Helen M. Free, member of the Saint Joseph Valley Local Section of the ACS was honored in a special ceremony at the White House where President Obama presented the 2009 National Medals of Science and National Medals of Technology and Innovation. Helen M. Free, Adjunct Professor of Management at IU South Bend and Consultant for Bayer AG, was awarded the 2009 National Medal of Technology and Innovation for her work in the field of medical and clinical urinalysis testing. She was instrumental in the development of the “dip-and-read” test that for the first time allowed diabetics to instantly monitor their blood glucose level from the privacy of their home. These tests “gave rise to a technological revolution in convenient, reliable, point-of-care tests and patience self-monitoring,” said Obama.
Free’s other honors include the ACS’ 1980 Garvan Medal, the 1993 South Bend YWCA’s Woman of the Year Award, the 1996 Kilby Award, and in 2000 she was inducted into the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame. In 1995, the Helen M. Free Award for Public Outreach was created in her honor.