Scott C. Nelson, MD, of Linda Loma, Calif., is the honoree for the AAOS 2014 Humanitarian Award for having distinguished himself through outstanding musculoskeletal-related humanitarian activities.
Ever since Dr. Nelson's first trip to the Dominican Republic with his wife more than 10 years ago, the couple decided that is where they needed to be. For five years, he served as medical director and orthopaedic surgeon at CURE International Children's Orthopaedic Hospital in Santo Domingo providing healthcare to the underserved.
"While younger than the other [Humanitarian] Award winners, he has already served more than most manage in a lifetime," said John E. Herzenberg, MD of the 42-year-old candidate devoted to full-time charity work, offering orthopaedic services otherwise unavailable to those with limited resources.
When Dr. Nelson learned of the devastating Haiti earthquakes in January 2010, he quickly assembled a team, packed up his family, chartered a plane, and arrived in Port au Prince to assist with relief efforts two days later.
Dr. Nelson was one of the first orthopaedists to respond to the disaster in Haiti and has since, as of May 2010, performed or supervised over 600 operations and 3,000 closed fractures. He served as the full-time relief medical director at Hospital
Adventiste d'Haiti, working seven days a week, while developing an orthopaedic program and extending his service for an unplanned additional six months.
Dr. Nelson and family returned stateside in July 2010. As a full-time faculty member with an academic practice at Loma Linda University, he continues to take month-long unpaid leaves of absence to Haiti and the Dominican Republic to provide orthopaedic care to those with limited resources.
For more information about Dr. Nelson and the AAOS Humanitarian Award, visit aaos.org/awards.
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