On April 12, the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) presented one of its highest annual awards to a Tampa VA physician for his leadership role in Veterans care.
Dr. Steven Scott is chief of Rehabilitation Medicine and director or the Polytrauma Center at the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Florida. MOAA presented Scott with its Distinguished Service Award, given to an organization or individual who has greatly aided people who served in the U.S. armed forces.
According to MOAA, Scott was recognized for “his leadership role in improving the lives of America’s ill, injured and disabled Veterans and their families.”
The Tampa Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center is one of five facilities in the country designed to provide intensive rehabilitative care to Veterans and Servicemembers with multiple injuries that result in physical, cognitive and/or psychological impairments and functional disability. Between 2007 and 2014, when the Tampa VA opened its Polytrauma-Rehabilitation Center, more than 500,000 Veterans from Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation New Dawn entering the VA health care system were screened for possible TBI with more than 53,000 by the Tampa VA Hospital alone.
Scott has been with the Tampa VA since 1990, having directed both the spinal cord and traumatic brain injury (TBI) programs. A national leader in his field, he has provided his expertise to members of Congress on polytrauma care. He also credits the team at Tampa and throughout VA for the hard work they do to support wounded warriors.
“We welcome the opportunity to recognize the leadership and service of this year’s awardees,” said retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Dana Atkins, president and CEO of MOAA. “Each has shown a personal commitment to supporting this nation’s defense and an enduring loyalty to advocate for those who serve and their families.”
At the awards ceremony, Scott acknowledged his parents, who were in attendance. His father, George, served in the South Pacific during World War II, while his mother’s brother flew 31 missions as part of a B-17 crew. Scott shared three insights he realized during the course of his career serving Veterans with war-related injuries: 1) listen to Veterans; 2) be flexible and innovative; and 3) make connections.
MOAA’s Distinguished Service Award has been presented annually since 1997.