"Operation Mend," a unique new partnership between
The pilot project was launched with the help of philanthropist Ronald A. Katz, a well-known inventor and
"'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
"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 are more far-reaching than anyone has yet to imagine," Mankin said.
Since his injury and return to the
The surgeries will be led by Dr. Timothy Miller, chief of reconstructive and plastic surgery at
"It is a privilege for
When news of UCLA's involvement in the project became known, UCLA clinical nurse specialist and former U.S. Army nurse Priscilla "Patti" Taylor led a community group of military veterans in creating several "quilts of valor" to be presented to arriving soldiers — a military tradition.
UCLA Medical Center is ranked as one of the top three hospitals in the nation and has been rated the best hospital in the western
If you would like to contribute to the Operation Mend program, please visit https://giving.ucla.edu/plasticsurgery or contact Adrienne Walt, Director of Development, UCLA Medical Sciences, firstname.lastname@example.org, (310) 267-1835.