Lockheed Martin pledges $4 million to help UCLA program that aids wounded warriors

April 12, 2010

The Lockheed Martin Corp. announced today a pledge of $4 million to benefit the UCLA Health System's Operation Mend program, which provides reconstructive surgeries and other health care needs to U.S. military personnel wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Lockheed Martin is proud to partner with UCLA on the important work Operation Mend is doing to provide life-changing surgeries to military members who have been severely injured while serving our country," said Robert J. Stevens, Lockheed Martin chairman of the board and CEO. "We recognize that the sacrifices of our servicemen and women sometimes result in debilitating personal injury, and we are honored to help make a difference in those lives."

The gift will be equally divided between two areas of need. First, to help enhance patient experience during multiple surgeries and to accommodate patients' family members, the funding will support the renovation of the surgical waiting room and the pre- and post-operative recovery areas at UCLA, as part of the broader Ambulatory Surgical Center Enhancement Project, which includes adding four new high-tech surgical suites, four private patient recovery suites and a telemedicine video conference center.

Currently, the ambulatory surgery patient-recovery area is restricted, because it is an open unit. In the interest of protecting patient privacy and confidentiality, and for health reasons, extended visitation is not allowed in the new recovery suites. In a new patient recovery suite, family members and loved ones will able to visit.

Following surgery, Operation Mend patients will be transported to one of the four new private recovery suites, where the post-operative team will monitor blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, respiratory rate and pain. When the effects of anesthesia have diminished, visits will be permitted. The project will also add a private consultation room and create a more accommodating ambience for patients' family members.

Second, the funding will help support the care of more patients in the coming years. On average, each patient requires a minimum of 10 to 20 surgeries, in addition to post-operative coordination with the referring centers, including Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, or Veterans Affairs hospitals.

"On behalf of the wounded warriors we serve, we are so grateful for this significant gift from our lead corporate sponsor," said Dr. David T. Feinberg, CEO and associate vice chancellor of the UCLA Hospital System. "Lockheed Martin's commitment to UCLA's Operation Mend program will greatly enhance the physical surroundings of where the patients are cared for, as well as ensure our ability to provide critical treatment for future wounded military personnel in the coming years."

Established in 2007, Operation Mend is a unique partnership between the UCLA Health System and the Brooke Army Medical Center. To date, 34 men and women from all branches of the military have participated in the program.

The majority of Operation Mend patients have suffered severely deforming burns and wounds on their face, usually as the result of explosions from improvised explosive devices. After initial surgeries and rehabilitation at military hospitals, including the renowned Brooke Army Medical Center, the wounded soldiers have the opportunity to continue their recovery at UCLA and undergo specialized reconstructive surgical techniques with Operation Mend's plastic and reconstructive surgery team.

While the program started with facial reconstructive surgery, it is now beginning to expand its services to offer treatment for post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries and continues to receive consultation and support from the following clinical services: radiation oncology, dermatology, neurology, anesthesia/pain management, ophthalmology, orthopedics, maxillofacial/dentistry, medical tattooing, urology, and psychiatric and social services

Operation Mend prides itself on the warmth and care shown to each wounded warrior. Patients always travel to UCLA with family or a friend. They are personally escorted to and from the airport, stay at UCLA's Tiverton House hotel on campus, are escorted to all medical appointments, and have a nurse coordinator manage their case. There is no cost to the patient. In addition, each patient is paired with a volunteer "buddy family" that provides a social outlet during their stay in Los Angeles by having the patient over for family meals and coordinating fun activities.
-end-
For more information on Operation Mend, please visit www.operationmend.ucla.edu.

Lockheed Martin, headquartered in Bethesda, Md., is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2009 sales of $45.2 billion.

The UCLA Health System has been a leader in patient care, medical research and teaching for more than 50 years. Today, its physicians provide an array of cutting-edge and research-based primary and specialty services in four hospitals on two campuses, and in numerous outpatient clinic locations. The system's Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center has been ranked among the top hospitals in the United States for 20 consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report. The UCLA Health System treats approximately 1.5 million patients through its clinics and more than 80,000 patients through its hospitals each year.

University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences

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