AFG Chair: Dr Christopher Backus
Christopher Erick Backus, MD – I go by Chris or MOBA. I’m an active duty AF physician, and Commander, 379th Expeditionary Medical Group, in the Central Command Area. I am also currently the Director of the USAF Pilot Physician Program.
I started my career in aviation as a USAF pilot with 3700+ hours in cargo and trainer aircraft. I have been a member of AsMA since 2005. I am a life member and have been in the AFG for several years. I aspire to be a Fellow in the future, but given that I want to stay active with AsMA for the rest of my life, I am in no hurry.
Secretary: Dr Lisa Snyder
Title/Name: Col (Dr.) Lisa K. Snyder
Country of Residence: USA
Professional Qualifications: Board certified Emergency Medicine, Occupational Medicine and Aerospace Medicine physician with a Masters of Public Health as well as Board Eligible in Medical Toxicology. Flight Surgeon in the USAF for 17.5 years and flown in 19 different aircraft.
Other current and past activities/offices held in AsMA or the AFG: Member of AsMA since 2001 and selected as an Associate Fellow in about 2008. She has held the position of Membership Chair for the AFG for two years about 10 years ago and has presented at the AsMA conferences in the past. She has also held the positions of President and Vice President of the Alliance of Air National Guard Flight Surgeons and a member of the nominating committee for the Society of United States Air Force Flight Surgeons.
COLONEL LISA K. SNYDER is the State Air Surgeon for Indiana Air National Guard, where she is a senior advisor to The Adjutant General on matters pertaining to the 2000 Indiana Airmen’s fit for duty and readiness status. Colonel Snyder also serves as the Director of the Medical Directorate responsible for the Secretary of the Air Force’s Medical Review Board.
On the weekends, she is a staff physician in the Emergency Department of a 134 bed large company owned hospital. Previously she has held the position of associate and assistant clinical staff positions at training programs of an accredited, large university and additionally an accredited private medical school.
When not working, she serves as the Director of a foster based cat/kitten rescue in Pennsylvania which she started with one foster in 2015. Since the creation and execution of all requirements to become a non-profit, 501(c)(3) rescue, over 2050 cats and kittens have been accepted into the rescue, provided health care and adopted out to rigidly screen forever homes due to her efforts and especially the 76 dedicated volunteers and fosters. She has an incredible, supporting husband and they enjoy “quiet time” on the lake together!
Treasurer: Dr Ronald Robinson
Ronald Robinson MD MPH MBA FACHE
Dr. Robinson currently serves as Chief Executive and Chief Medical Officer for Centura Health’s NW Kansas managed hospitals, and as a medical officer in the US Navy Reserve.
He received his MD and MPH from the University of Texas Medical School at Houston in 1993, graduated the US Air Force Squadron Officer School and received board certification in aerospace physiology (CAsP) in 1996, completed his anesthesiology residency at UT Houston in 1997, achieved board certification in anesthesiology in 1998, and earned his MBA from the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School in 2015.
Dr. Robinson has practiced anesthesiology in under-served rural hospitals, community hospitals, and academic medical centers. He has practiced military and aerospace medicine with NASA, the Air National Guard, US Navy Reserve, and the US Marine Corps. He has served as Chief of Staff and Chief Medical Officer in community hospital and tertiary referral hospital settings.
Dr. Robinson has educated medical students and residents as clinical faculty at the University of Texas at Houston, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine at Bradenton, and Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine. He has participated actively in research, and is published in the fields of physics, aviation medicine, and pain medicine.
Dr. Robinson has also owned and operated multiple small businesses
involving aviation, finance, and real estate. In addition to his experience in business and medicine, Dr. Robinson has studied leadership with the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, the Alpha Omega Alpha
Honor Medical Society Fellow in Leadership Program, Centura Health’s Leadership Nebula Program, and the Centura Health Executive Leadership Development Program.
Dr. Robinson’s passion is applying cutting edge business and leadership skills to unlock the potential of medical practices, hospitals, and healthcare systems.
Senior Chair-Elect: Dr Joseph Butterfield
Dr. Joseph S. Butterfield joined the AsMA Associate Fellows Group two years ago. He is a US citizen who took his MD degree from the American University of Antigua in 2015. He didn’t match into a residency after medical school and subsequently enrolled in graduate school at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He taught undergraduates while studying for his MS degree in Aerospace Engineering, which he took in 2017. Instead of working as an engineer he persisted in pursuing a career in patient care. He worked part-time throughout graduate school as an EMT and accumulated over 1500 hours of field experience. In order to continue to learn about science he completed another MS degree in Integrative Physiology in 2018 and passed USMLE Step 03. But after still not matching into residency, he subsequently enrolled in the St. Anthony Hospital Paramedic Academy in Colorado where he is currently a student.
He was parliamentarian of AMSRO (the Aerospace Medicine Student and Resident Organization) for three years & became familiar with administrative and parliamentary procedures. In his spare time, Joe enjoys climbing mountains in Colorado.
Junior Chair-Elect: Dr Justin Nast
Deputy Secretary: Dr David Reyes
MD, MPH, MS
3 years as an Associate Fellow
I currently work as a NASA flight surgeon and dive medical officer. I take care of crew members training in Star City and staff living in Moscow, Russia. I also care for astronauts and divers working at the NASA Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory. I am also one of the flight surgeons responsible for the medical observation during altitude/dive/vacuum chamber operations.
I am an Assistant Professor of Aerospace Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. I teach residents and medical students various aspects of aerospace medical research and operations during their rotations at NASA Johnson Space Center. I volunteer several times a month as an attending at the UTMB student run clinic.
I am interested in gaining leadership experience within the Aerospace Medical Association so that I may contribute to the advancement of the Associate Fellows and the organization as a whole, and also to progress on the path to Fellow status.
Immediate Past Chair: Dr Rowena Christiansen, FAsMA
MB BS, BA Hons, LLB, MEmergHealth, MBA, DCH, GradDipEd, GradDipDisasterMed, ACCAM, GradCertDisasterMed, GradCertSpaceStudies, FAsMA, ISU SH-SSP16
Dr Rowena Christiansen proud to be the founder of the ad astra vita space life sciences website and consultancy. She has had a lifelong passionate interest in astronomy and space exploration. Rowena has established this initiative in the context of the entrepreneurial emphasis of the new Australian Space Agency, and hopes that showcasing Australian capability in the space life sciences will raise awareness both locally and internationally, and lead to more linkages and partnerships. The small but diverse consultancy team offers a multi-dimensional capability to contribute to space life sciences projects, education and outreach.
Rowena herself has a diverse background. After a first career as as a lawyer, management consultant, and small business owner/operator, she qualified as a medical doctor, and works as a small group facilitator and assessor in the Melbourne Medical School, and as a pre-hospital emergency doctor and life support instructor. She is a Fellow of Ormond College at the University of Melbourne. Rowena has undertaken post-graduate training in emergency medicine and critical care, women and children’s health, aviation medicine and space studies, disaster health, and emergency management. She pursues special interests in aerospace medicine, extreme environments and wilderness medicine.
In particular, Rowena is passionate about space medicine education, outreach, and research, and mentors medical students interested in space medicine. She was the Dux of the International Space University Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program in 2016, and is proud to be the recipient of the 2019-20 Aeromedical Society of Australasia Professional Development Scholarship, to assist her attendance at the next AsMA Annual Scientific Meeting.
Her voluntary memberships include the Space Life Sciences Committee of the Australasian Society for Aerospace Medicine and the Space Medicine Association. Rowena is a Director of the Mars Society Australia, Chair of the Australian Ski Patrol Association Medical Advisory Committee, a volunteer ski patroller, a member representative on the Australian Resuscitation Council, and inaugural Treasurer for the Australasian Wilderness and Expedition Medicine Society. Rowena also serves on the Space Medicine Association and Aerospace Physiology Society committees and is a member of the Australian Space Agency Space Medicine and Life Sciences Technical Advisory Group.
Rowena is an amateur musician, chorister and percussionist, and time permitting, enjoys building space-themed LEGO pieces. She also enjoys photography and learning about languages and culture.