Upon learning of the death of NIH, American Red Cross and American Heart Association leader Dr. Bernadine Healy, B’nai B’rith International has issued the following statement:
B’nai B’rith International mourns the loss of Bernadine Healy, a leader and advocate for the National Institutes of Health, American Red Cross, and American Heart Association.
In addition to initiating many reforms and improvements to the domestic and international health landscape, Healy strongly advocated for the inclusion of Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel’s emergency services agency, into the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
As president of the American Red Cross, Healy spoke out in support of MDA in Geneva, headquarters of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, urging the latter to discontinue its discriminatory policy of excluding the Israeli humanitarian organization from its ranks.
Healy withheld American Red Cross dues from the International Committee of the Red Cross in protest of the Committee’s decision to continue to bar MDA from inclusion. This courageous and principled decision met with opposition from her own board and ultimately led to her ouster, she later said.
Magen David Adom was admitted to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in 2006. Healy’s tireless work toward the realization of this goal is a testament to the power of one person to make a significant and lasting contribution to the world.