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Hughes Honored by the NAA

November 10, 2020

Hughes Honored by the NAA

Kathryn Hughes, M.D., M.P.H., D.Av.Med., USAF(Ret.), was a recipient of the 2020 Wesley L. McDonald Distinguished Statesman and Stateswoman of Aviation Award for “… her pioneering accomplishments in aviation and aerospace medicine, passion for advancing human systems integration, and unceasing drive to mentor future generations.”

   The Distinguished Statesman and Stateswoman of Aviation Award was established in 1954 by the Board of Directors of the National Aeronautic Association (NAA). The award honors “… outstanding Americans who, by their efforts over an extended period of years, have made contributions of significant value to aeronautics and have reflected credit upon America and themselves.” Amy Spowart, President & CEO of the National Aviation Hall of Fame shared: “I enthusiastically nominated both Kathy Hughes and Michael Quiello for this award for the same reason – they are fighters”. Spowart added, “Whether it was socioeconomic status or gender, both Michael and Kathy not only rose through the ranks of our industry, but they climbed to the top. For them there were no excuses, only hard-earned successes by two of the most remarkable leaders in aviation.”
    Dr. Hughes graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1988 with a B.S. in Biology and a Minor in Arabic. She attended the University of Nebraska Medical Center on a Health Professions Scholarship and earned her flight surgeon’s wings at the Aerospace Medicine Primary Course just prior to graduating with her M.D. in 1999. After completing an intern year in General Surgery she was a flight surgeon at Mountain Home AFB for 2 years then was accepted into the USAF Pilot-Physician Program.  She completed A-10 initial qualification at Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ, and served as a Pilot-Physician with the 190th Fighter Squadron, Idaho ANG. After acceptance to the Residency in Aerospace Medicine, she completed the Masters in Public Health in 2009, focusing on Health Management and Policy, at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.  She completed the Aerospace Medicine Residency in 2010 (RAM-X) at the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine and later completed a residency in occupational medicine with the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine, Brooks City-Base TX. 
    Dr. Hughes is currently the Secretary for the Aerospace Medical Association’s (AsMA’s) Council and is an AsMA Fellow. She has served on a variety of AsMA committees, including the AsMA Executive Committee, the Scientific Program Committee, the Nominating Committee, and the Awards Committee. She is a member of the Aerospace Physiology Society, the Space Medicine Association, and an Emeritus Member of the Society of U.S. Air Force Flight Surgeons. She also received AsMA’s 2009 Harold G. Moseley Award and the 2011 Julian E. Ward Memorial Award. Her other awards include the Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, the National Defense Service Medal with bronze star, the Humanitarian Service Medal, the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, and the NATO Medal.