NOTE: President Kirwan will be available at 5 p.m. today in Bricker Hall, 190 N. Oval Mall, to respond to questions from the news media about Dr. Healy’s departure.
BERNADINE HEALY TO LEAVE UNIVERSITY TO HEAD AMERICAN RED CROSS
COLUMBUS -- Earlier today (7/8), the American Red Cross announced that Bernadine Healy, dean of The Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health, has accepted an offer to become its president and chief executive officer, starting in September.
In announcing her decision to the college faculty Wednesday (7/7), Healy said she had “profoundly mixed feelings” about it. “(The Red Cross), dedicated to aiding in the prevention and relief of human suffering, holds dear a mission that is at the core of my own personal being and the profession to which we all are dedicated,” she wrote. “The American Red Cross is an organization of enormous size and complexity that rivals major corporations and the largest of the non-profits. Combining that with its magnificent mission makes an enterprise that I will be honored and privileged to lead.”
On the other hand, Healy said, “I cannot leave The Ohio State University and its wonderful College of Medicine and Public Health without great sadness. Many of you have become good friends and the closest of colleagues during my years here, and we have begun moving the college in exciting new directions. I have treasured your support and encouragement. There is no question that the college will achieve its goal of ascension to the top ranks of U.S. medical schools, provided wise and proper investments are made in human talent, needed infrastructure and operational resources. I am most hopeful that Ohio State will have the vision and courage to support this destiny.”
Ohio State President William E. Kirwan accepted Healy’s resignation with regret and good wishes. He issued this statement:
“I wish to congratulate the American Red Cross on its selection of a truly outstanding individual to assume the top leadership position in that organization. We all feel a sense of joy for Bernadine in being tapped for one of the most important and prestigious positions in health care. It is a mark of pride for the university that one of the world’s most admired organizations turned to a member of our community for its new leadership.
“Dr. Healy is a person of great vision and intellect, enormous skill and boundless energy. During her four years as dean of our College of Medicine and Public Health, Bernadine worked tirelessly to raise the quality of the college to new heights, to recruit some of the finest faculty and researchers to be found anywhere in the world, and to put the health and well- being of the people of Ohio and the nation at the forefront of this great university. The elevated aspirations she has inspired and the exceptional faculty she has recruited are impressive legacies of her tenure.
“We will miss Bernadine as a colleague, and I will miss her as a friend -- although I do hope and expect that our paths will cross many times in the years ahead. We wish her nothing but the best as she undertakes this important new responsibility.”
Kirwan said that he and Provost Edward J. Ray will shortly appoint an interim dean for the college and begin the process of conducting a national search for a permanent successor to Healy.
Speaking on behalf of the university’s Board of Trustees, chair Michael Colley said: “Dr. Healy has been a magnificent leader. She has helped focus the enormous assets of the college, improving the education of our future doctors, reaching out in meaningful ways to the people of Ohio, and engaging numerous individuals, organizations and institutions in important partnerships. Her work will benefit Ohioans for generations to come.”
Healy became medical dean at Ohio State in September 1995. Under her leadership, the college had numerous notable achievements, including:
-- Recruitment of top scientists and researchers in the areas of molecular biology and genetics, cancer and heart disease, among them Clara Bloomfield, Michael Caligiuri, Robert Michler, Pascal Goldschmidt, Albert de la Chappelle, and those they recruited to join them.
-- Expansion of the college’s programs in cancer research and tumor genetics under de la Chappelle and Bloomfield.
-- Revitalization of the thoracic surgery and heart transplant programs under Michler.
-- Creation of the Heart and Lung Institute under Goldschmidt.
-- Creation of a new department of Orthopaedics and planned development of a Musculoskeletal Institute.
-- Designation as a national Center of Excellence in Women’s Health.
-- Development of a School of Public Health.
Prior to coming to Ohio State, Healy held several top-level appointments. She was director of the National Institutes of Health during the Bush Administration and deputy director of the White House Office of Science and Technology under President Reagan. She chaired the Cleveland Clinic’s Research Foundation from 1985-91. A 1970 graduate of Harvard Medical School, she began her career at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. When she left Johns Hopkins in 1984, she was professor of medicine, assistant dean for postdoctoral programs and director of the coronary care unit.
Since March 1997, Healy has served as a medical consultant to CBS News, appearing two to three times weekly on The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, This Morning and other network programs. She also has been a regular contributor to the PBS program Health Week.
Contact: Ruth Gerstner, director, News Services, (614) 292-8424.