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U.S. Army
Research Institute of Environmental Medicine

Behind the Science with Kristin Joltes, PA-C Physician Associate Office of Medical Support & Oversight

Kristin Joltes
Kristin Joltes, PA-C Physician Associate Office of Medical Support & Oversight, joined researchers at USARIEM's High Altitude Research Laboratory to support an ongoing field study. From L to R: Cpt. John Solak, M.D., Resident in Aerospace Medicine at Fort Novosel in Alabama; Dr. Roy Salgado, USARIEM's Principle Investigator for the research study; Kristin Joltes, Office of Medical Support & Oversight OMSO Physician Associate and Staff Sgt. Rodrigo Flores, OMSO 68W Medic.

How long have you been at the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine?

I have been a Physician Associate and research monitor at USARIEM for seven years. Prior to that, I worked with the Henry M. Jackson Foundation doing clinical care and clinical research activities in the Defense and Veteran's Pain Management Initiative (DVCIPM) at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

How did you become interested in Soldier Nutrition and Performance?

During my own military and civilian service as a PA, I have always had a keen interest in learning more about the impact of nutrition, sleep hygiene and emotional/physical/environmental stress on overall personnel health, performance and healing following illness or injury. The USARIEM research mission encompasses all of this and more and is a perfect match for my interests.

What projects are you currently working on?

With our current MD/PA/Medic team, I currently provide in-house and field research medical oversight and support for multiple studies, performing pre-participation medical clearances, pre-planning and operational support for studies with medical procedures or pharmacologic interventions, providing urgent/primary medical care to our Natick Soldier Systems Center (NSSC) active-duty personnel and military research volunteers. I also help provide public health emergency support for the installation and specialty aeromedical occupational health support for USARIEM hypobaric activities and NSSC personnel performing high altitude parachute activities.

What aspects of your job do you love and find most gratifying?

I love the diversity of the work, caring for our NSSC active-duty and research volunteer team and the opportunity to support a wide variety of critical research across the installation.

What part of your job do you find to be the most difficult?

The most difficult aspect of my job is accepting that my time with each group of Soldiers, Active-duty research volunteers and Medics is short. Their assignments are finite, so finding new meaningful ways to engage to make the most difference and give each person what they need to positively impact their wellbeing and profession can be challenging. Both my fondest and toughest moments have been seeing those I've personally and professionally worked with or cared for, move on to their next life chapters.

When you are not at the Institute, what do you like to do for fun?

My husband and I are mad gardeners and outdoors people! When we aren't outdoors, we are working in the greenhouse, caring for our multiple feline family, doing a bit of travel, spending time with friends, reading, watching some classic British TV and awaiting the next Marvel movie.

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Last Modified Date: 11/15/2023