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Kay Award: Robin Griffiths

September 03, 2021

Kay Award: Robin Griffiths

Established and sponsored by the Korean Aerospace Medical Association in honor of Won Chuel Kay, M.D., the former Surgeon General of the Korean Air Force, founder and first Medical Director of Korean Airlines and first President of the Korean Aerospace Medical Association. This Award is presented annually to a member who has made outstanding contributions to international aerospace medicine.

Robin F. Griffiths, M.B.Ch.B.(Hons.), FAFPHM, FAFOEM, FFOM, FFOM(I), FACOEM, MPP, DAvMed, DIH, FAsMA, was honored with the 2021 Won Chuel Kay Award for his achievements in educating the next generation of aerospace medicine physicians. He established the first distance learning teaching program in aviation medicine over 30 years ago in New Zealand. This program, which he still leads, has grown to well over 1000 doctors graduating with certificate, diploma, Masters, and even Ph.D. qualifications from all over the English-speaking world. Many of those graduates have become leaders in the field, including doctors in many major airline medical departments.
   Dr. Griffiths is the Director of Occupational and Aviation Medicine at the University of Otago Wellington, New Zealand. He also holds adjunct academic positions at the University of Washington, West Virginia University, and the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Before emigrating to New Zealand to become the Chief Medical Officer of the Ministry of Transport, he was a lecturer in aviation medicine in the British Royal Air Force. He set up and leads an international distance learning program in aviation medicine, aeromedical retrieval and transport, and occupational medicine, with staff and around 90 students each year, based globally. He has been a member and is now a Fellow of the Aerospace Medicine Association for nearly 40 years.
   Dr. Griffiths received his M.B.Ch.B.(Hons) from Bristol Medical School in 1978 and then earned a Master of Public Policy from Victoria University of Wellington in 1994. He earned a Diploma of Industrial Health at the University of London in 1984 and then a Diploma in Aviation Medicine in 1983. From 1984-1989, he was Chief Medical Officer at the Ministry of Transport, New Zealand. In 1989, he took his present position. In 1992, he became Medical Advisor, Accident Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance Corporation, in Auckland, a position he still holds today. From 1994-1996, He served as Manager, Health Services Planning, at the Central Health Authority and then became Senior Medical Advisor and Acting Programme Director for the National Health Committee until 2000.
   Dr. Griffiths is a Fellow of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine, Royal Australasian College of Physicians, the Australasian Faculty of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, Royal Australasian College of
Physicians, the Faculty of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, Royal College of Physicians, London, the Faculty of Occupational Medicine, Royal Irish College of Physicians, Dublin, and the American College of Occupational & Environmental Medicine. A Fellow of AsMA, he is a Past President of the Aviation Medical Society of Australia & New Zealand and of the Australia and New Zealand Society of Occupational Medicine, and a member of the Royal Aeronautical Society, the Scientific Committee of the International Academy of Aviation and Space Medicine, and the Council for Education and Academic Affairs, American College of Occupational & Environmental Medicine. His awards and honors include three Education Export Innovation Programme Awards, Seriously Asia Visiting Academic Award, the Stewart Memorial Prize, the Suple Surgical Prize, the Russell Cooper Anaesthetics Prize, and a Gold Medal, University of Bristol Medical School.