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'Operation Mend' Offers New Hope for Wounded Warriors
Date:10/5/2007

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "Operation Mend," a unique new partnership between UCLA Medical Center and Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, has been established to help treat several U.S. military personnel wounded during service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The pilot project was launched with the help of philanthropist Ronald A. Katz, a well-known inventor and UCLA Medical Center board member, who recognized that providing excellent care to injured soldiers need not be limited to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Armed Services. The project aims to serve as a model for other medical institutions interested in helping additional wounded service members.

"'Operation Mend' represents an extraordinary collaboration between the surgeons and staff of UCLA Medical Center and Brooke Army Medical Center," said Katz, whose Katz Family Foundation will fund all uncovered costs associated with the project, including lodging patients and family members at UCLA's Tiverton House, a hotel on the hospital campus designed to meet the needs of patients receiving treatment at UCLA.

"We believe this is a great opportunity to partner with the specialists at UCLA Medical Center as we strive to always provide the best outcome for each of our wounded servicemen and women," said Brig. Gen. James Gilman, commander of Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC).

The project's first patient, U.S. Marine Cpl. Aaron P. Mankin, 25, arrived at UCLA Sunday. Mankin, injured by an improvised explosive device in Iraq two years ago, sustained burns over 25 percent of his body, and his face was severely disfigured. This September, he began a series of facial reconstructive surgeries that will take several months to complete. He will undergo the second stage of surgery on Tuesday at UCLA.

"I get to go back to these guys at BAMC and say 'Hey, look at me, we can make this happen.' The implications of what will come from this collaboration
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SOURCE University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), HealthSciences
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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