Chancellor Gene Block welcomed U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert “Bob” McDonald to the UCLA campus on Wednesday. Secretary McDonald met with Block and other top UCLA administrators to discuss shared goals of serving  veterans’ needs, including new collaborative efforts. 

McDonald then traveled to the UCLA Center for Health Sciences to meet with John Mazziotta, vice chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences, and other leaders and graduate students involved in projects that directly benefit veterans. The Secretary also received an overview of UCLA’s Operation Mend program from the program director, Melanie Gideon, and others involved in the project, which helps military men and women recover from physical and mental trauma suffered in battle. Operation Mend received a $15.7 million grant this week from the Wounded Warrior Project  to expand the program. The grant will fund a new, intensive structured treatment program for service members suffering from mild traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.