Media Kit

Flight Nurse, CEO and Author

Joan Sullivan Garrett

You won’t want to miss the story a flight nurse turned founder, CEO, and now chairman of MedAire, the world’s first global emergency response center. If you are flying at 36,000 feet and experience a medical emergency, who will the crew call for help? MedAire.

As a single mom, Joan pioneered telemedicine in the 1980s to connect ground-based emergency physicians to crews in the air or at sea. Female entrepreneurialism on a global scale was rare in those days, especially in male-dominated industries. Nothing stopped Joan — not a lack of funding nor the nay-sayers. It took some convincing to turn doubters into customers, but that’s precisely what happened.

Joan presented something totally new and groundbreaking — a way to connect flight crews dealing with medical emergencies to ground-based emergency physicians. This life saving technology was pioneered by Joan, and remains the golden standard today.

Joan’s passion to save lives, no matter where a medical crisis occurs, stemmed from the tragic loss of a young car accident victim in the remote mountains of Arizona. Ralphie’s death was not in vain, for this eight-year-old boy inspired what became MedAire.

With no formal business training and only her instincts and medical expertise to rely on, Joan became a legendary figure in aviation and maritime medical history, testified before Congress on behalf of defibrillators and travel safety, and has been inducted into numerous industry halls of fame.

One Life Lost, Millions Gained

The Story of a Flight Nurse Turned MedAire CEO

The advance praise for this book gives a glimpse into the difference Joan has made on behalf of passengers of all cultures on nearly every continent. The book is packed with adrenaline moments, Joan’s firsthand accounts of flight nursing, and the intense passion and determination it took to launch her startup into the stratosphere.


Read all about how Joan Sullivan Garrett filled a need at 36,000 feet.




Cups of coffee

This is a story that cases in entrepreneurship will be written about in our colleges and universities.

– Roy Herberger, PhD, President Emeritus Thunderbird School of Global Management

Learn More

Book Overview

Enjoy this entrepreneurial journey from flight nurse to MedAire CEO. Joan’s book is filled with adrenaline moments and the determination required to launch the world’s first global emergency medical response center for crews in the air and at sea.

Advance Praise

Some of the aviation industry’s top influencers weigh in on Joan’s story of innovation and courage as she launched MedAire, a global company like no other, and it’s lifesaving service, MedLink,  Passengers are safer in the air and at sea, thanks to Joan.

Meet Joan

As a third generation Irish American and a third generation nurse, Joan pioneered telemedicine in the 1980s and changed the travel industry forever. The loss of a young patient compelled her to improve remote emergency medicine on a global scale.

Ralphie's Story

Joan’s flight crew was deployed to save Ralphie, an eight-year-old boy, who was involved in a car crash in the remote mountains of Arizona. His final moments with Joan forever changed her, and ultimately, the world of travel medicine.

Who Should Read the Book?

Entrepreneurs, single working mothers, technology buffs, flight crews, maritime crews, ER nurses, flight nurses, emergency physicians, academics and everyone who travels will enjoy learning how Joan built a worldwide passenger safety net — MedAire.

In the News

Joan has been featured in numerous newspapers, magazines, and journals throughout her career as a subject-matter expert on critical care, cardiac care, defibrillators, and travel medicine. She has testified several times before Congress on flight safety.


 Enjoy videos of Joan in action, explaining her role as an innovator and entrepreneur and chronicling the story of MedAire and its lifesaving aeromedicine technology. We all are safer in the air and at sea, thanks to Joan.


Joan is the recipient of some of the most notable hall of fame inductions and industry awards after a lifetime of service to others. From entrepreneurship to aeromedicine, her legacy will live on through these honors.

Media Q&A

 How did Joan change the travel industry and elevate passenger safety on air, land, and sea? How did she juggle motherhood, travel 280 days a year, and smash the glass ceiling of the 1980s onward? Her gripping story evokes many questions.

Sell Sheet

Get the book details here, from page count to publisher to where it can be purchased and in what formats. This big, bold autobiography includes more than one hundred images and is a portal in time, featuring the adventures and exploits of a female entrepreneur.

Download Press Release

Compressed (.zip) folder includes a PDF and Microsoft Word document for your convenience.

Download Author & Book Images

Compressed (.zip) folder includes the author’s headshot, the front cover, and a transparent book model to use in your publication.

Schedule a Book Signing or Speaking Event

Contact for Press & Media Inquiries

Send a Message to the Author