The Howell Foundation Legacy Council held its inaugural meeting this month to discuss the ways in which it will work towards recording the history of the Doris A. Howell Foundation. This group of exceptional community leaders is interested in inspiring, motivating and guiding the current Board on its mission to ‘Keep the Women we Love Healthy’.
“We want to be deserving of your donations, and the history behind the Doris A. Howell Foundation plays a significant role when discussing the quality of the programs presented to the community,” mentions Carolyn Northrup, Communications Chair. The Howell Foundation celebrated its 20th anniversary last year –20 years of empowering women to become health advocates for their own health and those of their families through the Foundation’s outreach programs, more than 200 scholarships for young researchers to pursue their research interests in women’s health, and continuous funding for the Community Engagement Initiative, launched in 2013. Members of the all-volunteer board, are proud to have grown donations to the Foundation by 25% from 2014 to 2015.
The one common thread that members of the Legacy Council share is the admiration for Dr. Howell. One of the stories that comes to mind when discussing the beginning of the Howell Foundation was told by Gladys Kohn during an interview in 2015: “Back then, the notion of women’s health research was rarely heard of” she recalls. “The concern of the group (referring to Soroptimist International of La Jolla) about women’s health led them to take action, especially upon the common practice of not including female subjects in the clinical trials taking place at the time”. The mission back then was clear — to put women’s health on the map; a guiding core value that lives on today.
Dr. Beatrice Rose, first Emeritus Board Member, comments that she is looking forward to the group (Legacy Council) providing guidance that stems from their experience and vision. Her philosophy is simple: do the best that you can or don’t bother — a belief that is shared with Dr. Howell, whom she met in 2004. Interviewed in 2014, she remembers that meeting Dr. Howell was as if they had always known each other. “She set THE standard and is able to attract people that want to live up to that standard”. Dr. Rose wants to make sure that the Howell Foundation retains the exceptional standards that have characterized the organization for 20 years.
Kathleen Franklin, Vice-Chair for the Foundation, and Liaison to the Legacy Council mentions: “The newly created Legacy Council will be key to the Howell Foundation. The past Board members who serve on the Council are extremely knowledgeable about the history of the Foundation, its actions and decisions. They have long-standing experience with Dr. Doris Howell’s vision for the Foundation as well as the historical perspective of her guidance throughout the years. As such one of their first endeavors will be to support the Board in building the pathway to complete oral histories about Dr. Howell and the Foundation. Their counsel and perspective are invaluable to the success of the Foundation.”
It is the collection of ‘stories’ that will continue to make an impact in women’s health research. We are certainly looking forward to the history the Howell Foundation will keep on telling for years to come!