January 24, 2017
In Memoriam - Eileen Hadbavny
AsMA was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Eileen Hadbavny, Lt.Col., USAF(Ret.), in late January of this year.
She served as an Air Force Reserve flight nurse for 28 years. She was also a Fellow of the Aerospace Medical Association and the recipient of the 1995 Mary T. Klinker Award.
Born in McComb, OH, Lt. Col. Hadbavny received her Diploma in Nursing from the Toledo Hospital School of Nursing in 1967 and attended the College of Charleston, Charleston, SC. After working for 5 years as a staff nurse and charge nurse on a medical/surgical unit in Toledo, OH, and Miami Beach, FL, she was commissioned into the U.S. Air Force Reserve in 1972 and was assigned to the 37th Aeromedical Evacuation Flight (AEF), Homestead AFB, FL. When the 37th AEF was deactivated 6 months later, she transferred to the 31st Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron (AES), Charleston AFB, Charleston, SC, and qualified on the C-141 aircraft in 1973. During her over 20 years with the 31st AES, she held various positions and logged over 4800 hours. She was the Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of Scheduling and Flight Instructor from 1974–1979. During this time, she performed several manning assist tours with active duty units, including the 2nd AES, Rhein Main, Germany. While at the 2nd AES, she accomplished Flight Clinical Coordinator duties and flight instructor duties while flying both C-9 and C-141 aeromedical evacuation missions.
In 1980, Lt. Col. Hadbavny upgraded to Flight Examiner Flight Nurse and became the OIC, Standardization and Evaluation of the squadron. She was recognized as an expert in the management of all standardization functions by higher headquarters and her program was used as a standard for other units to follow during a worldwide aeromedical conference at Scott AFB, IL. She researched the changes in oxygen concentration in the Ohio transport incubator and presented her findings at AsMA's 1984 Scientific Meeting; these were later published in the March/April 1986 issue of the Aeromedical Journal. This research resulted in changes in operating procedures in the USAF and Canadian Flight Nurse courses to improve the outcome of all infant transport.
Lt. Col. Hadbavny volunteered for deployment in support of Operation Restore Hope/Continue Hope in July 1993 and was selected by Air Mobility Command/Tanker Airlift Control Center as the Director of Aeromedical Evacuation (AE) Forces of the 1610 Airlift Support Group (Provisional) based in the Middle East with deployed elements in Mogadishu, Somalia. She was then assigned as an Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) attached to the 89th Aeromedical Staging Squadron, Andrews AFB, MD. In her civilian career, she worked in various medical/surgical nursing positions. She worked in occupational health, family practice, and was an independent contract nurse for Portamedic and an American Red Cross Disaster Health Services volunteer in Blacksburg, VA.
Lt. Col. Hadbbavny was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Combat Readiness Medal with five oak leaf clusters, Humanitarian Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal. She was also a former President of the Aerospace Nursing Society and had served on AsMA’s Bylaws, Nominating, Registration, and Scientific Program Committees. During each of AsMA’s Annual Meetings, she would run the Honors Night table sign-ups and was always meticulous with the details. She was recognized in 2016 with the Citizen’s Medal of Honor from the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation for her lifetime of service in support of veterans through her volunteer work with the Red Cross, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the American Legion.