Doris A. Howell, M.D.

Hospice and pediatric oncology expert, women’s health advocate

Women's International Center is truly privileged to have the opportunity to acknowledge Dr. Doris Howell. Her pervasive humanitarian outreach to those in need and to those who want to succeed is legendary.

Doris A. Howell, M.D., a graduate of McGill University, is devoted to improving the lives of others. A Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist, and an internationally renowned leader in pediatrics and hospice care, she was a faculty member at Harvard and Duke Schools of Medicine and chair of the Dept. of Pediatrics at the Medical College of Pennsylvania. In 1974, she joined the faculty at UCSD Medical School and chaired the Dept. of Community and Family Medicine.

When first introduced to the hospice concept in 1968, Dr. Howell immediately embraced this radical departure from the established way of dealing with the dying and their families. Her reputation as a hospice pioneer followed her when she moved to UCSD School of Medicine in 1976. Serving on the San Diego Hospice Board of Directors since its inception, she soon became a driving force for San Diego Hospice, now a model recognized throughout the nation. She was elected Director Emerita in 1989.

Dr. Howell has received national awards for leadership and service from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Humanism in Medicine Award from the Health Care Foundation of New Jersey. She has been honored by the Rotary of San Diego, MacLaggen Award; the Salvation Army Woman of Distinction Award; the Elderhelp Essence of Life Award; and the Soroptimists International of La Jolla Woman of Distinction Award, among others.

Upon her formal retirement, Dr. Howell began to focus on the critical need to improve women's health care and research. She and concerned members of Soroptimist International of La Jolla began awarding research grants to young scholars. In 1995 the Soroptimists honored Dr. Howell by establishing the Doris A. Howell Foundation for Research in Women's Health, an independent nonprofit foundation.To date, 53 grants have been awarded to students pursuing research at UCSD, SDSU, and recently USD. She remains a vital force in realizing the goals of the foundation in her honor.

We are privileged to honor Doris Howell. Her legacy lives.

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