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New UCLA Operation Mend Program Treats the Hidden Wounds of War

  New UCLA Operation Mend Program Treats the Hidden Wounds of War

(From left) Ronald A. Katz, Operation Mend founder; Dana Katz, volunteer director of community engagement and Buddy programs for UCLA Operation Mend; Army Cpl Pablo Mena (Ret.); Dr. Thomas B. Strouse (RES ’91), medical director of the Stewart and Lynda Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA and Maddie Katz Chair in Palliative Care, Research and Education; Melanie Gideon, Operation Mend program director; Marine SSgt Octavio Sanchez (Ret.); Marine Cpl Ryan Holdaway (Ret.); Dr. Jo Sornborger; and Air Force SSgt Brian Schiefer (Ret.) (seated, front).
Photo: Reed Hutchinson

On April 13, 2016, UCLA Operation Mend celebrated the opening of the clinic space for its new Intensive Treatment Program with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. The new six-week program is an extension of an existing one that provides advanced surgical and medical treatment and comprehensive psychological support for post-9/11 veterans and their families.

The expanded offerings, part of the Warrior Care Network partially funded by the Wounded Warrior Project, are designed for service members suffering from mild traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress, as well as their families. Patients will have access to highly individualized, intensive treatment that draws on UCLA’s nationally recognized expertise.

Retired U.S. Army Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, an executive advisor to the Ronald A. Katz Center for Collaborative Military Medicine at UCLA and the former vice chief of staff of the U.S. Army, presented an overview of the new program and said, “The addition of this program to the Operation Mend portfolio makes UCLA the civilian leader in providing needed care to post-9/11 veterans. If every institution were doing the same, we could satisfy the unmet needs of veterans and their families for this critical care.”

“Our goal is to help our wounded veterans regain a sense of normalcy in their lives,” said Dr. Jo Sornborger, director of psychological health programs for UCLA Operation Mend. “A major component is to include family members, which is essential to building a healthy environment that will help the veteran succeed.”

For more information, contact Brian Loew at: (310) 794-7620


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