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UCLA joins forces with White House to meet unique needs of veterans, families
Date:1/19/2012

severe facial injuries access to the Army's best burn center and the nation's best plastic and reconstructive surgeons. The mission has since expanded to include healing of the body, mind and spirit. In addition to plastic and reconstructive surgery, the program now provides mental health support for service members and their families, orthopedic reconstruction for severely damaged limbs, urologic treatment, otolaryngological care, examination and treatment of reproductive issues, repair of airways, and the design of prosthetic ears.

Since 2009, UCLA's Project FOCUS, led by associate professor of psychiatry Patricia Lester, has reached out to military families to help prevent the personal and psychological problems that long and often multiple wartime deployments can lead to, not only for the service member on the front lines but for families back home.

UCLA faculty have also been pivotal in advancing research and policy on post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries, a major focus of the new Joint Forces partnership.

David Hovda, a professor of neurosurgery and director of the UCLA Brain Injury Research Center, is a national expert on traumatic brain injuries who played a key role in advising the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the establishment of mandatory protocols to help service members recover after suffering such injuries. In June 2011, the U.S. Army presented Hovda with its Strength of the Nation Award for his extraordinary contributions to caring for the nation's wounded warriors. The award is presented annually to an individual who engages in exemplary public service that makes a substantial contribution in completing the Army's mission. Operation Mend's Ronald Katz received the award in 2010.

"It is a privilege for the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center to assist our country's men and women in the military," said Dr. David T. Feinberg, president of the UCLA Health System and CEO of the UCLA Hospital Syst
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Contact: Roxanne Moster
rmoster@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-0777
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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