Dr. Bernadine Healy Dies of Recurrent Brain Cancer


World-renowned cardiologist Dr. Bernadine Healy has died from recurrent brain cancer; she was 67 years old.

Dr. Healy was always on the cutting edge of women's leadership. One of the first female presidents of the American Heart Association, Dr. Healy was appointed as the first woman director of the National Institutes of Health by President George H.W. Bush in 1991. She was the creator of the $625 million Women's Health Initiative - the first long-term governmental research study of women's health issues.

Dr. Healy went on to become the first woman dean of the Ohio State Medical School, at a time when only 5% of medical school deans in the U. S. were female.

Following Elizabeth Dole as president of the American Red Cross, Dr. Healy oversaw the development of a Weapons of Mass Destruction Response Program, and then led the Red Cross response during the September 11th terrorist attack. She instituted many health care policies to improve upon strategies for dealing with national emergencies and terrorist calamities. Criticism around these initiatives was associated with her departure from the American Red Cross.

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Dr. Healy was a summa cum laude graduate of Vassar College and a cum laude graduate of Harvard Medical School, where she was one of ten women in a class of 120. Dr. Healy completed her residency at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. There, she was a professor of medicine and the first woman to serve as assistant dean for postdoctoral programs and faculty development.

In addition to being a leading physician, educator and health administrator, Dr. Healy had a sterling reputation as a skilled cardiovascular researcher specializing in the pathology and treatment of heart attacks, focusing on women.

An author as well as a policy maker and physician, Dr. Healy wrote or co-authored over 220 peer-reviewed published manuscripts on cardiovascular research and health and science policy. She was a health editor and columnist for the U. S. News and World Report, a medical contributor to and a panelist on the PBS show, To the Contrary.

In addition to her milestone book, A New Prescription for Women's Health, Dr. Healy published a book titled Livingtime about her cancer experience from the perspective of both the physician and the patient.

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