Lt.(N) Jo-Ann Hnatiuk, Medevac Nurse

Lt.(N) Jo-Ann Hnatiuk, Medevac Nurse Acrylic on canvas 48 x 24 in 2008-09

Lt.(N) Jo-Ann Hnatiuk is the first Canadian Flight Nurse to fly forward airevac (aeromedical evacuation on the front line in Afghanistan).

In Kandahar. Jo-Ann introduced me to the medevac pilots, gave me a tour of the interior of a Black Hawk helicopter and explained her duties with the military as a medevac nurse. When a soldier is injured in the field, Jo-Ann’s role is to maintain life until the wounded are safely returned to base camp.

In June 2008, exactly one year after we first met, Jo-Ann Hnatiuk was in Ottawa to be presented with an award from General Rick Hillier for her work as an acute care and aeromedical evacuation nurse. Jo-Ann kindly took an afternoon to sit for me at my studio, arriving with her complete flying kit in tow. This gave me the opportunity to get to know her a little better and to begin her portrait from life.