Former Flight Surgeon Still Soaring

Physician Keeps Solano Work Force Grounded

Above: Yolanta Petrofsky, M.D., has mastered flexibility, thanks to a world-wide range of experiences from her days in the U.S. Air Force.

A quick look at the resume of Yolanta Petrofsky, M.D., and you’ll quickly confirm that there’s not much she can’t do. While in the Air Force, the senior flight surgeon flew countless missions —to places like Russia, Turkey, Micronesia, Guam and Canada —providing international medical support and strategic planning. She led investigations into mishaps and coordinated responses to chemical, biological and radiation accidents and pandemic outbreaks. She has lectured on everything from women’s health to programs countering fatigue. She’s conducted extensive research on pilot fatigue and developed and implemented the first Flight Medicine/Occupational Health joint clinic in the United Arab Emirates, providing medical services for embassy personnel and their families. She’s served as the lead flight surgeon for NASA, while providing medical support for multiple Space Shuttle Launch Trans-Atlantic Abort Landing sites staffing, along with being the contingent French translator.

And that was just during her eight years in the Air Force. How do you top all that? You go back to school and earn your masters of public health from Harvard.

She joined NorthBay as medical director of Occupational Health and Employee Health in 2014, and has seen the Fairfield operation grow to a second location in Vacaville.

She says her time in the military— including 350 days deployed to locations under adverse conditions — reinforced her decision to go into a medical field to support the working community. “Identifying and recognizing occupational hazards and focusing on mitigating workplace risk drew me to the field,” she said.

A skyborne Dr. Petrofsky

While stationed at Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany, she learned to perform workplace safety compliance inspections, industrial hygiene assessments and served as consultant and deputy chair of a multidisciplinary Occupation Health Working Group, composed of public health experts, industrial hygienists, nutritionists, exercise physiologists and bioenvironmental engineers.

“I think my experience taught me flexibility; the ability to adapt to any environment, and relate to any patient across different fields,” she said.

Occupational Health Now in Two Locations

NorthBay Occupational Health and Employee Health operates two offices, one in Fairfield at 2470 Hilborn Road, Suite 100, and another in NorthBay Urgent Care in Vacaville, 1679 East Monte Vista Ave., Suite 104, in the Nut Tree Plaza. Two physicians, a physician assistant and a nurse practitioner lead the teams at both sites. It is the longest-serving provider of occupational medicine in northern Solano County, providing cost-effective and comprehensive occupational health care to businesses and industries in Solano County. To make an appointment or for questions about drug screens, call (707) 646-4600.

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