Billows to retire as INDYCAR medical director after season

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Vaizer will become the first woman to hold a top medical position

Dr. Geoffrey Billows announced at the NTT INDYCAR SERIES Drivers’ Meeting on Friday, July 15 at the Honda Indy Toronto that he will be stepping down as Director of Medical Services for INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway following the 2022 season.

Dr. Julia Vaizer will succeed Billows as Director of Medical Services for INDYCAR and IMS, becoming the first female Chief Medical Officer in the history of the sanctioning body and the track. Vaizer, who has served as assistant medical director for INDYCAR and IMS since 2021, also served as interim medical director when Billows was on a short medical leave earlier this spring.

Billows plans to continue contributing to INDYCAR and IMS medical services on a part-time basis beginning in 2023. He has been undergoing treatment for parotid salivary cancer since November 2020.

“It’s no secret that the last 20 months have been pretty tough for me,” Billows said. “After much thought and discussion with my wife, I have decided to retire at the end of this season. This is something I intend to fight and live for many years to come, and I thought, “I should take advantage of the time I have left. But I’m staying so I can help part-time because I like it so much.”

“The opportunity to work with INDYCAR and IMS has been a once in a lifetime opportunity. It’s been a career like no other. I think it’s quite rewarding. It not only gives me a chance to help take care of the drivers, but also to have the chance to promote safety in the motorsport industry.

Billows began working at IMS during his residency in 1993, volunteering at the IU Health Emergency Medical Center on the grounds during races. He served as AMR Safety Team Physician and Assistant Medical Director and became Director of IMS Medical Services in 2006. Billows assumed the role of Director of INDYCAR Medical Services in 2016.

In addition to providing medical care to drivers and spectators at IMS and at INDYCAR race weekends, Billows worked tirelessly with INDYCAR officials and the AMR Safety Team to improve driver safety. in motorsports, becoming a respected world leader in the field.

Throughout his career at IMS and INDYCAR, Billows also served as an assistant professor of clinical emergency medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine.

“Dr. Billows has been integral to INDYCAR’s success on and off the track,” said INDYCAR President Jay Frye. “His guidance and expertise have been tremendous assets to the series, the drivers and all of our stakeholders. We are delighted that he is spending more time with his family and grateful to still be able to see him around the racetrack.

“Dr. Billows and Dr. Vaizer have worked closely together over the past few years, so we know this transition will be smooth. We look forward to continuing to work with Dr. Vaizer as she paves the way for her new leadership role as INDYCAR’s first female medical director.

IMS President J. Douglas Boles said, “There are not enough words to express our full sense of gratitude and respect for Dr. Billows and his service to our running community. We appreciate his contributions so much and are excited to see him again at the IU Health Field Care Center during the month of May and beyond. We also know that Dr. Vaizer is extremely well prepared for this new role and we congratulate her on this exciting opportunity.

Vaizer has worked under Billows with the AMR Safety Team since 2020 and became the first person to complete the IU School of Medicine Motorsports Scholarship in July 2021. She has been associated with Motorsports Medicine since 2017 and began her involvement with INDYCAR and IMS the following year. while following an optional training program in Motorsport Medicine. Vaizer is also an Assistant Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine at IU School of Medicine and Assistant Medical Director for IU Health LifeLine.

She received her undergraduate degree in 2011 from the University of Florida and received her medical degree in 2016 from the University of Central Florida. She completed her emergency residency training at Detroit Receiving Hospital in 2019 and completed a dual EMS/motorsport medicine fellowship at IU School of Medicine in 2021.

“Dr. Billows has been a friend, mentor, teacher, and like family to me,” Vaizer said. “There are a lot of emotions of excitement for him to take the next step in his life and move on. more time with his family. It’s wonderful that he remains an INDYCAR doctor.

“It is a huge honor to have been chosen to carry on his legacy. It fills me with inspiration. I know I will work very hard to continue to do what he has established as one of the most successful medical teams in the world of motorsport. I can’t wait for the next chapter and see how we can continue to improve the field of motorsport medicine for the next generation to come.

Said Billows: “Dr. Vaizer is not only a highly skilled and talented emergency physician, but a gifted educator. She is the only doctor on the face of this planet to have completed formal postgraduate training in motorsport medicine. I have 100% confidence in entrusting him with the position of medical director.

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