San Diego Hospice Founder, Dr. Doris Howell, Honored During Women's History Month in March
SAN DIEGO, CA -- Dr. Doris A. Howell, founding member of San Diego Hospice and The Institute for Palliative Medicine , is being honored during Women’s History Month in March by KPBS and Union Bank.
Dr. Howell has practiced medicine for more than 50 years and continues to devote her life to improving the lives of others. She was first introduced to the hospice concept in 1968, when she met Dame Cicely Saunders, known as the founder of the modern hospice movement in the United Kingdom. Dr. Howell embraced this radical departure from the established way of dealing with the dying and their families. In 1977, Dr. Howell, along with a group of caring individuals, established San Diego Hospice, the first - and now largest - nonprofit hospice program in the county.
Dr. Howell connected with the late philanthropist Joan B. Kroc, widow of McDonald's Corp. founder Ray A. Kroc, in planning and creating California's first and only, free-standing specially licensed hospice-hospital, known as the San Diego Hospice Inpatient Care Center, a 24-bed inpatient care center providing comprehensive acute hospice care in a beautiful homelike setting. The Inpatient Care Center opened in 1991 and is located at San Diego Hospice’s main campus in the Hillcrest area of San Diego. Currently, the organization cares for more than 1,000 seriously ill adults and children each day throughout the county.
Along with patient and family care, San Diego Hospice is the first and only academic hospice program of its kind in the region that serves as a model throughout the nation. The Institute for Palliative Medicine at San Diego Hospice is responsible for education and research and hosts the largest physician specialty training program in the nation.
Dr. Howell has received numerous awards including a 2006 honor by the Moores UCSD Cancer Center for her pioneering work in hospice and palliative care nationally, and for inspiring a new consultation service called the Doris A. Howell Palliative Consultation Service. This service is designed to enhance care for patients and their families by helping formulate goals.
Dr. Howell’s colleagues have described her as a role model in "combining medical skill with human kindness." Her belief and commitment in providing compassionate, dignified, quality end-of-life care to those in need, helped to dispel doubts in the medical community and raise public awareness about the benefits of hospice care for the terminally ill, earning her the reputation of “mother of hospice care” in San Diego County.
“It is not an exaggeration to say that Dr. Howell is the mother of modern hospice care in San Diego County,” said Kathleen Pacurar, President and CEO of San Diego Hospice and The Institute for Palliative Medicine. “Every individual and family who has been helped by San Diego Hospice has been touched by the care of Dr. Howell - whether they know her or not. It is truly a unique legacy in our community. We are thrilled that Dr. Howell is being recognized by KPBS and Union Bank for Women’s History Month.”
About San Diego Hospice and The Institute for Palliative Medicine
San Diego Hospice and The Institute for Palliative Medicine is one of the largest community-owned, not-for-profit hospices in the country, bringing compassionate, expert medical care to more than 1,000 seriously ill adults and children each day throughout San Diego County. For more information, visit www.sdhospice.org  or call toll-free 866-688-1600. Join our online communities on Facebook , Twitter , Google+ , YouTube  and The Caregiver’s Corner blog ,