Joan Sullivan Garrett, a flight nurse turned MedAire CEO and author of One Life Lost, Millions Gained, shares her story during an interview at the 33rd Annual Women in Aviation International Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, March 17-19, 2022. #WomeninAviation #WAI22 #IamWAI #WeAreWAI #MedAire #JoanSullivanGarrett

Last month, Women in Aviation Intl posted this video below.
What an honor to share the transcript.


Aviation has so many different channels or avenues to pursue. I don’t think there’s been a better time to be in this industry. WAI is a conduit in my opinion to the career path for anyone who might be interested in this for a career, whether it’s through their education programs, needing scholarship, or access to the multitude of opportunities that exist. WAI is clearly a leader in the industry that can in many ways serves as a mentorship for these young women, and it’s easy to transition from one aspect of the industry to another if you find that you have other interests. So this is an industry that takes care of its own.


I come from a long line of nurses. My mother was a nurse, my grandmother was a nurse. But flight nursing was completely different. Flight nursing is operating under the license of a physician. You’re given skills that only were reserved for physicians in the past. I love knowing I can make a huge difference in my patients’ lives. So being a flight nurse opened my eyes to the opportunities that I had in the aviation industry.


With my book, I was able to tell my story. It’s vulnerable. There were parts in it that were painful. But there are also parts that show you that if you persevere, and you want to do something with your life that has a positive impact, then you can do that.


MedAire is a global enterprise, and I’m very proud that this was the company that I founded following Ralphie’s death. As a flight nurse, I had a one-on-one relationship with my patient. Through MedAire, it’s a one on millions, be it on any number of our commercial airline clients or business jets. It’s certainly bigger than me, for sure. I’m very proud of that legacy.


Mark Twain once said, “Focus on the desire, not the doubt, and the dreams will take care of themselves.” I never did see the fact that I was the only woman in the room of 500 suits and felt that was an obstacle. If anything, I felt that it was an advantage. I do believe that there are so many avenues for young women today to exceed and excel and the only limitation is their vision.