Healing the Wounds of War
Operation Mend was established in 2007 as a partnership between UCLA Health System and the United States military to help heal the wounds of war by offering the most advanced medical care available. Operation Mend services are free of charge to all servicemen and servicewomen seeking medical treatment for specialty injury(ies) sustained while serving in OIF/OEF, whether overseas or in training accidents in the United States, while on active duty. Eligible candidates can be in any stage in their military career (active, retiring, veteran).
The original goal of Operation Mend was to offer the expertise of UCLA physicians in plastic and reconstructive surgery for highly complex facial trauma injuries. UCLA Health System, in partnership with the military, now offers treatment and consultation for a multitude of other complex injuries, including the invisible wounds of war. Services provided through Operation Mend are:
- Reconstructive Plastic Surgery
- Maxillofacial/Dentistry and Prosthetics
- Advanced Imaging
- Anesthesia/Pain Management
- Mental Health Services specializing in PTSD and traumatic brain injury
- Social Work
- Medical Tattooing
- Uro-genital Reconstruction
- Upper Extremity Transplantation
- Face Transplantation
- Radiation Oncology
- Addiction Intervention
Comprehensive Care for the Whole Family
During treatment at UCLA, all transportation and housing for each patient and his or her family or designated guest(s) are arranged and paid for by Operation Mend. Patients are picked up at their flight gate upon arrival and taken back to the gate for departure. Another feature of Operation Mend is the Operation Mend Buddy Family Program. Through the Buddy Family Program, Operation Mend participants are matched with a caring family that lives close to UCLA and can provide extra comfort, care and fun for a wounded warrior and his or her family. Buddy Families greet their Operation Mend participants upon arrival at their lodging, bring them to their homes for dinner or just to relax, take them on sight-seeing outings, and deliver meals after surgery. They also can make arrangements through the Operation Mend office for patients to attend UCLA sporting events and other special activities.
In addition, the UCLA FOCUS team is available to provide family-centered care management and resiliency services for Operation Mend patients and their families.
To learn more about Operation Mend, please visit their website.