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UCLA Health’s Operation Mend Gets Telehealth Boost

November 26, 2013
by Gabriel Perna
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UCLA Health’s Operation Mend, a program that provides military personnel returning with severe facial and other medical injuries access to plastic and reconstructive surgeons, will now have use of a telehealth system, thanks to a gift from Lockheed Martin.

The Bethesda, Md.-based company has donated $4 million to UCLA Health for the telehealth suite, which will allow for a “new benchmark” for face-to-face telecommunications. The non-profit endeavor has had the benefit of telehealth in the past, but the three 65-inch screens with simultaneous high-definition video streams enhances those capabilities. The system also gives UCLA personnel the ability to edit, manipulate and add to shared content through the use of a high-tech touch panel for optimal collaboration with colleagues and patients.

“Operation Mend is based at UCLA, but the team often collaborates with doctors, case coordinators or members of the military located in other states," Christopher Crisera, M.D., Operation Mend's co–medical director, said in a statement. "Additionally, while patients undergo treatment at UCLA, most live out of state and return home after surgery. The new telehealth suite will allow face-to-face communication in many types of situations, providing improved communications as well as alleviating the need for travel to meet in person. Telehealth is fast becoming the wave of the future in medicine, and this system helps us advance the delivery of care."

The telehealth was dedicated at a ceremony on Nov. 18. Operation Mend program provides reconstructive surgeries and other health care services to U.S. military personnel severely wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.


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