About the Howell Foundation

About the Howell Foundation

The Foundation and its Purpose: The Need for Women’s Health Research

The Board of Directors of the Howell Foundation works on key initiatives that are focused on guaranteeing an emphasis on all areas of research that may affect women’s health: promoting the need for further women’s health research, avoiding research bias by addressing the backlog of research efforts that include women, and ensuring that all the progress in research is integrated in educational publications and information sources available to our community.

The group of dedicated volunteers makes it possible for us to accomplish our mission: make a long-term, positive impact on women’s health by becoming the premier organization advancing women’s health.  Through our guiding philosophy of “Keeping the Women We Love Healthy” we serve to make a lasting impact on society and the overall well-being of women.

Foundation Board of Director stats

Our Composition

community volunteers
The Howell Foundation - who we are

Our Founder

Howell Foundation - Dr. Doris Howell Portrait
Founder (1995 - 2018)

Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist and internationally renowned leader in pediatrics and hospice care; Dr. Doris Howell was a faculty member at Harvard and Duke Schools of Medicine, Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the Medical College of Pennsylvania and Chair of the UCSD Medical School Department of Community and Family Medicine. In 1995, the Soroptimist International of La Jolla honored Dr. Howell by establishing a foundation in her name.

Howell Foundation Board Member - Abigail D'Agostino

Abigail D'Agostino, RN, BSN, MBA
2019 Board Chair

Abigail joined the Howell Foundation Board in 2015 and has served as Board Vice-Chair, and Chair of the Howell Foundation’s Community Engagement Initiative.  Abigail is Director of Patient Care Services at Light Bridge Hospice & Palliative Care.

HoHowell Foundation - Immediate Past Co-Chair Kathleen Franklin

Kathleen Franklin
Immediate Past Co-Chair

Kathleen retired as a California State Parks Superintendent, and joined the Howell Foundation in 2006. She has served on the Howell Foundation Board of Directors in various capacities, among them the Howell Finance Committee and the Nominating Committee. Kathleen is now an artist.

Howell Foundation Board Member - Carol Tuggey

Carol Tuggey
2019 Board Vice-Chair

As the former CEO of Tuggey Interior Design and a past president of Soroptimist International of La Jolla, Carol brings both business and community to her board service.  She joined the Howell Foundation Board in 2015 with over 35 years of experience in the non-profit world in San Diego, and serves as Chair of both the Health Lecture Series Committee and the Nominating Committee. Additionally, she is a member of the Scholarship Committee

Howell Foundation Board Member - Brad Benter

Brad Benter
2019 Board Secretary and Friends of Howell Comittee Co-Chair

Brad has served on the Howell Foundation Board of Directors since 2009. Brad specializes in wealth transition management including retirement income planning, charitable giving and bequests, college savings, and income replacement strategies. Brad attended San Diego State University and has experience as a manager and cost analyst in the restaurant industry. Brad is very active in his community, and is currently a board member of the St. Paul’s Senior Center Foundation. Brad and his wife, Gigi, have two sons, Alec and Tristen.

Howell Foundation Board Member - William Wurch, JD, CPA, LLM

William A. Wurch, JD, CPA, LLM
2019 Chief Financial Officer

William joined the Howell Foundation Board of Directors in March 2018, assuming the role of Chief Financial Officer. William is a lawyer and a CPA who has practiced for 25 years, and has owned and operated successful businesses.

Howell Foundation Board Member - Kay Christian Pierce

Kay Christian Pierce
2019 Treasurer and Advisory Council Chair

Kay has served on the Howell Foundation Board of Directors since 2001 and has held many positions over the years including Board Chair. Currently, Kay serves as Treasurer, Chair of the Advisory Council,  and is a Finance Committee member.

Howell Foundation Board Member - Marilyn Tedesco

Marilyn Tedesco
2019 Chair, Development

Marilyn Tedesco is the Founder and President of Training One – Consultants to Management, a management consulting firm and joined the Howell Foundation Board in 2018. She has served on North Coast Repertory Theatre’s Board for over twenty-five years, including three years as President, and shepherded its growth to its current status as a preeminent regional theatre.  She recently was honored for her14 years of service on the Guillain-Barre Syndrome International Board of Directors and also has completed terms on the Boards of  the American Red Cross, Community Concert Organization, The Whittier Institute for Diabetes and several professional organizations. 

Talent. Creativity. Experience. The dedication, commitment and the gift of time from the Board Members of the Howell Foundation to further the need for women’s health research and education makes us strong.

Tauna Austin, MS, Friends of Howell Committee Co-Chair,
Program Manager, Lightbridge Hospice and Palliative Care
Marla Black Retired Non Profit CEO
Mandy Butler, PhD, Scholarship Review Committee Chair,
Associate Professor of Teaching Emerita, Division of Biological Sciences
Stacy Carota, Friends of Howell Foundation Committee Member,
Senior Director of Development, College of Sciences and College of Health & Human Services, San Diego State University
Ruth Curran Director of Partnerships, Global Volunteers
Shelley Gellman, Soroptimist Liaison
Community Volunteer
Andrea Z. LaCroix, Ph.D., Scholarship Review Committee Member,
Professor and Chief of Epidemiology, Director, Women’s Health Center of Excellence – UC San Diego
Hamilton Loeb, Jr. Retired Insurance Executive,
Community Volunteer

David Mulvaney
Fundraiser, Philanthropist and Community Leader

Carolyn Northrup, Howell Communications Committee Chair,
Marketing Consultant
Colleen Peterson, Chair of Strategic Planning Committee,
President, Peterson Hill Marketing, Inc.
Community Philanthropist and Volunteer
Katherine “Meg” Richman, MD, FACR, Special Events Committee Chair,
Clinical Professor of Radiology and Medical Director of Thornton Radiology at UCSD Health Sciences
Kristen Wells, PhD, Community Engagement Committee Chair,
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, SDSU

Thank you for your commitment!

Howell Foundation - Committees Boardroom

In our path to becoming the premier organization advancing women’s health, the talent and experience of each Committee Chair and members ensures funding for women’s health research.

Communications Committee
Promotes the Foundation through internal and external marketing and communications programs.

Community Engagement Initiative Committee
Responsible for the management of the Community Engagement Initiative grants program.

Development Committee
Oversees and obtains philanthropic support for the Foundation to ensure the long-term financial viability of the Foundation.

Finance & Budget Committee
Oversees the Foundation’s financial investments and expenditures.

Friends of Howell Committee
Works to increase the number of the Friends of the Howell Foundation and retain current Friends as donors and volunteers.

Health Lecture Series Committee
Plans quarterly luncheon programs on topics relating to women’s health issues that will be informative and appealing to Friends of the Howell Foundation and community at large.

Nominating Committee
Recommends to the Board of Directors individuals they believe are qualified and/or deserving of being nominated and elected to membership on the Board of Directors and/or to the position of an Officer within the organization.

Scholarship Committee
Evaluates research scholarship applications and provide recommendations of scholarships to Board Members for approval.

Special Events Committee
Plans educational outreach events for the San Diego Community.

Strategic Planning Committee
Develops and recommends the strategic plan for the future direction and activity of the Doris A. Howell Foundation for Women’s Health research.  Committee members propose and plan for the annual board retreat.

Interested in joining a Howell Committee? Call 858-454-7797 or email [email protected]
Howell Foundation Legacy Council Members Group Photo

Foundation Legacy Council Members

Comprised of advisors of inestimable talent whose collective minds help the Foundation achieve its mission, the Legacy Council was established in 2015 to highlight the exceptional commitment of former Board Members and leaders in our community.  Thank you for your dedication!  

Carole Banka, PhD
Betty Brayshay
Cher Conner
Gladys Kohn – Howell Board Emeritus*
Jean McGrath
Priscilla Moxley
Peggy Oechsle – Howell Board Emeritus*
Beatrice Rose, MD, MPH – Howell Board Emeritus*
Pattie Wellborn
Cheryl Wilson, RN – Howell Board Emeritus*

*Howell Board Emeritus are recognized for their 18+ years of service to the Howell Foundation.

Howell Foundation Advisory Council Boardroom Table Photo

Foundation Advisory Council

The Advisory Council of the Howell Foundation enlists the expertise of distinguished community leaders from all walks of life with an emphasis on the areas of medical research, philanthropy and finance. The Council meets twice a year to support the Foundation in:

  • Presenting speakers at the cutting edge of medical research and treatment in the field of women’s health. Our advisers assist us in the selection of topics and speakers.
  • Promoting awareness of the medical issues and challenges specific to women. This includes diseases that occur only in women as well as the significant gender/sex-related differences in the presentation of diseases common to women and men. This educational component assists women in becoming their own health care advocates.
  • Increasing community awareness of the Howell Foundation. The distinguished community leaders who serve on this council aid us by generating ideas for “friend raising” and fund raising in order to increase our effectiveness.

The composition of the Advisory Council varies by year, but is always comprised of advisers of inestimable talent whose collective minds help the Foundation achieve its mission.

2019 Howell Foundation Advisory Council

Carole Banka, Ph.D.
Associate Project Scientist, UCSD School of Medicine.

Sanford Bernstein, Ph.D
Professor, Department of Biology, SDSU
Website: http://www.bio.sdsu.edu/faculty/bernstein.html

Mary Johnson

Mark Kern, Ph.D.
Professor of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences, SDSU
Website: https://ens.sdsu.edu/people/mark-kern/

Stanley Maloy, Ph.D.
Dean of the College of Sciences and a Professor of Biology, SDSU.
Website: http://www.sci.sdsu.edu/cos/biosketch/maloy.php

Lisa Marvin
Director of Foundation Relations, UCSD

Michael J. Sailor, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, UCSD.
Website: http://sailorgroup.ucsd.edu/people/msailor.html

Varykina G. Thackray, Ph.D.
 Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, UCSD
Website: http://repro.ucsd.edu/Thackray/default.aspx

About Our Partners

Through our guiding philosophy of “Keeping the Women We Love Healthy” we serve to make a lasting impact on society and the overall well-being of women.  The primary goal of the Howell Foundation is to influence students to pursue careers impacting women’s health, and to develop financial support for researchers that will accelerate solutions to women’s health problems for women in our community.  We have established academic and business partnerships in California that make our efforts to advance women’s health research possible. We thank you!

Howell Foundation Scholarships - University of San Diego Logo
UCSD School of Medicine Logo
Howell Foundation Scholarships - Cal State University Logo
Howell Foundation - Dr. Doris Howell with Howell - UCSD Scholarship Recipients

About Our Founder

Doris A. Howell, M.D., a graduate of McGill University, was devoted to improving the lives of others. Her pervasive humanitarian outreach to those in need and to education is legendary.  In addition to the recognition on behalf of the Mayor’s office in 2013, Dr. Howell was also the recipient of the McGill University Life Time Achievement Award in October, 2013.  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. She has been listed in Who’s Who in American Women.

Your Donations at Work!

25 years of impact in the community

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Funded Scholars
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Hosted Expert Presentations
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Help us make a positive impact in women's health for another 25 years...

As you think about the well-being of your mother, your sister, your wife, your best friend, please know that with any contribution, large or small, you are having a huge impact in fulfilling Dr. Howell’s dreams and the Foundation’s goal of “keeping the women we love healthy.”

We thank you!

Women’s Health Research Scholarship Underwriter ($5,000+)
Reuben H. Fleet Foundation Fund at TSDF 
Soroptimist International of La Jolla 

Women’s Health Research Champion ($2,500)
The National CHEERS Foundation

Women’s Health Research Pioneer ($1,000)
Mandy Butler, PhD
David Gill
Hamilton Loeb, Jr.
Virginia “Jill” Patch
Colleen Peterson
Marilyn Tedesco
Irving Tragen

Women’s Health Innovator ($500)
Brad Benter
Gaylyn Boone
Ruth Curran
Laury Graves
Gladys Kohn
Jean McGrath
Sheryl Scarano
Vici Willis

Women’s Health Advocate ($250)
Tauna Austin
Susan Baxter
Michelle Bernique
Marla Black
Abigail D’Agostino
Kathleen Franklin
Shelley Gellman
Nanette Johnson
Adele Kayser
Andrea LaCroix
Carol Landis
Lainie Lesser-Mark
Candice McCarty
Jill Mendlen
Jan Pierce
Kay Pierce
Patricia Price
Jo Ragen
Katherine Richman
San Diego State University
Carol Tuggey
USD Hahn School of Nursing
Kristen Wells
Sharon Weremiuk
Judith White
William Wurch

Friend of Howell ($150)
Michelle Adler
David and Penny Adler
Dee Ammon
Barbara Bailey
Susan Bodtke
Karen Bowden
Eileen Briese
Barbara Brown
Gary Buckholz
Teresa Castiglione
Margaret Cheney-Gavit
Michael Criqui
Melissa DelaCazada
Joyce Dostart
Janet Douglas
Elizabeth Estey
Lynn Feinberg
Pamela Foley
James and Ruth Harris
Diana Hill
Jesse Kartus
Karen Ludwig
Sandra Mann
Janet McKinnon
Pamela Mellon
Bob Morris
Linda Mulcahy
June Osborne
Lynn Payette
Anseth Richards
Dorothy Sears
Penelope Smith
Sophia Tsai
Sheila Weinberg

Full Scholarship Donors ($4,000+)
Eva May Fleet Foundation Fund at TSDF
Reuben H. Fleet Foundation Fund at TSDF
Andrea and Fred LaCroix
Irene Nemeth
Beatrice K. Rose, MD, MPH
Soroptimist International of La Jolla
Judy White

National CHEERS Foundation – $3,000

Patron ($1,000)
Audrey Geisel
Diana Hill
Hamilton Loeb, Jr.
Peggy Matthews
Virginia “Jill” Patch
Colleen Peterson
Michael Sailor, PhD
Irving Tragen
Cheryl Wilson, RN

Benefactor ($500)
Brad Benter
Gaylyn Boone
Alison and James Denman
Laury Graves
Jan and Jim Hawkins
Gladys Kohn
Jayne Lindberg
Jean McGrath
Priscilla Moxley
Patricia Price
Katherine “Meg” Richman
Sheryl and John Scarano
Marilyn Tedesco
James and Vici Willis

Sustainers ($250)
Tauna Austin
Carole Banka, PhD
Michele Bernique
Marilynn Boesky
Betty Brayshay
Mandy Butler, PhD
Stacy Carota
Teresa Castiglione
Cher Conner
Ruth Covell
Gigi Cramer
Abigail D’Agostino
Berit Durler
Joan Evangelou
Pamela Foley
Kathleen Franklin
Shelley Gellman
Sandra Harris
Susan Hoekenga
Mary Lynn Hyde
Jeanne Jones
Todd Kaprielian and Carol Morris
Susan McClellan
Kathleen McGuire
Jill Mendlen
Kay Christian Pierce
Carol Tuggey
Kristen Wells, PhD
Dodie Williams
William Wurch
Jessica Zhang

Supporters ($150)
Marty Allenby
Barbara Arledge
Barbara Bailey, MS, RN
Marla Black
Pamela Boynton
Barbara Brown
Janet Douglas
Eileen Gaffen
Kippy Gambill
Reena Horowitz
Mary Johnson
Adele Kayser
Ronda Landrum
Lainie Lesser-Mark
Karen Ludwig
Lynne Martin
Ann Mayo, MD
Candice McCarty
David Mulvaney
Linda Mulcahy
Lynn Payette
Jan Pierce
Joyce Rafkin
Jo Ragen
Patricia Roth
Howard and Judith Rubenstein
Dawn Shulman
Goldie Sinegal
Lady and Sherman Smith
Linda Strause
Elizabeth Taft
Alice Thomas
Marlene Turrentine
Pattie Wellborn
Sharon Weremiuk
Heidi Yeung
Bev Zukor
Women’s Investment Group

The Doris A. Howell Foundation for Women’s Health Research is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Tax ID # 33-0715532.

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