AsMA Associate Fellows Group

The information portal for the Associate Fellows Group of the Aerospace Medical Association

2021 AFG Breakfast Proceedings

The AsMA Associate Fellows Group held a very successful Breakfast during the recent Aerospace Medical Association meeting in Denver. Retiring AFG Leadership Team member, Dr Swee Weng “Buzzlite” Fan, kindly volunteered as the offical AFG photographer for the occasion, and has produced this fabulous slideshow of the Breakfast proceedings, which can be viewed on YouTube: Our sincere thanks go to Dr Fan! 🤩

2021 AFG Breakfast

The Leadership Team of the Associate Fellows Group would like to issue a cordial invitation to all members, aspiring members, past members who are now Fellows, and colleagues, family and friends, to join us at the 2021 AFG Breakfast and business meeting.

The Breakfast will be held from 07:00 to 08:30 MDT on Tuesday 31 August in the Windows Room at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel. Tickets are US$50, and can be purchased through AsMA. There is a hard deadline of Thursday August 26th for ticket purchase.

As is customary, we are expecting to have a number of guest speakers from within the AsMA Executive as well as the Chair of the Fellows Group, Dr Warren Silberman. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear their invaluable insights!

In addition, we will be inducting the new members of the AFG, and conferring the Ellingson Awards for both 2020 and 2021 as well as the AFG’s own Service Awards.

This year’s poster can be found below. We would also like to mention that the AFG Breakfast is open to “all comers”, so feel free to invite colleagues, friends and family if you would like to share this occasion with them.

AFG Breakfast Poster 2021

2021 Class of Fellows Announced!

Congratulations to all the new Fellows announced by AsMA on July 9th! Special congratulations to all the members of the Associate Fellows Group who have achieved advancement, especially our current Chair Dr Christopher Backus and Chair-Elect/Membership Chair Dr Justin Nast.

Each year a high proportion of the AFG members nominated by the AFG for Fellowship consideration achieve advancement, so it is a great reason to be part of the AFG! 😀

New Officers and Chairs for 2020-21

We would like to extend a warm welcome to our new Officers and Chairs for 2020-21.

The newly installed members of the Executive Team are:
* Dr Christopher Backus, AFG Chair
* Dr Joseph Butterfield, Senior Chair-Elect
* Dr Justin Nast, Junior Chair-Elect
* Dr Ronald Robinson, Treasurer.

We also welcome a new Deputy Chair to the Ellingson Award Committee, Dr Joseph Hudson.

Sincere thanks are due to our outgoing Treasurer, Dr Danny Pizzino and AFG Chair, Dr Rowena Christiansen.

Due to the extraordinary circumstances with the COVID-19 global pandemic several members of the AFG Leadership Team who were elevated to Fellow earlier in 2020 will be staying on in an acting capacity to support the AFG until additional AFG Leadership Team members can be recruited through the 2021 Call for Nominations and AFG Breakfast during the AsMA Annual Scientific Meeting in Reno, Nevada.

However, any AFG members interested in joining the Leadership Team in the interim are encouraged to reach out via the AFG email address:

2020 AFG Ellingson Award

We are pleased to announce that the winner of the 2020 AFG Ellingson Award is Dr Douglas D Boyd for his research article “Occupant Injury Severity in General Aviation Accidents Involving Excessive Landing Airspeed,” published in the April 2019 edition of the Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance (AMHP) AsMA journal. The award will be presented during the AFG Breakfast at the 2021 AsMA Annual Scientific Meeting in Reno, Nevada.

The runners-up were Dr William D Porter (co-authors: Nicole Powell-Dunford; Grant D. Wilde; Alaistair J. R. Bushby) for the research article, “Asthma and Rotary-Wing Military Aircrew Selection” published in the July 2019 edition, and Dr David L Lerner (co-authors: Ranjit S. Chima; Kirang Patel; Allen J. Parmet) for the technical note, “Ultrasound Guided Lumbar Puncture and Remote Guidance for Potential In-Flight Evaluaton of VIIP/SANS” published in the January 2019 issue.

Congratulations to all the authors involved!

Congratulations to the new AsMA Fellows!

Congratulations to the 24 AsMA members elected as new Fellows (to be inducted during Honors Night at the October AsMA meeting in Atlanta). 23 of the 24 are AFG members, and 11 of the 24 are international members of AsMA. The list includes AFG Chair Dr Rowena Christiansen and other AFG Leadership Team members Drs Ilaria Cinelli, Swee Weng Fan, James McEachen, Carol Ramsey, and Jayashri Sharma.

  • Douglas Boyd
  • Natacha Chough
  • Rowena Christiansen
  • Ilaria Cinelli
  • Swee Weng Fan
  • Franz Hauer
  • Roger Hesselbrock
  • Stephen Houston
  • Jeffery Hovis
  • Kenneth Ingham
  • Sarper Karakucuk
  • Jennifer Law
  • Kris Lehnhardt
  • Dag Lemming
  • Amanda Lippert
  • Kate Manderson
  • James McEachen
  • Lindsey McIntire
  • Mark McPherson
  • Felix Porras
  • Roland Quast
  • Carol Ramsey
  • Brian Self
  • Jayashri Sharma

Congratulations Dr Susan Fondy!

Dr Susan Fondy

Congratulations to Dr (Col.) Susan Fondy, MC, USA, AFG Leadership Team member and Deputy Chair, Ellingson Award Committee, for her appointment as president of the newly reorganized Society of U.S. Army Flight Surgeons, which merged with the Army Aviation Medical Association this year and became the U.S. Army’s constituent organization in AsMA.

AFG Demographic information

As of April 2020, the AFG had 188 members from all around the world – 22 countries to be exact!

For those interested in the numbers, here they are (first alphabetically, and then numerically):

Canada10Hong Kong1
Hong Kong1Italy1
Jordan1South Africa1
New Zealand2Switzerland1
South Africa1New Zealand2
South Korea2South Korea2
Switzerland1United Kingdom6
United Kingdom6Australia16
United States128United States128
AFG Demographic Data – April 2020

COVID-19 Pandemic

The AsMA 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting has been postponed to October as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please refer to the AsMA website for further news and information.

This post aims to provide some useful public health resources (see below), and also the AFG was recently contacted by the Chief Ambassador at to inform us of their services.

Financial Relief and Assistance

DealAid recently released a “Financial Relief & Impact Tracker for Coronavirus (COVID-19)” at, which:

  • Outlines and explains all available financial relief and assistance programs from governments and non-profits.
  • Helps families, business owners, students, seniors and frontline workers easily find applicable relief information.
  • Includes details and resources on eligibility requirements and application steps.
  • Provides latest information on relief initiatives created by large companies and ‘the rich and famous’.
  • Illustrates the impact of COVID-19 on popular financial assets through graphical display.
  • The in-depth guide highlights all critical information and enables people to stay updated about the latest Coronavirus relief programs and initiatives. They are continuing to update this guide on a frequent basis due to changes and additions of relief programs implemented by governments, non profit organizations and large companies.

The majority of the guide is aimed at breaking down available financial relief and support programs for US citizens. This includes the US government’s CARES ACT, Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the pending bill proposal to help frontline workers and other relief initiatives by non profit organizations and large companies. DealAid also covers Canada and the UK.

COVID-19 Public Health Resources

Here are some resources collated from providing public health advice (covers international statistics and USA and Australia-specific). (The text for resources 3-7 was provided by The Hill website.)


WHO situation reports

The Hill – Here are some of the best maps to track the coronavirus epidemic

Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 dashboard

Johns Hopkins University has developed an interactive web-based dashboard to visualize and track confirmed coronavirus cases in real-time. The dashboard illustrates the location and number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, deaths and recoveries for all affected countries. It was developed to provide researchers, public health authorities and the public with a user-friendly tool to keep tabs on the outbreak as it unfolds. (or go to

The World Health Organization COVID-19 dashboard

The World Health Organization has made a similar map available that breaks down the number of confirmed cases, deaths, and countries, areas or territories with cases. 

Nextstrain COVID-19 dashboard

Nextstrain is an open-source project that tracks pathogen genome data. Its map is more technical and provides more information about how the disease has spread. It breaks down the genome of the virus, alongside a map showing how the virus has traveled country to country. 

The New York Times COVID-19 dashboard

The New York Times offers easy-to-read charts and graphs, as well as text stats breaking down the situation around the world. COVID -19 dashboard

A 17-year-old computer whiz from Seattle built an interactive map to keep the world updated on the COVID-19 pandemic. The website has been visited by 12 million people since it was launched by Avi Schiffmann in December, according to The Times of Israel. The site automatically scrapes data from sources all around the world and updates every minute. It offers stats on confirmed cases, serious cases, deaths and recoveries.

Worldometers – includes both statistics and graphs

The Washington Post – Why outbreaks like coronavirus spread exponentially, and how to “flatten the curve”

The Lancet – COVID-19 and Italy: what next?

Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now

stayinghomeclub – A list of all the companies WFH or events changed because of COVID-19 (contributions to the lists are accepted)

Hygiene resources

Good technique for hand washing and using hand sanitiser
In studies, washing hands with soap and water for 15 seconds (about the time it takes to sing one chorus of “Happy Birthday to You”) reduces bacterial counts by about 90%. When another 15 seconds is added, bacterial counts drop by close to 99.9%.


Persistence of coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces and their inactivation with biocidal agents



USA CDC – Get Your Mass Gatherings or Large Community Events Ready

USA CDC – Resources for Large Community Events & Mass Gatherings Before and During an Outbreak

USA CDC – FAQs for Event Organisers and Individuals

USA CDC – Implementation of Mitigation Strategies for Communities with Local COVID-19 Transmission

USA CNN – State by State breakdown

SmartTraveller – Advice re USA

Time Magazine – Here’s how fast the virus could infect over 1 million Americans

Atlanta Magazine – Coronavirus cancels Atlanta


AsMA Announcements


Australia – Victorian Department of Health COVID-19 health alerts–COVID-19

Australian Government Department of Health
COVID-19 resources
COVID-19 health alerts

General health advice

SmartTraveller – COVID-19 Advice

Information about international outbound travel insurance and cancellation, etc. (the situation has changed now as the Australian Government Travel Advisory has been lifted to Level 4 – check what your airline is offering by way of refunds or credits or flight changes).

Aeromedical Retrieval Study Participants needed!

If you are a physician or nurse working in aeromedical retrieval, you may be interested in assisting with this study.

For further information please contact Sqn Ldr Tania Thomas:

Aeromedical Retrieval Study

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