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Adams Award: Lina Maria Sanchez Rubio

June 29, 2022

Adams Award: Lina Maria Sanchez Rubio

This award was established by the Society of U.S. Naval Flight Surgeons in honor of Admiral John C. Adams. The award is given annually for the most significant contributions to operational Aerospace Medicine, either during a single defined period (e.g., deployment), or over a career.

A Colombian woman with black hair in a white shirt and black jacket is shown against an off-white background.Lina Maria Sanchez Rubio, M.D., Ph.D., FAsMA, Col. (Ret.), COLAF, received the 2022 Admiral John C. Adams Award for her 32-yr career contributing to operational aero space medicine. For merly Surgeon Gene - ral of the Colombian Air Force, and Director of its Medi cal Center, she continues to serve as the Medical Examiner for the Co lombian Civil Aviation Authority. She has left an indelible mark in the clinical practice, risk management, education, and medical certification components of both military and civil aerospace medicine operations. Born in Ibague, Colombia, Dr. Sanchez Rubio earned a Bachelor´s degree with honors, receiving the Andres Bello Medal of the Colombian Ministry of Education in 1982. She received her Medical Doctor degree from Nueva Granada Military University Medical School, with honors at the top of her class, and was awarded the University Merit Medal in 1988. She completed her aerospace medicine education at the Colombian, Argentina, Brazilian, and the U.S. Air Forces; and further education at University of Texas Medical Branch (Aerospace Medicine Course), the Civil Aviation Medical Institute of the Federal Aviation Administration (International Rotation in Aerospace Medicine and Human Factors), and the ETC Aeromedical Training Institute (Aerospace Physiology Training Course). She earned a Ph.D. in Public Health, with honors, from National Univer sity of Colombia, which conferred the Merit Award on her in 2010. Her doctoral thesis on the Study of the Human Factor in Colombian Aviation Accidents helped to increase understanding of the role of human factors in aviation accidents and generated significant data that permit direct comparison with studies in several countries, contributing to aircrew performance, harmonization, standardization, and aviation safety.
   From 1998–2018, she was an Otolaryngology Specialist at the Colombian Air Force Aerospace Medical Center and
University Teaching Specialist (2013) from Nueva Granada Military University. She was Medical Officer of the Colombian Air Force (COLAF) for 30 years (1988–2018). There she
served as flight surgeon, aviation safety officer, medical specialist,
professor, researcher, Director of the Aerospace Medi -
cal Center, and Surgeon General. She was recognized as one
of the best officers of the Colombian Air Force with the Ex -
cellence Award in 2009. Additionally, she has been aviation
medical examiner and advisor of the Colombian Civil Avia -
tion Authority since 1993; and adjunct professor at the Nueva
Granada Military University, National University of Colom -
bia and the COLAF Postgraduate School.
Dr. Sanchez Rubio led the scientific and technological development
of the COLAF Aerospace Medical Center--
CEMAE, contributing to development of the military and
civil aerospace medicine in Colombia, and achieved the U.S.
Air Force Certificate of Recognition to its Aerospace Physi -
ology Training Program in 2013. She directed the multidisciplinary
team that structured and implemented the COLAF
Aerospace Medical Center Programs to generate optimal
conditions for flight operations. As COLAF representative,
she became part of the specialized team and advisory committee
(formed by Dr. Jorge Behaine) that created the Aero -
space Medicine Residency Program of the National Univer -
sity of Colombia in agreement with the COLAF and Civil
Aviation Authority in 2002.
Dr. Sanchez is member of the Colombian Otolaryngology,
Head and Neck Surgery Association (ACORL); a Fellow of
Aerospace Medical Association (AsMA); a member of Aero -
space Human Factors Association (AsHFA) and the Inter -
national Academy of Aviation and Space Medicine (IAASM);
Past President of the Colombian Aerospace Medical Associ -
ation; and Past President of the Iberoamerican Association of
Aerospace Medicine. At present, she continues working in
academic and research activities and advising military and
civilian institutions.