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Operation Mend: Healing the Wounds of War

June 22nd, 2010 · 1 Comment

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We received the following information from Professor Neal Stulberg of the UCLA Department of Music regarding a recent performance by Music Department students and faculty for Operation Mend at the UCLA Ronald Reagan Hospital. He says:

“On Monday, June 14, I attended a Flag Day event at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center’s Tamkin Auditorium, sponsored by an amazing organization called Operation Mend ( Our HASOM students and faculty were involved in the event, and I wanted to let everyone know about it.

Operation Mend is a unique partnership between the UCLA Medical Center, Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, and the V.A.-Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. It was launched with the help of philanthropist, inventor and UCLA Medical Center board member Ronald A. Katz, who has also recently established the Mickey Katz Endowed Chair in Jewish Music at HASOM.

Operation Mend was established to help treat U.S. military personnel injured during service in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in its first phase, has focused on providing facial reconstruction surgery for soldiers wounded by land mines and other improvised explosive devices. The organization shows that excellent care to injured soldiers need not be limited to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Armed Services, and aims to serve as a model for other medical institutions interested in helping wounded service members. Here?s a short video introducing the program:

The event featured addresses by Ron Katz, Chief Executive Officer and Associate Vice Chancellor of the UCLA Health System David Feinberg, Chief of the UCLA Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Dr. Timothy A. Miller, Marine Corporal Aaron P. Mankin (one of the patients who has participated in the program) and others, and was followed by a reception in the lower lobby of the Medical Center. A HASOM brass and percussion sextet (Courtney Jones, David Sedgwick, Natalie Higgins, Alan McFarlane, Marc Bolin and Pat Weber) provided stirring patriotic music as the audience entered, and played the Star Spangled Banner alongside a military color guard ceremony. Our own Professor Jens Lindemann spoke at the event and offered a moving solo trumpet rendition of ?Danny Boy.? And the UCLA Cello Quartet (Christopher Ahn, Jennifer Li, Hillary Smith and Bryan West) entertained guests at the reception.

We were privileged to meet several of the soldiers who have participated in this program. They are truly heroes. Their courage and commitment inspires the greatest awe and respect.

I was struck by not only the mobilization of medical resources that Operation Mend has accomplished, but the strong support network that it has established to help the patients through their lengthy and arduous multiple surgeries and recovery regimen. Operation Mend has truly become a family, headed by Ron Katz and radiating out into our community. It is worthy of all of our support. We were delighted to be asked to participate in this event, and look forward to partnering with Operation Mend in the future!

Note: The handmade quilts you see in the photos are samples of those that are made for each patient by Operation Mend volunteers and presented to them as they come out of surgery.”

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Tags: Faculty · Music Education · Performance · Performance · Performers · School of Music · Students

1 response so far ↓

  • Hawaii MD // Feb 1, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    Great service to vets and our country! Thank you from Plastic Surgeons in Hawaii.