Sunday, August 14, 2011

Our Blood Supply Chain Paper is Now Published and Reflections on Dr. Bernadine P. Healy -- RIP

I was struck by the recent death of Dr. Bernadine P. Healy, who not only was the first female head of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) but also was the second female (after Elizabeth Dole) to head the American Red Cross and did so during 9/11.

She recently passed away at the age of 67 and had an amazing career as a researcher (over 200 papers), educator, and top administrator both in academe, including Johns Hopkins University, as well as the above-noted major organizations.

She was also a wife and mother to two daughters.

The New York Times ran an obituary on her, as did many other leading newspapers and, despite some controversial decisions, she clearly brought attention to women's health care and the importance of teamwork in organizations.

Our first blood supply chain paper, in which discussions with the Red Cross were essential and are acknowledged, entitled,Supply Chain Network Operations Management of a Blood Banking System with Cost and Risk Minimization, has now been published by the journal Computational Management Science. With it, we honor her memory.

Dr. Frank Collins, the present Director of the NIH, in his moving tribute to Dr. Healy, acknowledged her words, which she made during an NIH exhibit on pioneering women doctors:

All of us, I believe, in our hearts are humanitarian. And how wonderful to be in a career that in almost any dimension of it—whether you're the doctor at the bedside, or the scientist in the laboratory, or the public health doc tracking down the latest epidemic—that you are doing something that is pure in its fundamental purpose, which is helping another human being.”

Thank you, Dr. Healy, for your gutsy leadership and R.I.P.

We hope that, through research and education, we can also make a difference.