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Ward Award: Michelle Hong Chan

September 03, 2021

Ward Award: Michelle Hong Chan

Established and sponsored by the Society of U.S. Air Force Flight Surgeons in memory of its first member to lose his life in an aircraft accident, and to honor all flight surgeons whose lives are lost in the pursuit of flying activities related to the practice of aerospace medicine. The award is given annually for superior performance and/or outstanding achievement in the art and science of aerospace medicine during residency training.

Michelle Hong Chan, M.D., Pharm.D., was the 2021 recipient of the Julian E. Ward Memorial Award for her superior performance as Chief Resident of the Aerospace Medicine Residency Program at UTMB as well as her significant contributions to the specialty. She is co-author on two published research papers, works in the UTMB hospital COVID clinic, teaches residents and students, and provides an example of leadership. She has also contributed to public health, preventive medicine, and space medicine through presentations, papers, and lectures.
   Dr. Hong Chang is a graduate of the University of Texas, where she received her Doctor of Pharmacy. While in pharmacy school, she studied the effects of zero gravity on multidrug resistance by conducting experiments on NASA’s KC 135. After graduating, she completed a pharmacy practice residency and served briefly as a clinical assistant professor for the University of Texas El Paso’s Cooperative Pharmacy Program before practicing pharmacy with a focus on pediatric hematology and oncology at Texas Children’s Hospital. She later went on to earn her medical degree at the University of Texas Health Science Center. She then completed an emergency medicine residency at Baylor College of Medicine where she served as chief resident.
   During residency, Dr. Hong Chang participated in prototype development of a trade space analysis tool for spaceflight medical resources at NASA and also began work developing an electronic medical record with Twin Sails Technology Group. She continued her work in medical informatics after residency while practicing community-based emergency medicine. Most recently, she completed a residency in aerospace medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch, where she had the opportunity to practice remote medicine at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, and earn her flight surgeon wings from the US Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine. She recently accepted a position as Mission Flight Surgeon with Axiom Space.
   Dr. Hong Chan is an aviation medical examiner and certified open water scuba diver. She is a member of the Aerospace Medical Association, the Aerospace Medicine Student/Resident Organization (AMSRO), where she was Co-Chair of the 2020 AMSRO Elections Ad Hoc Committee, and the American College of Emergency Physicians. She is also a member of the Gold Humanism Honor Society, which recognizes physicians who demonstrate humanistic care). She has been a medical volunteer at the Houston Marathon 2020, the medical coordinator at Wings Over Houston Airshow in 2019 and has been a member of various groups and committees.