U.S. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
VETERANS HEALTH ADMINISTRATION
Empowering Innovation in Recreation and Creative Arts Therapy
Taylor Hooker, a Health Systems Specialist (HSS) in the Office of Health Equity at VHA Central Office, is a remarkable individual who exemplifies VA's values through her groundbreaking work in recreation and creative arts therapy. With a background as a recreation therapist, junior researcher, professor, entrepreneur, and subject-matter expert, Taylor has made significant contributions to her field.
As an advocate for diverse individuals, Taylor actively participates in Innovation Network workgroups and serves as a point of contact for innovation in Recreation and Creative Arts Therapy (RCAT). Her role as an HSS ensures equitable access to whole health care for veterans, while her research on RCAT interventions drives advancements within VHA.
Taylor's commitment to development is evident as a professor at Emory University and a board-certified recreation therapist. Her book, "The Entrepreneur Rec Therapist: The Business Education You Missed in School," is a valuable resource for recreation therapists. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Taylor developed engaging programs prioritizing client safety. Her dedication to employee well-being and innovative approaches enhanced care quality for veterans.
Through the EX CoP, Taylor fostered collaboration among participants from different departments. Sharing best practices, addressing challenges, and providing valuable RCAT tools, she improved employee experiences and care quality.
Taylor's passion, expertise, and innovative contributions have positively impacted the public, particularly veterans. Her work in recreation and creative arts therapy has enhanced well-being and promoted collaboration among VA clinicians.
SERVICE TO THE CITIZEN AWARD WINNER
Incoming Chief of Learning Engineering,
San Francisco VA Medical Center;
Entrepreneur in Residence Fellow, VHA Innovation Ecosystem