Helen M. Free holds a bachelor's degree in Chemistry from the College of Wooster, a master's degree in management in the health care field from Central Michigan University, and honorary doctorates of science from both schools. She joined Miles Laboratories (now Bayer Healthcare) in 1944, and her career includes wide experience in laboratory work, management, growth and development, manufacturing, and marketing related to her main interests in the field of clinical chemistry and medical devices, and in management in the health care area. She holds several patents and has published over 200 papers. She has also held many elected positions in scientific societies, including president of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry in 1990 and president of the American Chemical Society in 1993. Among her national awards are: the ACS Garvan medal, the Hall of Excellence of the Ohio Foundation of Small Colleges, and the Kilby Foundation Award. She and her husband were married for 53 years until his death in 2000 (9 children). Together they were honored by Medical Economics Press and the Laboratory Public Service National Leadership Award. They were inducted into the Science and Engineering Hall of Fame and the National Inventors Hall of Fame for their work on the development of urinalysis reagent strips and self tests for blood glucose used worldwide by persons with diabetes.