding patterns and nursing factors placing a mother and infant dyad at risk for in-hospital formula supplementation. Unnecessary in-hospital formula supplementation denies women and infants the full health benefits of breastfeeding exclusivity and increases adverse health risks for both. Given that 97% of all women in the US deliver their infant(s) in the hospital, this study is important to better understand factors influencing breastfeeding outcomes which directly affect women’s health.”

Today Dr. O’Brien is Program Manager, Nurse Residency and Mentoring Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women and Newborns.

Cheryl Wilson (left) and Jennifer Buechel

In 2014, Jennifer J. Buechel was awarded the Cheryl Wilson Nursing Award in Nursing to pursue her doctoral degree with the research project “HPV Vaccine Knowledge and Use among Military Personnel.”

“As an Adult Nurse Practitioner, I have first-hand experience in how challenging it is for clinicians to provide routine and preventive care for female military populations in an operational environment, including sexual health and immunization prevention programs. I have the opportunity as a future nurse scientist to significantly improve health policy and education through research and evidenced-based practice. My experience as a clinician, coupled with the skills learned at the University of San Diego and the mentoring by expert faculty, will allow me the privilege to learn the skills as a researcher and principal investigator in high risk populations.”

In 2018, Dr. Buechel was Associate Director of Professional Education and Navy Nurse Scientist, U.S. Navy Nurse Corps, Naval Medical Center, San Diego, California.

Howell Nursing Scholarships USD
Dr. Carole Banka (left) and Dr. Carmen Colombo

Carmen Colombo was the 2013 recipient of the Howell Foundation’s Cheryl A. Wilson Award in Nursing. She is a 2014 graduate of the University of San Diego’s Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science with a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing degree. The Howell Foundation Scholarship provided funding for her research dissertation, “Fetal Heart Monitoring, Nursing Surveillance, and Cesarean Birth”. Dr. Colombo designed this study to determine the role nurses’ monitoring and interpretation of fetal heart rate during labor predicted a Cesarean section outcome. The importance of this study rests on the fact that in 2012, the most recent statistics available, one in three births in the US were by Cesarean section. Today. Dr. Colombo is the Chief Nursing Officer of Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns.

Our ties with Nursing.

Nursing is a critical component of women’s health. The Cheryl A. Wilson Award in Nursing was established in 2010 to honor CEO of St. Paul’s Senior Homes & Services in San Diego for all her work at the Howell Foundation. Cheryl has served on the Howell Board in many capacities, including that of Chair. She is now part of the Howell Foundation’s Legacy Council.

Abilgail D’Agostino (left) and Hala Madanat

Shout out to Abigail D’Agostino, who joined the Howell Foundation Board in 2015 and served as Chair from 2018 to 2019. She continues to serve at the Board of Directors of the Howell Foundation. She is a Registered Nurse and has certifications in Adult Critical Care Nursing, Public Health Nurse, End-of-Life Nursing Education, Geriatric Trainer, and Plant-Based Diet Certification from e-Cornell University.

For information on how you can support our Nursing scholars, please contact www.howellfoundation.org.



About the Howell Foundation:

The Howell Foundation advances women’s health by funding undergraduate and graduate research scholarshipsawarding grants to scientists who conduct research benefiting under represented women in the community, and supporting outreach efforts and events that promote health education and self-advocacy for the long-term health and well-being of women, their families and the community in which they live.

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