Cross-Posted from The NonProfit Times Website
Bernadine Healy, M.D., a controversial chief executive who ran the American Red Cross from 1999 through 2001, reportedly died Saturday from complications of a brain tumor. She was 67. Healy’s tenure at the Red Cross was delayed as she sought treatment for a brain tumor.
Healy was CEO when the September 11 attacks hit. The organization was criticized for its advertising for financial and blood donations and subsequently changed its advertising practices. She also clashed with board members and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies officials with regard to what she viewed as unequal treatment of chapters in Israel.
A New York City native, she was the first female director of the National Institutes of Health, appointed to the position in 1991 by President George H.W. Bush. An internist and cardiologist by training, she also served as dean of the College of Medicine at Ohio State University from 1995 to 1999.
The American Red Cross released a statement on its website: “The American Red Cross is saddened by the death of Dr. Bernadine Healy, who led the Red Cross response in the hours after 9/11, the worst terrorist attack in our nation’s history. During her brief two-year tenure as President and CEO, Dr. Healy worked tirelessly to initiate reforms in key Red Cross programs. When she left the organization in October 2001, it had improved its ability to respond to domestic and international disasters and was better equipped to ensure the safety and adequate supply of the nation’s blood. Dr. Healy was known to all Red Crossers for her vision and her compassion under the most challenging circumstances, and our thoughts and prayers go out to her family.”
A funeral in Cleveland is slated for Wednesday. She is survived by her husband, Dr. Floyd Loop, a former chief executive officer of the Cleveland Clinic, and daughters Bartlett Healy Russell and Marie McGrath Loop. Burial will be in West Lafayette, Ind.