Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and MIssissippi
Steven G. Scott, D.O.
DVBIC Site Director
Steven G. Scott is the medical director of the Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center; chief of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation; assistant professor, University of South Florida College of Medicine; program director of the Rehab Medicine and Spinal Cord Injury Residency Programs; principal investigator of DVBIC. In 2004, Scott received the Olin E. Teague Award, the highest honor for treating war-related injuries in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). He received the National Commander’s Outstanding VA Employee Award from the Disabled American Veterans in 2007.
Rodney Vanderploeg, Ph.D.
Rodney Vanderploeg is a clinical neuropsychologist in the Brain Injury Rehabilitation program and co-principal investigator of the multisite DVBIC. He helped organize and develop the Blast Injury Program and the Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center at the Tampa VA Medical Center. He is the director of Internship and Postdoctoral Training. Dr. Vanderploeg is associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, as well as the Department of Psychology, at the University of South Florida. He serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, Applied Neuropsychology, and Psychological Services. In the past he served as the associate editor for Grand Round for Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, and also served on the board of The Clinical Neuropsychologist. He is a reviewer for other psychology, neuropsychology, brain injury and rehabilitation journals. Vanderploeg has more than 100 published papers or book chapters and two edited books, one of which is in its second edition.
The James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital is a Dean’s Committee facility affiliated with the University of South Florida College of Medicine. The hospital is deeply committed to its institutional mission of providing high quality health care to veterans through clinical care, education and research. These objectives are met in part through a variety of student, intern, and residency training programs in numerous health care specialties, including physical medicine and rehabilitation/spinal cord injury, internal medicine, orthopedics, hematology, pathology, radio surgery, ophthalmology, dermatology, podiatry, neurology, neurosurgery, urology, nephrology, general surgery, otolaryngology, psychiatry and radiology.
The James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. The 358-bed tertiary care teaching hospital is dedicated to providing the highest quality of patient care and services to veterans in central Florida. The facility serves the largest number of veterans in the nation. The Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Amputee, Vocational Rehabilitation, and Spinal Cord Injury Programs are accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities and recognized as Clinical Centers of Excellence.
Regional Education Coordination
The DVBIC regional education coordinator at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital serves various functions, chief among them are:
- educating the families of the rehabilitating service members of the Polytrauma Unit
- training hospital staff and health care providers on TBI and TBI-related topics
- reaching out to the military sites, other VA facilities and the community throughout the site’s region
The most prominent on-site role of the regional education coordinator is coordination of the Family Education Group. This is a weekly group open to all inpatient and outpatient family members of TBI/Polytrauma patients. Experts from the treatment team and other hospital areas are recruited to present on various topics to teach families about their loved one's rehabilitation process. Topics include Stress Management for Caregivers, Behavior Changes After TBI, and Seizure Awareness.
Education of hospital staff is done on-site by the regional education coordinator, or the coordinator arranges for an expert to provide training. The latest in TBI clinical care is offered by DVBIC through video-conference grand rounds provided by Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and the Army Southern Regional Medical Command. DVBIC Tampa’s signature educational event is the Blast Injury Conference, which presents speakers from around the globe to update attendees on the latest science in the treatment of TBI. The conference is held annually in December and 2013 will proudly be our 10th Blast Injury Conference.
Outreach from DVBIC Tampa is provided to military facilities within the region and to the community. The regional education coordinator arranges subject matter experts to speak on behalf of DVBIC at military sites, community events and conferences, or to other providers in the VA system of care. The regional education coordinator also provides military training materials for deploying service members. These material requests are received both locally and through our national headquarters. The regional education coordinator also takes part in Yellow Ribbon reintegration events for returning National Guard and Reserve units, veterans’ fairs, professional conferences and community TBI-related planning committees.
Regional Care Coordination
The regional care coordinator primarily provides regular follow-up to OEF/OIF/OND service members or veterans who screen positive for TBI regardless of injury location. This follow-up includes assessment and connections to direct service providers who can meet the patient's needs. Regional care coordinators collaborate with providers within the Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to coordinate client care. The regional care coordinator also answers regional inquiries from all populations requesting assistance in accessing resources or care for TBI related difficulties. The Tampa regional care coordinator provides follow-up for individuals residing in, Permanent Change of Station to, or transitioning to the southeastern U.S., specifically Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and South Carolina. Tampa’s regional care coordinator is part of a national network and can therefore ensure care coordination follow-up for TBI wherever the client moves within the U.S.
In order to provide effective follow-up services, the regional care coordinator develops and maintains an up-to-date, comprehensive, regional resource bank of TBI services and programs which are available to the active duty and veteran population within the southeastern U.S. In addition, the Tampa regional care coordinator collaborates with the Tampa DVBIC regional education coordinator to conduct trainings and presentations related to TBI and care coordination.
The DVBIC research staff at our site includes a research neuropsychologist, clinical research coordinator and a research assistant. The staff is actively involved with the Research and Development Committee at James A. Haley VA Hospital and assists the committee in organizing the Annual Research Day activities. Our neuropsychologist has authored publications and is currently analyzing retrospective data for future publications, in part based on these two completed DVBIC research trials:
- Defense and Veterans Head Injury Program
- Defense and Veterans Head Injury Program (DVHIP): Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation: A Controlled, Randomized Multicenter Study of Two Interdisciplinary Programs with Adjuvant Pharmacotherapy
In addition, we are collaborating in two multi‐site national trials:
- Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) James A. Haley VA Hospital Prospective and Retrospective Traumatic Brain Injury Tracking Protocol
- VA TBI Model System Program