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Women to Watch: Helen Darling


Helen Darling


National Business Group on Health


Age: 64

Helen Darling joined the National Business Group on Health after spending much of her career directing or advising on the purchase of health care. Early in her career, she was an advisor to Sen. David Durenberger, when he was the ranking Republican on the Health Subcommittee of the Senate Finance Committee. She directed three studies at the Institute of Medicine for the National Academy of Sciences. Later she was a consultant at Watson Wyatt Worldwide and then William M. Mercer. From 1992 through 1998 she directed the purchasing of health benefits and disability at Xerox Corp. She joined the NBGH in 2001.

What would you change: "As a benefits manager, I would most like to see dramatic change in the health care system. Most employers are spending well over $8,000 per employee for their health care, yet perhaps as much as one-third of this expense is wasted on medical care that is unsafe, not useful or not evidence-based best practice care that the patient should be getting.... If we reduced waste, we could also afford coverage for the 46.6 million Americans who have no health insurance."