It's our 25th! Can we count on you for the next 25?

It's our 25th! Can we count on you for the next 25?

25 years ago, Dr. Howell recognized the critical need to improve women’s healthcare and research, not only for the sake of women, but also for the sake of their families and loved ones. She believed that to unleash innovation in women’s health research you needed to reach young minds. With the help of Soroptimist International of La Jolla, the Howell Foundation for Women’s Health Research was born.

Historically, women have been underrepresented in medical research resulting in gaps and gender bias in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of illness. The Howell Foundation is dedicated to closing these gaps and improving women’s health long-term for the sake of the individual, her family and the greater community.

By creating partnerships with academic leaders in our community, Dr. Howell’s vision to fund the next generation of researchers and physicians came to fruition. According to Susan Baxter, Executive Director at California State University Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB): “The Howell Foundation was one of the first nonprofits nationwide that supported undergraduate researchers. We’ve been very grateful for our partnership. Together, the Howell Foundation and CSUPERB have given $855,000 in awards to 200 students since 2001; the great majority, 87% of them, graduate and go on to apply successfully for medical school, graduate school or work in the bio medical field.”

Dr. Patricia Roth, Director of the Nursing Program & Professor at USD Hahn School of Nursing comments, ”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.”

Investing today for tomorrow’s health

By funding undergraduate and graduate level researchers, we are tapping their innovation and creating a sustainable pool of next generation women’s health researchers. Today, we are encouraged by the success of past Howell Scholars who are making a difference in the health of women in our community:

• After completing her Ph.D. in Biological and Biomedical Sciences at Harvard University, Dr. Ellese Carmona, a 2012 Howell-CSUPERB Scholar from SDSU co-authored scientific publications advancing cancer research and is now a scientist at VL50, a Flagship Pioneering Venture Lab.

Dr. Dan Hemmati, a 1999 Howell-UCSD Scholar, was part of the team who discovered the BRCA1 mutation. He wrote to us in 2012 “What you may not know is that your assistance helped fund the research that led to the discovery of the molecular mechanism of cancer from the mutated gene. I have attached my publication from over a decade ago which also defined how the mutations can be identified. Your Foundation does amazing work!”

• In 2015, CDR Ryan Nations –the Howell-Cheryl Wilson Graduate Research Award in Nursing recipient– discussed the details of his project “Sleep disordered breathing and pregnancy: prevalence and outcomes at delivery”. Today, he is an anesthesiologist at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth. In 2018, he was featured in the Navy Times. We found out that 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 timelier manner.

To celebrate our accomplishments to date and to inspire the next 25 years of “keeping the women we love healthy,” we are asking individuals, giving circles, foundations and corporations to donate to our 25 x 25 Women’s Health Research Scholarship Fund to support undergraduate and graduate scholars.

The scholarships you fund come with the opportunity for naming recognition in our Foundation materials based on your level of giving. The best benefit of all, however, is knowing that your investment supports a young scholar and contributes to a lifetime of furthering women’s health and the health of our community.

Can we count on you to continue making research a priority for women’s health for the next 25 years? Visit to find out the many ways you can help Keep the Women you Love Healthy! 


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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