About Joan

Founder & Chairman, MedAire

Joan Sullivan Garrett

Joan Sullivan Garrett is the Founder and Chairman of MedAire, the world’s largest integrated aviation and maritime provider of medical, travel and safety services.

Joan founded MedAire in 1985 to provide on-demand medical advice for in-flight medical emergencies (also known at telemedicine). The company has since expanded to provide travel risk management solutions for passengers and crew of airlines, business and general aviation, and luxury yachts. Its core mission remains to protect and save lives.

Awards & Honors

Today, MedAire is part of the global International SOS group of companies, and provides medical and security services to travelers around the world.

Its services are considered so vital; MedAire is the standard medical solution on all new aircraft from the leading manufacturers including Gulfstream, Boeing Business Jets, Beechcraft, Embraer and Bombardier.

Joan is a former board member of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and served as chair of its Associate Member Advisory Council (AMAC). Additionally, she served on the Advisory Board for International Aviation Women’s Association (IAWA) and was former Chair of the Flight Safety Foundation Board.

Joan was inducted into the International Aviation Hall of Fame in 2019 and the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 2020. She consults with aviation industry leaders and government agencies such as the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, provides congressional testimony on health and safety issues, and consults with private industry on technology applications for distance-based medical care.

Often quoted as a subject matter expert in national and international media such as USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, BBC, and the Discovery Channel, Joan has authored numerous white papers on critical health-related opportunities and issues facing the aviation industry – from advocating the use of defibrillators to protecting against bio-terrorism and pandemic diseases.


Flight Safety Foundation Business Aviation Meritorious Service Award


Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award


Arizona State University Spirit of Enterprise Award


NBAA Meritorious Service to Aviation Award

International Aviation Womens Association Woman of Excellence Award

Hall of Fame induction during the 50th anniversary of Mesa Community College (alma mater)


International Air & Space Hall of Fame


National Aviation Hall of Fame

David M. Clark Award