Dr. Bernadine Healy, ex-NIH and Red Cross Head, Dies at 67

on August 09 2011 3:48 PM

Dr. Bernadine Healy, the first woman to serve as the head of the National Institutes of Health and as president of the American Red Cross, died at her Ohio home Saturday of complications from a brain tumor.

Healy, 67, died from recurring brain cancer, which she had battled for 13 years, her husband, Dr. Floyd D. Loop, told the New York Times.

The Times reports, Dr. Healy — a cardiologist and feminist — was a professor at Johns Hopkins University, dean of the Ohio State University medical school, a White House science adviser and president of the American Heart Association. She wrote scientific papers and magazine columns, and once ran for the U.S. Senate.

Forceful, outspoken and a strong advocate for women’s health, Healy appeared frequently on network TV news shows to talk about health issues and wrote a column for U.S. News and World Report.

Healy, a native of Queens, N.Y., earned her medical degree from Harvard. She won a professorship at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and became a science adviser to President Reagan in 1984.

She also is survived by a daughter.

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