USF volunteer faculty physician earns Flight Surgeon of the Year award

Lt. Col. Christine Stahl, MD, affiliate associate professor in the USF Morsani College of Medicine, received the 2012 Malcolm C. Grow Flight Surgeon of the Year Award from the Society of United States Air Force Flight Surgeons (SoUSAFFS).

The award recognizes outstanding contributions of Air Force flight surgeons.

In his nomination letter, Col. Robert F. Rocco, Commander of the 6th Medical Group at MacDill Air Force Base, noted: “…Dr. Stahl developed and taught the first comprehensive Afghan Flight Surgeon Course adapted to the unique needs and capabilities of the Afghan Air Force (AAF). She graduated six Afghan flight surgeons in 2012, doubling the number of such practitioners in the country. She also implemented the first flight physical program outside of Kabul. This allowed the 35 flyers of the 438th KAW to get their annual exams close to home, eliminating the dangerous 300 mile journey to the capital. …Dr. Stahl single-handedly brought the AAF aeromedical evacuation system into the 21st century with the development and introduction of standardized forms, policies and procedures. This significantly improved the quality of care by codifying the process by which patients are handled throughout the air evacuation network.”

Dr. Stahl, an internist, recently completed a 12-month deployment to Kandahar, Afghanistan, where she was the Flight Surgeon Air Advisor. Prior to that, she was director of Flight Medicine for MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, where she offers her teaching expertise to USF medical students.

The SoUSAFFS is the largest constituent member organization of the Aerospace Medical Association, and represents all Air Force flight surgeons: active duty, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve, and retired. Started in 1960, the SoUSAFFS includes members who helped develop US Air Force aerospace medicine into what it is today.

Dr. Stahl earned her MD degree from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, where she earned the Emma L. Brockman Outstanding Research Award.
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On her recent deployment to Afghanistan, Lt. Col. Christine Stahl, MD, (center) with two Afghan flight doctors next to one of Afgan Air Force’s Cessnas used for patient casualty evacuation.