Upcoming Event

Howell Health Lecture Series

Presenting Cutting-edge Research to Advance Women’s Health. 

                                                                                           Our next Luncheon:

Finding Self-Empathy and Compassion: A Unique Way to Reduce Stress via Kelee Meditation

Date: November 5, 2021

Time: 12:00PM – 2:00PM

Morgan Run Club & Resort
5690 Cancha de Golf
Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92091

Cost to attend: $65 

Register by: 10/29/2021
Seating is limited!

Caring for yourself to care for others. 

Empathy is rooted in caring, but caring for others often comes at the expense of those providing care in the form of emotional exhaustion, for instance. Can you care for another person without affecting yourself adversely?

Kelee meditation is a 5 minute meditation performed twice daily to help you to learn mental stillness and how to calm and relax your mind, so that you can be more centered and present, when caring for yourself and others.

This will be an interactive and experiential session where attendees will learn how to do this 5 minute meditation. Attendees will also receive a free Kelee meditation app (iOS or Android) to assist with their meditation practice.

Information on the speakers below. 

Please note the following California Department of Public Health guidelines: Face masks are not required for fully vaccinated people but are recommended. Unvaccinated people are still required to wear face masks inside. Unvaccinated attendees will need to take a Covid test 72 hours with a negative result before coming to The Howell Lecture Luncheon as requested by The Howell Board. The Howell Foundation is using the honor system for these requirements. 

Meet the Speakers:

Daniel Lee, MD 

Clinical Professor of Medicine,
UC San Diego Department of Medicine, Owen Clinic

Daniel Lee, MD is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at UC San Diego where he works at the Owen Clinic as a Primary Care HIV Provider for over 22 years. He is also the Founder and Director of the Owen Lipid/Lipodystrophy Clinic, a subspecialty clinic focused on managing metabolic complications of antiretroviral therapies.

Currently, he is the Principal Investigator for the UCSD AIDS Education Training Center and the Clinical Director of the HIV Learning Network, a telehealth mentoring, training, and consultation program. In addition, he is also active in clinical research in HIV as well as teaching medical and pharmacy students, Internal Medicine interns and residents, and Infectious Disease fellows.

He has been practicing Kelee meditation for 16 years and has been teaching Kelee meditation to medical and pharmacy students in MED 249, focused on the Understanding the Application of Meditation to Medicine.

Amy Sitapati, MD

Clinical Professor of Medicine, UC San Diego Department Of Medicine and Biomedical Informatics, Chief Medical Officer of Population Health, Clinical Systems

Amy Sitapati, MD is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the UCSD Department of Medicine and Biomedical Informatics with Board Certification in Clinical Informatics and Internal Medicine.

Dr. Sitapati serves as Chief Medical Information Officer of Population Health for UCSDH. In order to deepen her understanding of the mind-body connection,

Dr. Sitapati began the study, research, and training of Kelee meditation nearly 10 years ago. Her background includes experience in integrative healing arts including Kelee meditation, yoga, acupuncture, and massage.

Dr. Sitapati serves as a co-instructor for the MED 249 at UCSD, called Understanding the Application of Meditation to Medicine. Dr. Sitapati has applied her knowledge of meditation to both provide the patient with complementary options for healing as well as to improve physician-patient communication.

As a survivor of breast cancer, she has personally experienced the application of meditation to medicine in her journey of survivorship.

2021 Event Archive

May, 2021

Wearable Electrochemcial Sensors for non-Invasive Monitoring of Health Status

Juliane Sempionatto, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Researcher at Caltech

In May, Dr. Sempionatto introduced the application of non-invasive wearable devices –or point-of-care sensors – currently in development, and discussed the challenges of the application of nanoengineering to biochemical measurement, as well as the opportunities involved in building a successful electrochemical wearable biosensor for monitoring important parameters related to women’s health.

March, 2021

The Importance of Sleep in Aging Women: Why Can't Grammie Sleep?

Sonia Ancoli-Israel, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Center for Circadian Biology at UCSD

In March, Dr. Ancoli-Israel addressed the reason older adults are not getting the sleep they need, pointing to the fact that it is not a result of aging per se, but rather a result of all the things that happen to women as they age. Her presentation focused on the need vs. the ability to sleep, the consequences of poor sleep in older adults, the co-morbidities associated with poor sleep, the primary sleep disorders in older adults, and the cardinal rules for good sleep.

February, 2021

Top Ten Stories on Women's Health, 2020 Edition

In February, the Howell Foundation hosted three experts in the field of women’s health. The Annual Howell Foundation Top Women’s Health Stories of 2020 reviewed an update of the most relevant research stories that took place in 2020, and the impact it has in women’s health during 2021 and beyond.

Christina Chambers, Ph.D.
Professor of Pediatrics and Co-Director of the Center for Better Beginnings @UC San Diego

Pregnant and lactating women are the most understudied group in women’s health research. The uncertainties of a viral disease and the secondary effects of potential drug treatments during pregnancy make it difficult to identify how unborn developing babies and newborns can react to illness and drug treatment. For her, the top one story of 2020 was about COVID-19 in women during pregnancy and lactation, and how it affects newborns. Dr. Chambers covered the most pressing and frequently asked questions regarding COVID and the health of women through pregnancy, and the outcomes for the developing baby and newborns.

Cynthia Stuenkel, MD
Clinical Professor of Medicine and Founding Member and Past President of the North American Menopause Society UC San Diego

Dr. Stuenkel stressed the need of refining and updating the guidelines to assess a women’s risk for heart disease. For her, it’s a two-prong approach: expand cardiovascular risk assessment guidelines, and the need for women to be aware of potential heart disease so they can be proactive about managing their own risk. The bigger conclusion, and what these stories on cardiovascular disease in women show, is that cardiovascular disease risks that were once considered to develop during a 40-year reproductive life span are now developing earlier, during a 30-year lifespan.

Andrea LaCroix, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor and Chief of Epidemiology and Director, Women’s Health Center of Excellence UC San Diego

Dr. LaCroix presented issues that affect women in the later stages of life. She discussed the importance of heart palpitations in midlife, how the COVID pandemic has affected cancer screening and diagnosis, she updated the status on hormone therapy in breast cancer. She discussed how adverse childhood experiences are linked to a risk of dementia. And finally, presented new data on the benefits of standing and light physical activity and the association with increasing our lifespan and maintaining mobility.

2020 Event Archive

November, 2020

What are RNA Vaccines? Why is the New Vaccine Technology Being Used Against COVID-19?

Andrew Gaell, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer, Precision Nanosystems

RNA vaccines are a relatively recent innovation but are at the forefront of the many vaccine technologies providing solutions for the COVID-19 pandemic. This talk described the different types of vaccines being developed with a focus on how RNA vaccines are different to conventional vaccine technologies and how they work. It concluded with a review of the available published clinical data.

August, 2020

What Science Tells Us about How to Stay Cognitively Healthy as we Age. Linda McEvoy, Ph.D.

Linda McEvoy, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Radiology, Department of Family Medicine & Public Health, University of California, San Diego

Dr. Linda McEvoy, guest speaker for our August webinar walked us through the changes the brain goes through as we progress in life, and why women are more prone to cognitive decline. She is one of the Principal Investigators of the Rancho Bernardo Study, a local research project leading the way in cognitive health and aging at a national level. As a matter of fact, it is one of the longest, continuously funded, NIH observational studies in the US.

May, 2020

What We've Learned from COVID-19.

Dr. Nancy Binkin
Renowned virologist and Professor Practice at UCSD

The webinar — a first for the Foundation — "What we've learned from COVID-19" — presented reliable and science-based information on the background and status of the disease, discussed the effects of COVID-19 on our bodies, provided an up-to-date status of cases in our community, and importantly, laid out the actions we can take to stay healthy and safe. *The status on COVID changes every day. Please visit the CDC, FDA and local Health and Human Services Office for an update.

February, 2020

Top Women's Health Stories of the Year

Christina Chambers, PhD,
Professor of Pediatrics and Co-Director of the Center for Better Beginnings, UCSD

Andrea LaCroix, PhD,
Distinguished Professor and Chief of Epidemiology, Director, Women’s Health Center of Excellence, UCSD

Cynthia Stuenkel, MD,
Clinical Professor of Medicine Founding member and Past President of the North American Menopause Society, UCSD

For the first luncheon of 2020, the Howell Foundation hosted three experts in the field of women’s health research. The presentation “Top Ten Stories in Women’s Health” walked us through the top research impacting women’s health, determined research needs for the betterment of women’s health, explored how to integrate the latest research findings into the diagnosis and treatment of women, and presented an overall update on the pressing issues that affect women in our community.

2019 Event Archive

November, 2019

Latest Research on Metastatic Breast Cancer

Rebecca Shatsky, MD (left)
Brooke Emerling, PhD (Right) 
This event featured guest speakers Brooke Emerling, PhD, Assistant Professor, Cancer Metabolism and Signaling-Networks Program, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute and Rebecca A. Shatsky, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine, UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, and Dr. Linda Brubaker, Clinical Professor, Reproductive Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology at the School of Health Sciences at UCSD.  

August, 2019

Urine Trouble: Women’s Bladder Health and the Urinary Microbiome

Linda Brubaker, MD

This event featured guest speaker Dr. Linda Brubaker, Clinical Professor, Reproductive Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology at the School of Health Sciences at UCSD.  Her presentation “Urine Trouble: Women’s Bladder Health and the Urinary Microbiome”  explained the facts about the conditions that lead to a urinary tract infection and new treatment being developed to keep our urobiome healthy. 

May, 2019

Why Palliative Medicine Must Become Mainstream

Daniel Hoefer, MD

This event featured guest speaker Dr. Hoefer, Chief Medical Officer, Outpatient Palliative Care Program, at Sharp Healthcare. Dr. Hoefer made the case that palliative care is no longer just the responsibility of specialists in geriatrics but is important for all specialties in medicine. He explained why over-treatment is a deadly disease and all the things that can compromise a patient’s well-being during a hospital admission.

February, 2019

Women and Diabetes: Use of digital technologies in diabetes care

Athena Philis-Tsimikas, MD.

This event featured guest speaker Dr. Philis-Tsimikas, Corporate Vice President of the Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute at Scripps Health and the Director of Community Engagement at Scripps Translational Science Institute in San Diego, California

2018 Event Archive

November, 2018

Dementia: perspectives, progress and promise

Amy Borenstein, PhD,
Pamela Maher, PhD. 

Dr. Borenstein is Professor of Epidemiology at UC-San Diego. Dr. Borenstein described dementia and its major subtypes as well as the most important risk factors for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. She also discussed ongoing trials of antibodies against the Alzheimer protein beta-amyloid as well as lifestyle changes that may delay the onset of the disease to later ages.  

Dr. Maher is a Senior Staff Scientist at The Salk Institute. Dr. Maher discussed the rationale behind the Salk Institute’s approach to the development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of AD. She provided examples of the use of this approach, and summarized where research is right now and what she hopes to accomplish in the future.

August, 2018

Addiction: it’s not just drugs and alcohol

Carolyn Coker Ross, MD

Dr. Carolyn Coker Ross addressed multiple addictions, the common factors and novel remedies. Dr. Ross maintains private practices in Denver and San Diego using both western and complimentary medicine to treat a wide array of addictions. 

June, 2018

Health & Happiness Evening Series Improving Benefits and Reducing Harms from Breast Cancer Screening: The WISDOM Trial

Outreach support - WISDOM Trial

Barbara A Parker, MD,
Andrea Z. LaCroix, PhD
Lisa Madlensky, PhD

In support of the WISDOM (Women Informed to Screen Depending On Measures of risk) trial, the event focused on informing the audience about current breast screening technologies, and the research currently being conducted to establish the guidelines based on personal history and genetics.  Hosting three renowned specialists in the areas of oncology, epidemiology and genetic testing, the objective was to inform the San Diego community about the latest research being conducted regarding breast cancer screening guidelines, their efficacy, and the steps required to provide women with accurate, personalized prevention processes that effectively diagnose and treat breast cancer on an individualized basis.

May, 2018

Advanced Tissue Therapies - Progress in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine

Benjamin Shepherd, PhD

Dr. Benjamin Shepherd presented the latest and most innovative developments in using cultured human tissues for vital organ transplantation. Dr. Shepherd is Senior Director of Therapeutics at Organovo.

Dr. Shepherd talked about examples of tissue engineering for both drug discovery and therapeutic tissue development.  His presentation focused on current research areas where bioscience and technology have been very successful. He elaborated on the areas of challenge in tissue regeneration:  1) current efforts in organ reconstruction based on previous research in vascular grafts (the blood vessel space), and 2) efforts focused on “additive manufacturing”, also known as 3-dimensional printing.  Of significant importance are the future applications of his own research in both areas.

February, 2018

Latest Advances in Medical and Surgical Treatment of Heart Disease

Anthony De Maria, MD

Dr. Anthony De Maria, Judith and Jack White Chair of Cardiology and Founding Director of the UCSD Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center, presented the latest advances in medical and surgical treatment of heart disease. 

2017 Event Archive

November, 2017

Be Better Fed: Fasting, Fats and (Plant Based) Food

Speakers Panel:

Katherine (Meg) Richman, MD, FACR

“Healthy, (Nutrient) Wealthy, Wise: The Benefits of Plant-based Nutrition to Prevent Cancer, Osteoporosis, & Dementia”

Abigail D’Agostino, RN, BSN, MBA

“Fasting: to eat or not to eat (and when), those are the questions!”

Carole L. Banka, PhD 

“In Defense of Fats”

August, 2017

Improving the snooze: Sleeping better as we age

Andrea Z. LaCroix, PhD. 

Dr. Andrea LaCroix, Professor and Chief of Epidemiology in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at UCSD, spoke about how sleep changes as we age, the problems that women experience with sleep in midlife and beyond, and the ways we are learning to improve sleep without using sedative and hypnotic drugs.

May, 2017

Cannabis: the good, the bad, the myths and the reality

Igor Grant, M.D., F.R.C.P.(C)
Susan F. Tapert, Ph.D. 

With the passage of Proposition 64 legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in California last November, it seemed timely to hear about research surrounding this issue. Dr, Grant discussed his research on clinical use of cannabis. Dr. Tapert addressed the effects of cannabis on the adolescent brain. 

March 2017

Ending the arms race with infectious diseases

Janelle Ayres, Ph.D.

Dr. Ayres’s fascinating presentation outlined her ultimate goal to develop treatments for infectious and non-infectious diseases without the need for antibiotics.

February, 2017

Chocolate and Cardiovascular Disease: The Bitter Truth

Pam R. Taub, MD FACC 

Dr. Taub discussed cardiovascular disease in women, the risk factors for heart disease, preventive measures for heart disease and the story of chocolate.  

January, 2017

Health & Happiness Symposium

Dr. Sanjaya Saxena
Dr. Jill Bormann
Laura Sepulveda
Dr. Carole Banka

New year, new life! How to better manage stress including the hidden disorder that no one talks about. The Howell Foundation’s Health and Happiness Series presented its first symposium focused on sources, health consequences and coping skills related to stress.

With the key note presentation on Hoarding by Dr. Sanjaya Saxena delivered an in depth understanding of the differences between cluttering and hoarding and the tools to mitigate the stress of dealing with either. We also had the honor of hosting experts who gave us an in-depth perspective on how to manage the stress that derives from this and other sources, including: ‘Using mantram meditation to reduce stress’,with Dr. Jill Bormann, ‘Using Pilates to reduce stress’, with Laura Sepulveda, and ‘Stress and your health: consequences and coping – gender matters,’ with our own Dr. Carole Banka. On-site Massage therapy was provided by the Wellness Institute of America www.TheWellnessInstituteOfAmerica.org.

2016 Event Archive

November, 2016

Intelligent Aging

Claudia Kawas, MD
Cheryl Wilson, RN, MA, LNHA

The Howell Foundation celebrated its last luncheon of 2016 with a topic that concerns us all: “Intelligent Aging”. We had the honor of hosting two experts that gave us an in-depth perspective on the intelligent steps to take in our aging journey. 

September, 2016

Health & Happiness Evening Series

The Happy Map

Hilary Stokes, Ph.D.
Kimberly Ward, Ph.D. 

Drs. Stokes and Ward took attendees on a step by step journey to developing the habit of happiness. The novelty that Kim and Hilary bring to the search for happiness is an understanding of the latest neurological research and a method for reprogramming your brain to achieve happiness. 

August, 2016

Unlocking the Power of the Genome

Karen Possemato 

Genomics is changing human health – in areas such as Food Safety and Supply, Forensics, Genetic Disease Oncology and Reproductive Health. Ms. Possemato gave an overview that covered the basics of genomics, its potential and the impact it is having today. 

May, 2016

Simple Lifestyle Changes for Improving Women’s Health

Dorothy D. Sears, Ph.D.

Dr. Sears presented the latest information about how eating patterns and sedentary behavior are associated with the risk for chronic diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. She shared insights from her latest women’s health-focused research and newly-funded projects in these areas. 

February, 2016

Understanding the genome 10,000 experiments at a time: applying genomic approaches to understand autoimmune disease in women

Sonia Sharma, PhD 
Dr. Sharma’s presentation focused on applying genomic approaches to the understanding of autoimmune disease in women. Autoimmune disorders are the third most common cause of disease in Americans, after cancer and cardiovascular disease. There are as many as 80 types of diseases classified as autoimmune and, for reasons largely unclear, women represent 80% of the affected population.

2015 Event Archive

November, 2015

One world, one health

Stanely Maloy, PhD

Infectious diseases are arising at an alarming frequency, making it imperative to understand where emerging diseases come from and why. Although the health of humans, animals, and the environment are inextricably interconnected, practices in human and veterinary medicine rarely recognize these linkages. Dr. Maloy presented how the “One Health” initiative integrates these three disciplines to develop upstream approaches to prevent disease.

October, 2015

Health & Happiness Evening Series Hormones & Happiness

Hormones & Happiness

Carole L. Banka, Ph.D. 
Dr. Banka presented the latest research on hormones are interconnected and the potential they have for making us happy or totally miserable.

August, 2015

The promise of the microbiome in human gastrointestinal health

Sarah K. Highlander, PhD
Dr. Highlander’s presentation focused on how studies of the gastrointestinal tract in particular are allowing us to better understand the role of microbes in educating the immune system, response to infectious agents, and in diseases such as gastrointestinal cancers, Crohn’s Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and various autoimmune disease conditions.

May, 2015

Bone Up: What you need to know about Osteoporosis in 2015

Heather Hofflich, DO, FACE

Dr. Hofflich presented new concepts in diagnosis, treatment, and fracture prevention strategies for Osteoporosis.

February, 2015

Telemedicine – Bridging the gap between humans and machines

Todd Coleman, Ph.D.

Dr. Coleman’s presentation focused on merging the most recent wireless technologies to medical care.

2014 Event Archive

November, 2014

Parkinson’s Disease: The Road Ahead

Sherrie Gould, MSN, NP-C
Jeanne F.  Loring, Ph.D.
James R. Paterniti, Ph.D.
Goldie Sinegal

The panel presented and discussed topics related to the research advancements currently being conducted, the efforts of the Parkinson’s Disease Association to continue funding Parkinson’s Disease research, testimony from a Parkinson’s patient, the latest in treatment, and a caregiver’s perspective on the challenges of providing care for a Parkinson’s Disease patient.

October, 2014

Health & Happiness Evening Series Depression vs. Sadness...Learning to Know the Differences

Depression vs. Sadness…Learning to Know the Differences

Christina Zampitella, FT, Psy.D.
Dr. Zampitella presented the skills to be able to distinguish sadness from depression, identify when professional help is needed, determine when sadness or depression is improving and how to improve hope while decreasing sadness or depression.

August, 2014

The Unmentionables: What Every Woman Should Know About Pelvic Health

Emily Lukacz, M.D., M.A.S. 

Dr.  Lukacz discussed the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of the common pelvic disorders, incontinence and prolapse. Her talk focused on both conservative and surgical treatment options for women faced with incontinence and prolapse including behavioral approaches to treatment.

April 2014

Nutrition: A Novel Approach to Pain Management

Robert Bonakdar, M.D.

Examined the current body of science on pain and diet. Included discussion of nutritional factors that may exacerbate pain, approaches for reversing this as well as diet and supplement prescriptions for optimizing pain and related symptoms.

March, 2014

Health and Happiness Evening Series An Integrative Approach to Stress Management: Reducing Stress & Increasing Happiness

An Integrative Approach to Stress Management: Reducing Stress & Increasing Happiness

Tahir Bhatti, M.D., Integrative Psychiatrist and Wellness Physician, UCSD

Carole Banka, Ph.D., Dept. of Medicine, UCSD

Presented the concept of “relational wellness” influences stress management and how “Western” and “complimentary” medicine can be integrated to reduce stress for men and women.

February, 2014

The meal you miss could save your life: How intermittent fasting may extend health-span

The meal you miss could save your life: How intermittent fasting may extend health-span

Roberta Gottlieb, M.D.

Dr. Gottlieb presented the latest research on the relationship between fasting and the benefits that ultimately lead not only to a healthier life, but a longer one.

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