Dr. Julia Vaizer makes history at the Firestone Grand Prix

March is women's history month, and as we continue to honor the achievements of women both past and present. One in particular made a stop in St. Pete this weekend to play a vital role at the Firestone Grand Prix.

As the races marked the dawn of a new IndyCAR series season it also marked Dr. Julia Vaizer's inaugural season as the racing league's first female medical chief. 

"It's a huge honor to lead such a fantastic medical team, to be working with one of the best racing leagues in the world and working with one of the best safety and medical teams," Dr. Vaizer said." 

Related: Firestone Grand Prix will remain in St. Pete for the next five years

Dr. Vaizer graduated from the University of Florida in 2011 and earned her medical degree from the University of Central Florida in 2016. She began her work with IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2018 during an elective training program and spent last season assisting Dr. Geoffrey Billows, the series' longtime medical director who announced he would be stepping down to continue treatments for salivary cancer.

The new role came with the chance to lead a brand-new facility.  FOX 13 caught up with Dr. Vaizer as she opened the double doors to the new mobile medical transporter that she'll be working in at races throughout the season. 

"We're able to treat two drivers or patients simultaneously ...we have a crash cart, a monitor, airway equipment, hemorrhage stabilizer.," Dr. Vaizer explained "We also have a charting area for our nurses, we travel with an X Ray machine, so we can save a trip to a hospital ...diagnose a fracture, we have orthopedic equipment to stabilize whatever we diagnose." 

READ: Grand Prix week kicks off with Kart 4 Kids charity race for concussion research at All Children’s Hospital

Dr. Vaizer says the unit is an important step in continuing the expectation of excellent care for all members of the paddock...and she is honored to lead the dedicated medical staff as the St. Pete Grand Prix is only the start of their travels. 

"I love providing care to our team members and I love leading this team," Dr. Vaizer said.