CSU Institute for Palliative Care Initiates Doris A. Howell MD, Award for Advancing Palliative Care

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Pioneer in Palliative Care Award Commemorates San Diego Physician Leader

Dr. Howell has been a role model and champion for palliative care in San Diego and nationally. This award will commemorate Dr. Howell’s work and encourage providers to continue her legacy.

The CSU Institute for Palliative Care is proud to announce the Doris A. Howell MD, Award for Advancing Palliative Care. The award is being initiated to honor the legacy of achievements and contributions in opening the doors for patients to receive palliative care led by this San Diego-area physician.

Palliative care provides those with a serious or chronic illness – from the time of diagnosis throughout the course of treatment – care that optimizes quality of life by anticipating, preventing, and managing suffering. It is delivered by an interdisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, pharmacists and other practitioners to address the physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of patients and their families.

Recipients of the award will be sought whose contributions positively impact their community, and who carry out the pioneering spirit in caring for the suffering embodied by Dr. Howell throughout her career in San Diego.

Helen B. McNeal, Executive Director of the Institute commented: “Dr. Howell has been a role model and champion for palliative care in San Diego and nationally. This award will commemorate Dr. Howell’s work and encourage providers to continue her legacy. This year we will be honoring palliative care pioneers in San Diego and next year we look forward to expanding the recognition to all of the communities where there are CSU Institute for Palliative Care campus partners, and potentially nationally. Palliative care champions need to be recognized for the important work that they do every day.”

Doris A. Howell, M.D., Professor Emeritus, UCSD, is a graduate of McGill University who has devoted her life to improving the lives of others. A pioneer (1949) in pediatric hematology, oncology, and community medicine, she was a faculty member at Harvard and Duke Schools of Medicine and in 1963 was the first woman to chair a US medical school pediatric department, At the Medical College of Pennsylvania. She was recruited by UCSD in 1974 to be Professor and Chair of Pediatrics, and in 1974 was named Chair of the new Department of Community Medicine. She was instrumental in developing the model of primary care medicine as we know it--one that views patients as a whole person.

All of this led Dr. Howell to become the driving force in establishing San Diego Hospice and the Institute for Palliative Medicine in 1977. Her commitment to providing compassionate, dignified, quality palliative and end-of-life care has been unswerving. Recognized nationally and locally, the Institute is honored that Dr. Howell has given permission for the award to carry her name.

The first Doris A. Howell MD, Award for Advancing Palliative Care recipient will be announced at a ribbon-cutting event being held at the CSU Institute for Palliative Care new headquarters on Sept. 7, 2016, in San Marcos.

About the CSU Institute for Palliative Care:
The CSU Institute for Palliative Care leverages the strength of CSU’s system through its 23 campuses’ workforce development infrastructure and solid community relationships, to achieve the Institute’s mission: to expand access to and awareness of palliative care by educating current and future health care professionals and community members.
The Institute, now entering its fourth year, is charged with positively impacting the critical shortage of nursing, physician, social work, spiritual and other professionals with palliative care skills and training; the Institute has pioneered a groundbreaking educational model that delivers best practices while expanding the base of professional care providers who embrace an interdisciplinary standard of care.

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