Sally Howard served as director of public relations for the Academic Health Center at the University of Minnesota from 1985 to 1996.
Sally Howard begins her interview with an overview of her early life and career. She then provides greater detail about her time at the YWCA and her work at Abbott Hospital as well as some of the larger trends in hospitals and medicine during her time there. Ms. Howard describes how she became part of the city council and the accomplishments of the council during her terms of service. Turning to her time at the University, she discusses the following topics: applying to the public relations position in the AHC; the development of a public relations program specifically for the AHC; the creation of a health talk show; Dr. John Najarian’s transplant work; the threatened closure of the Dental School and College of Veterinary Medicine; publicity for the University Hospital renovations; and the legal issues surrounding antilymphocyte globulin (ALG). She concludes by describing the tenures of Neal Vanselow, Cherie Perlmutter, Robert Anderson, and William Brody as vice presidents of the AHC.
Sarah “Sally” Howard was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa on April 28, 1936. She earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology at Macalester College in 1958. After graduating, she served as assistant teenage director for the Minneapolis YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Association). She served as volunteer director at Abbott Hospital from 1963 to 1968 and then became community relations director at the Hospital from 1968 to 1977. (Abbot Hospital merged with Northwestern Hospital in 1970 and was then known as Abbott Northwestern Hospital.) In 1978, she was elected to the city council and served three terms as alderman for the 10th Ward of the City of Minneapolis from 1978 to 1985. After deciding not to run for a fourth term, Howard applied for and was named director of public relations for the Academic Health Center at the University of Minnesota. She retired in 1996.