Healy Taking Break After Red Cross Resignation

CLEVELAND (AP) - Dr. Bernadine Healy (pictured, right) is planning a book and her name has surfaced for an academic job, but she's mostly taking a break from work following her resignation from the American Red Cross.

"I am taking a sabbatical," she told The Plain Dealer for a story Sunday. "I am looking at a whole range of things, but they are still in formation."

Healy, 57, resigned from the Red Cross on Oct. 26 amid controversy over the organization's handling of disaster relief for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The charity was criticized for not keeping the money raised for those victims separate from the organization's main relief fund.

The Red Cross since then has said the more than $500 million dollars in donations in its Liberty Fund will go to people harmed by the attacks.

Healy would not discuss in any detail her departure from the Red Cross. When she was forced from the $450,000-a-year job, she acknowledged some governing board members thought she was "out ahead" of them in making policy.

Since her Red Cross exit, she was named to the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and also is meeting with confidants and well-wishers to plot her future.

On Saturday mornings, she appears on CBS news and offers advice on medical topics.

Healy is drafting a book proposal that she says was inspired by Red Cross founder Clara Barton. Healy's name also has surfaced in Case Western Reserve University's search for a new president.

Healy and her husband, Dr. Floyd Loop, head of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, have a home in suburban Gates Mills. Healy also is a former dean of Ohio State University's medical school.

Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, who stays in touch with Healy, said he expects her to "take it easy for a while and regroup. She has been on a very fast track."

Healy says her sometimes-fiery temperament is calm and serene these days as she weighs her options.

"Life often throws you a curveball," she said of her experience at the Red Cross. "Why should I be any different? The only difference is that what I have been doing often is public, and that makes it a little harder."

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)