The International Aviation Womens Association (IAWA) is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2017 IAWA Aviation Industry Woman of Excellence Award as Joan Sullivan Garrett. This award recognizes women who are leaders in the field of aviation, have demonstrated a commitment to the advancement of women in the industry and are respected as team players by men and women alike. As a woman who epitomizes these attributes, IAWA is honored to recognize Joan Sullivan Garrett as the sixth recipient of this award.
Sullivan Garrett has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the advancement of women in the aviation industry and to IAWA. Garrett has served in a leadership capacity as a Board member. “Joan Sullivan Garrett has long been recognized as an effective industry leader and a driving force for change,” said IAWA President Lisa Piccione. “Joan’s work as an IAWA Board member and as a global business leader has opened doors for countless women in the industry.” Piccione added that “Joan has been and continues to be a mentor to women around the world. She is someone who leads by example, is truly a role model — and a Woman of Excellence!”
In 1983, Joan Sullivan Garrett was serving as a critical-care registered flight nurse and chief medical officer aboard an emergency helicopter evacuation flight, responding to a remote, rural traffic accident in Arizona.
The experience she gained from this event—and several others like it—helped Joan to realize that many more lives could be saved when emergencies happen in remote locales. It was her idea to provide greater access to critical-care medical expertise and state-of-the-art equipment—as well as trained professionals to administer them. Less than two years later, in 1985, Garrett’s brainchild—“MedAire”—became a reality.
Now, more than 30 years later, MedAire is the leading global provider of 24/7 medical and security assistance, medical kits and equipment and crew medical training. MedAire specializes in integrated solutions for the aviation and maritime industries where remote medical care is in high demand. MedAire’s MedLink is a global tele-medical service that connects clients to a team of board certified emergency room physicians trained specifically for assisting with remote health emergencies.
Today MedAire serves over 150 Airline clients, more than 75% of Fortune’s top 100 companies and half the world’s super yachts with an unparalleled global footprint to best prepare, access and assist clients and crew – whatever may happen, wherever they travel.
From its founding until March 2006, Garrett served as Chief Executive Officer of MedAire. Using aviation medicine statistics and real-world experience, she consulted with airlines and their governing bodies—such as British Airways and The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration—on health and safety-related projects and issues.
She is the author of numerous white papers regarding medical and health subjects, from the use of in-flight defibrillators to issues surrounding bio-terrorism. Ultimately, it was Garrett’s congressional testimony in 2001 that led to the Federal Aviation Administration’s final ruling requiring U.S. airlines to carry automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and enhanced emergency medical kits (EMKs) on all domestic and international flights. The regulation went into effect in 2004.
Joan established an industry, and became a world renowned expert in aviation medical health and safety. She is often quoted as a subject matter expert in national and international media, such as USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, the BBC and the Discovery Channel.
Since that first call to now, Joan has touched almost one million people who have become ill or injured while travelling away from home – be it on land, in the air or at sea. Her idea to provide remote tele-medical assistance, along with crew training and lifesaving medical kits, created an industry and remains the gold standard for aviation and yachting across the globe.
Sullivan Garrett’s achievements exemplify all for which the IAWA Woman of Excellence Award stands – leadership, commitment and respect. She is highly regarded throughout the aviation community for her professionalism, grace and selfless commitment to the betterment of the aviation industry.
IAWA proudly awards Joan Sullivan Garrett the Aviation Industry Woman of Excellence Award for 2017.
IAWA is a non-profit association providing a worldwide network dedicated to promoting the advancement of women in the aviation and aerospace industries at all levels across the globe. IAWA sponsors informative meetings, hosts receptions and connects, publishes newsletters, and keeps its members updated on the latest industry developments. For more information visit www.iawa.org.