She was best known as a tough, innovative administrator who, as director of the National Institutes of Health from 1991 to 1993, championed studies that overturned false assumptions about women’s health. And as president of the American Red Cross from 1999 to 2001, she struggled to coordinate its complex, often contradictory missions of humanitarian disaster relief and the businesslike maintenance of blood supplies.
She graduated from Hunter High School in Manhattan in 1962, got through Vassar College in three years and graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1970. After postdoctoral work, she became a full professor at Johns Hopkins in 1982 and directed its cardiac care unit from 1976 to 1984.
Her first marriage, to Dr. George Bulkley, a surgeon she had met in medical school, ended in divorce in 1981. They had a daughter, Bartlett Bulkley. In 1985, Dr. Healy married Dr. Loop, a cardiac surgeon. They had a daughter, Marie McGrath Loop. Dr. Loop and her two daughters survive her.
Dr. Healy was President Ronald Reagan’s deputy science adviser in 1984 and 1985, president of the American Heart Association in 1988 and 1989, and from 1985 to 1991 practiced cardiology and directed research at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, which was operated by Dr. Loop.
She lost a Senate primary in Ohio in 1994, was a professor and dean at Ohio State from 1995 to 1999 and an adviser on bioterrorism to President George W. Bush.