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Advances in health and medicine.
Marjorie Bekaert Thomas
Advances in health and medicine.
SW: Feature Report Channel
Reported December 19, 2012

Operation Mend: Hollywood Helping Heroes

Since 2001, more than 55,000 military troops have been wounded in action, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. For those who return home, healing their minds and bodies can be a challenge.

About Operation Mend: The program was envisioned by Ronald Reagan and started in 2007. Its original goal was to provide service members with severe facial injuries access to the Army's best burn center and the nation's best plastic and reconstructive surgeons at the UCLA Medical Center. Since then, it has grown to include mental health support, orthopedic reconstruction for damaged limbs, urologic treatment, treatment of reproductive issues, and design of new prosthetic ears.
Operation Mend is available to all branches of the military service and all service men and women at any stage in their military career or afterwards who have sustained injuries while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.
As of August 2011, there are 50 patients receiving treatment through Operation Mend.
To discuss whether you are a candidate, volunteer opportunities and donations, contact Melanie Gideon, (310) 794-8161,
WHAT TO EXPECT: The majority of the procedures undergone through Operation Mend are done in an outpatient setting. Typically, patients will stay at the hospital the night of surgery, if at all. After surgery, patients can stay at the Tiverton House, a hotel on the hospital’s campus, and can expect to return home about a week later. A UCLA representative will greet each patient at the airport when he/she flies into Los Angeles and will provide all transportation. It is suggested patients bring at least one person designated to help after the procedure.
Mark Wheeler
Senior Media Relations Rep
UCLA Health Sciences Media Relations
Voice: (310) 794-2265
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