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924 Westwood Blvd
Suite 400
Mallcode: 738546
Los Angeles, CA 90095
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About Operation Mend

Healing the Wounds of War

Operation Mend provides advanced surgical and medical treatment for post-9/11-era warriors injured during combat operations or while training for service, as well as comprehensive psychological healthcare and social support for both wounded warriors and their family members.

Operation Mend provides an innovative intensive treatment program for service members suffering from mild traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Psychological Injury

As a top-ranked, world-renowned academic medical center and home to the most advanced medical facilities in the United States, UCLA Health offers innovative care and the latest in medical technology. Since 2007, UCLA Health’s Operation Mend has been providing advanced surgical and medical treatment for post-9/11 era service members and veterans injured during combat operations or while training for service. The original focus of Operation Mend was to engage UCLA’s world-class experts in plastic and reconstructive surgery to rebuild the faces of service members who had suffered highly complex facial trauma. The program expanded to provide subspecialty surgical and medical specialty treatment in a variety of clinical areas, as well as comprehensive psychological health care for eligible post-9/11-era service members, veterans and their families. All care, care coordination, travel and lodging are provided at no absolutely no cost to the veterans or service members and their caregivers.

Along with advanced surgical care, Operation Mend is distinguished by its focus on including the warriors’ family in care and providing comprehensive case management, coordination and social support that helps eliminate barriers to treatment.

In 2015, UCLA Operation Mend joined the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) and three partner medical centers as founding members of WWP’s Warrior Care Network. In January 2016, as part of this partnership, UCLA Health and Operation Mend launched an intensive, structured treatment program for service members/veterans who have suffered service-related mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The six-week program begins with three weeks on the UCLA campus and is designed for patients who require more than regular outpatient care as part of their treatment plan.

Prior to referral into the program, potential participants will spend two-to-five days at UCLA consulting with a multidisciplinary team of TBI and PTSD specialists to ensure the intensive program is the most appropriate treatment option.

Participants in the program will receive the personalized care for which UCLA Health Operation Mend is known. For those participating in the on-site program, all care, travel and accommodations are arranged for and provided at no cost to service members/ veterans and their caregivers, including pick-up from the airport upon arrival and transportation to and from the hotel and to all activities and appointments. Following the onsite three-week program, participants will take part in an additional three weeks of provider-facilitated peer-to-peer support via telehealth to continue refining skills and building community.  For those participating in the three-week Virtual Intensive Treatment Program, all necessary materials will be sent directly to the participants’ homes.

Our three-week intensive treatment program is designed to promote healing and wellness through:

  • Comprehensive virtual evaluation
  • Individualized treatment planning
  • Evidence-based trauma treatment
  • Cognitive skills training
  • Peer-to-peer connections
  • Caregiver psychotherapy groups
  • Art therapy
  • Mindful movement practice
  • Social support from buddy programs
  • Referrals and connection to local care
  • Post-treatment support

FAQs

  • Who is eligible?
    We welcome post-9/11 era military service members and veterans with symptoms related to trauma exposure or who have been diagnosed with PTSD with or without a history of TBI.  After an initial comprehensive evaluation, our team determines whether the program meets the veteran’s needs.
  • Are caregivers included?
    We are the only Intensive Treatment Program in the country that includes caregivers as fully integrated participants. There are two treatment groups: one with veterans only, and one with veterans and their caregivers.
  • How much does it cost?
    There is no cost to veterans, service members, and caregivers.
  • What will be the plan for care?
    Each participant in the intensive treatment program will receive a customized treatment plan.
  • What happens after treatment?
    Participants receive three weeks of provider-facilitated check-ins to continue refining skills, building community and transitioning to local care. Regularly scheduled virtual appointments with family care managers continue for one year following program completion.  .
  • How do I start?
    Please email operationmend@mednet.ucla.edu or call 310-267-2110.
  • Does Operation Mend still provide reconstructive surgery and other subspecialty medical care?
    Absolutely! We continue to provide reconstructive surgery and other subspecialty medical care along with social and psychological support at no cost to the patient. Call 310-267-2110.

About Warrior Care Network™ (WCN)

Warrior Care Network™ is a groundbreaking collaboration between Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) and its academic medical center partners, Emory Healthcare, Massachusetts General Hospital, Rush University Medical Center, and UCLA Health, to create a nationwide, comprehensive care network that will enhance access and provide clinical and family-centered treatment to warriors suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and other related conditions. WCN will offer specialized clinical services through either a regionalized Outpatient Program (OP) and/or an innovative Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). Through this cutting-edge initiative, WWP and its partners plan to serve thousands of wounded veterans and family members over the next three years.

How to Become a Patient

UCLA Health Operation Mend was established in 2007 as a partnership between UCLA Health and the United States military. We provide advanced surgical and medical treatment, comprehensive psychological evaluation and support, and an intensive treatment program for symptoms related to post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury for post-9/11 era service members, veterans and their families. The program is available at absolutely no cost to the veterans or service members, and is available to eligible warriors injured during combat operations or training.

If you are interested in participating in Operation Mend or are inquiring about the program on behalf of a wounded warrior, please contact us at (310) 267-2110 or email us at operationmend@mednet.ucla.edu.

The following requirements are necessary to be considered for the Operation Mend program:

  • The patient sustained his/ her injury during post-9/11 era active military service such as combat or combat training
  • The patient’s injuries require specialty treatment and local options for care are unavailable, inadequate or previous treatments were not comprehensive or satisfactory
  • The patient is physically and psychologically stable and able to travel
  • The patient has a nonmedical attendant (a stable friend or family member) who can travel with him/ her
  • The patient currently has a case manager or primary care physician that can assist in the Operation Mend intake process and follow-up care (e.g. obtaining referrals, medical records, consents, etc.)
  • Additionally, to be eligible for the Intensive Treatment Program, the military service members/veterans must have symptoms related to or have received a diagnosis of TBI and/or PTSD and must undergo initial evaluations at UCLA to determine if the Intensive Treatment Program meets the individual’s needs

Our three-week onsite and virtual intensive treatment programs are designed to provide support, education, healing and wellness, through:

  • Comprehensive virtual evaluations
  • Individualized treatment planning
  • Evidence-based trauma treatment
  • Cognitive skills training
  • Skills-focused groups
  • Peer-to-peer connections
  • Caregiver psychotherapy groups
  • Art therapy
  • Mindful movement practice
  • Social support from buddy programs
  • Referrals and connection to local care
  • Post-treatment support

Specialty services for physical injury include (but are not limited to):

  • Advanced Imaging and Diagnostics
  • Dermatology
  • Maxillofacial Dentistry
  • Medical Tattooing
  • Mental Health Services specializing in PTSD and mTBI
  • Neurology and mTBI Diagnostics
  • Neurosurgery
  • Opthalmology & Oculoplastics
  • Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Otolaryngology/ ENT
  • Pain Management Evaluations
  • Reconstructive Plastic Surgery
  • Urology

Physical Injury

As a top-ranked, world-renowned academic medical center and home to the most advanced medical facilities in the United States, UCLA Health offers innovative care and the latest in medical technology. Since 2007, UCLA Health’s Operation Mend has been providing advanced surgical and medical treatment for post-9/11 era service members and veterans injured during combat operations or while training for service. The original focus of Operation Mend was to engage UCLA’s world-class experts in plastic and reconstructive surgery to rebuild the faces of service members who had suffered highly complex facial trauma. The program expanded to provide subspecialty surgical and medical specialty treatment in a variety of clinical areas, as well as comprehensive psychological health care for eligible post-9/11-era service members, veterans and their families. All care, care coordination, travel and lodging are provided at no absolutely no cost to the veterans or service members and their caregivers.

Along with advanced surgical care, Operation Mend is distinguished by its focus on including the warriors’ family in care and providing comprehensive case management, coordination and social support that helps eliminate barriers to treatment.

The highly esteemed medical directors of UCLA Health Operation Mend’s physical injury program are Dr. Christopher Crisera and Dr. Kodi Azari. They, in consultation with the Operation Mend team, draw on a multitude of UCLA Health clinical speciality areas.

Dermatology

  • Pulsed Dye Laser treatment for improvement of Erythema of Scars
  • Fraxel Laser and other fractionated lasers and devices for treatment of scars
  • Lasers for removal of hair from hair bearing skin flaps to non hair bearing areas and removal of irregular growing hairs in scars

Maxillofacial/Dentistry

  • Comprehensive evaluation
  • Nasal stents for surgical reconstructions (keeps the orifice open)
  • Facial Prosthetics including auricular prosthesis (lost due to I.E.D.’s)
  • Intra oral prosthesis including mandibular resection appliances and maxillary obturators (post implant placement)

Neurology and Mild TBI Diagnostics

  • Evaluation and treatment of symptoms relating to concussion
  • Multidisciplinary neurological consultation in conjunction with neuropsychological screening
  • Clinical reaction time testing
  • Clinical balance testing
  • Eye tracking screening examinations
  • Multimodal clinical MRI with advanced diagnostics (when indicated)
  • Video continuous EEG (when indicated)
  • Neuroendocrine lab testing (when indicated)
  • Rehabilitation

Neuropsychology

  • Neuropsychological assessment for patients with post-acute, mild to severe TBI, mood disorders, PTSD, substance abuse, chronic pain, trauma exposure and re-adjustment, and other conditions
  • 20+ board certified neuropsychologists provide detailed recommendations for referral sources, the patient and the patient’s family/caregivers
  • Translate findings of objective cognitive measures into tailored recommendations focused on compensation for deficits and accentuation of strengths
  • Flexible battery approach is utilized that matches assessment measures to the identified referral question and patient characteristics
  • Tests selected from a wide variety of neuropsychology measures based on psychometric properties, demonstrated validity, and appropriateness of available normative data
  • Interdisciplinary care is demonstrated by our monthly TBI meetings, where information about various assessments is discussed and treatments are considered based on this data

Ophthalmology and Oculoplastics

  • Comprehensive Evaluation
  • Visual fields tests
  • Neuromuscular examination
  • Humphrey visual field testing
  • Orbital reconstruction to preserve eye movements and vision
  • Ocular surface reconstruction including artificial cornea, grafting, burn reconstruction
  • Complex eyelid reconstruction including tear drainage reconstruction

Orthopaedic Surgery

  • Upper and Lower Extremity
    • Joint reconstruction including knee, shoulder, elbow and ankle reconstruction (AC, PCL, multi-ligament knee, rotator cuff and instability)
      Comprehensive arthroscopic procedures including knee, shoulder, elbow, ankle and hip arthroscopy
    • Joint contracture release
    • Specialty care in the setting of soft tissue loss or contracture
    • Fracture care including malunion and nonunion
    • Foot and ankle surgery
    • Spine Surgery
  • Complex deformity surgery
    • Cervical, thoracic and lumbar osteotomy for correction
    • Cervical, thoracic and lumbar discectomies for nerve compression
    • Fusion procedures for instability and degenerative conditions of the spine.
    • Treatment of spinal infections

Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, ENT

  • Treatment of injuries and severe infections of the ears, nose, and throat
    • Endoscopic sinus surgery
    • Septoplasty
    • Turbinate reduction
  • Treatment of traumatic injuries to the ear, temporal bone, larynx, skull base, facial nerve
    • Ear exploration
    • Tympanoplasty
    • Mastoidectomy
    • Cochlear implants
    • Middle fossa surgery
    • Facial nerve decompression
    • Facial nerve rehabilitation (static/dynamic reanimation)
    • Laryngeal reconstruction (thyroplasty, voice augmentation, larygenal transplantation)
  • Treatment of hearing and balance disorders, sinus/smell disorders, voice/speech/swallowing disorders
    • Hearing tests
    • Balance testing
    • Balloon sinuplasty
    • Video stroboscopy
    • Transnasal esophagoscopy
    • Swallow therapy

Reconstructive Plastic Surgery
Plastic Surgeons strive to re-establish form and function for defects arising from congenital anomalies, malignancies, or trauma. Doing so requires manipulation of skin, muscle and bones. Operation Mend patients have a broad spectrum of challenging defects affecting the face, torso, and extremities resulting from burn, blast, and ballistic injuries.

Specific procedures performed for Operation Mend patients include:

  • Local tissue rearrangements
    • Scar revisions
    • Contracture releases
    • Z-plasties
  • Skin grafts
    • Full thickness skin grafts
    • Split-thickness skin grafts
  • Fat Transfer
  • Local flaps
    • Fasciocutaneous flaps
    • Muscle flaps
    • Musculocutaneous flaps
  • Free tissue transfer
    • Free osseous/osteocutaneous flaps
      • Mandible/oral reconstruction
    • Free muscle/myocutaneous flaps
      • Facial reanimation for paralysis
    • Free fasciocutaneous flaps
      • Complex burn scar reconstruction (neck and extremity)

Craniofacial Procedures

  • Facial fracture repair
    • LeForte I, II, III, frontal sinus, nasal, zygomaxillary complex, mandible
  • Orbital surgery
  • Orthognathic surgery

Hand Surgery

  • Care of the Amputated Digits & Limbs
  • Reconstruction of nerve injuries
  • Secondary burn care and reconstruction
  • Nerve compression syndromes
  • Fracture care including non-union or malunion
  • Surgical care of ligament tears & joint dislocations
  • Upper extremity soft tissue reconstruction
  • Tendon Injuries

Urology Evaluation

  • Comprehensive Evaluation
  • Diagnostic Testing

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Operation Mend
924 Westwood Blvd
Suite 400
Mallcode: 738546
Los Angeles, CA 90095