American Medical Association Awards Navy Surgeon General Top Honor
By Bureau of Navy Medicine and Surgery Public Affairs
WASHINGTON - The American Medical Association (AMA) presented the Navy Surgeon General with the Dr. Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Government Service during a ceremony in Washington, D.C., Feb. 9.
Vice Adm. Robinson was selected for the AMA's top government service award in recognition of his prominent career and accomplishments in military medicine.
"Through the Nathan Davis Awards, the AMA salutes government officials who go above and beyond the call of duty to improve public health," said AMA Board Chair Ardis Dee Hoven, M.D. "Award winners come from every branch of government service and are a testament to the important role public officials play in creating and implementing health policy that benefits Americans."
The award, named for the founding father of the AMA, recognizes elected and career officials in federal, state or municipal service whose outstanding contributions have promoted the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health.
As the Navy Surgeon General and Chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Robinson leads 63,000 Navy Medicine personnel located around the globe serving in high operational tempo environments at expeditionary medical facilities, medical treatment facilities, hospitals, clinics, hospital ships, research units, and within the TRICARE network.
Robinson acknowledged he is not alone in his service to Navy Medicine.
"This award is not entirely my own," said Robinson. "As leaders of any government organization will tell you, we are only as good as the people with whom we place our trust and confidence to carry out our mission. Similarly, I would not be here today without the trust instilled in me and the nomination from the Secretary and the Navy, the Honorable Ray Mabus; and the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Gary Roughead. I am everyday grateful for that trust and the opportunity to lead Navy Medicine."
The award citation noted Robinson's role in global health diplomacy and his leadership in forging military medical partnerships all over the world through engagements with Vietnam, Botswana, and most recently, Djibouti, where their prime minister bestowed on him their nation's highest honor, Nov. 14, 2010.
It also highlighted his commitment to caring for more than one million eligible beneficiaries worldwide.
"Vice Adm. Robinson has dedicated himself to maintaining world-class care for Sailors, Marines and their families," said AMA Board Chair Ardis Dee Hoven, M.D. "The impact of Vice Adm. Robinson's service can be measured in the lives saved by Navy Medicine during military missions in Afghanistan and humanitarian missions in Haiti."
The awards ceremony was hosted by veteran CBS News reporter Scott Pelley. He told the audience that he viewed doctors as his personal heroes, and that he had a special respect for military medical professionals supporting combat operations overseas.
Pelley recounted some of his experiences while embedded with the Marines in Afghanistan and said he witnessed the value they place on the Navy corpsmen assigned to them.
"I am often working with the grunts [in Afghanistan] and corpsmen have always meant a great deal to me," said Pelley.
Robinson appreciated Pelley's comments about the contributions of Navy Medical professionals who support Sailors, Marines, and their families around the world.
"The honor, courage, and commitment I witness every day around the world from our military men and women, is humbling and truly inspiring," said Robinson. "It is their spirit of service that we should also honor tonight. From them, I have learned the importance of selfless service and from medicine, I have learned a love for humanity. Those of us who are privileged enough to work in the field of medicine, should always strive to continue that selfless service to humanity."