Showing posts with label UCLA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label UCLA. Show all posts

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Money Donated For Veterans Went to UCLA Instead of Them

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
June 4, 2015

In the Veterans community, there is an entirely different conversation going on. While folks read news reports one way, we read them entirely differently.

When the topic involves your life and your friends it is alway more than just the headline.

When you donate to a charity, do you really know where your money is going? That question is usually answered repeating what the charity claims. Usually they say that a certain percentage goes to helping the individuals in need. When the individuals are veterans we assume the funds are going to them. In most cases, the money is not going to them or what the charity claims they are doing for them individually.

Over the years there has been a lot of talk about Wounded Warrior Project being "fraud" and a "scam" but there is nothing fraudulent about never making any real claims about doing anything more than "raising awareness" or getting folks to donate so they can "aid and assist each other" since WWP never really says more than that. It is all carefully worded PR coupled with legalese. It is also not a scam, again, since they allow the giver to use their own imaginations fed by heart-tugging images.

There is a recent news story about UCLA getting a huge donation from WWP. It pretty much shows that the money you gave to help veterans ended up going to UCLA instead.
UCLA Operation Mend receives $15.7 million for mental health program for wounded warriors
Wounded Warrior Project funding creates network to connect injured service members with world-class care
UCLA Newsroom
Amy Albin
June 02, 2015

WWP and Warrior Care Network partners will commit a total $100 million over three years to fund the initiative, including $7.5 million each that the medical centers will contribute through their own fundraising efforts.
Wounded Warrior Project has approved a $15.7 million grant over three years for UCLA Health to expand its Operation Mend program.

The grant will fund a new, intensive structured treatment program for service members suffering from mild traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Operation Mend expansion is part of Warrior Care Network, a first-of-its-kind medical network funded by Wounded Warrior Project that will connect wounded veterans and their families with world-class, individualized mental health care. In addition to Operation Mend, the network will include three other programs based at academic medical centers — the Veterans Program at Emory University in Atlanta, the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program in Boston, and the Road Home Program at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

“UCLA Operation Mend is at the forefront of healing the visible and invisible wounds of war suffered by our military men and women,” said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. “This funding will expand Operation Mend’s highly successful holistic approach to restoring our wounded warriors in body, mind and spirit. And I am confident that the collaboration between UCLA and its new partners will result in ever more effective treatments for wounded warriors and their family members.”
read more here

This is nothing new. When you donate to a charity they can turn around and give that money away and you never really know where your money went. You just assume you know. It isn't just the money you give directly to the charity but it is also the money you donate to businesses saying they are giving the money to the charity.

We've all seen the Brawny papertowels with the WWP logo on them. It is good PR for Brawny as folks think about helping veterans. The problem is when no one knows where that money ends up as well as direct donations.
Corporate Sponsors
BRAWNY: A WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT PARTNER The Brawny® brand is proud to partner with Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP). WWP helps wounded servicemen and women adjust to civilian life and persevere through the visible and invisible wounds of war. To date, we have donated over $2 million to WWP.

In 2015, the Brawny® brand will donate up to $300,000 to Wounded Warrior Project®.*

*Donation consists of a $250,000 direct donation and up to $50,000 based on consumer engagement from Jan 1 – Dec 31, 2015.

Under Armour is another corporate sponsor selling WWP clothing.
Under Armor: This is an Official Wounded Warrior Project Licensed product. Between August 2012 and December 2014, Under Armour® will make a donation of over $1 Million to Wounded Warrior Project™ benefiting injured service members and their families.

And so is Overstock.
Overstock™ combined efforts with WWP on November 1, 2009 to raise awareness and collect donations from our customers. Since then, we are proud to have donated more than $2,000,000 to help our returning service members.

Here are some more
Bank of America
Bank of America “Express Your Thanks” Campaign Connects Individuals to Military Service Members and Veterans

Expressions Will Generate up to $1 Million from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to Support Welcome Back Veterans and Wounded Warrior Project®

Acosta Sales and Marketing
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. and NEW YORK, Sept. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Acosta Sales and Marketing, a leading full-service sales and marketing agency in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry, and Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), a non-profit organization devoted to helping wounded veterans, today announced the annual Believe in Heroes™ fundraising initiative. This year's program will raise funds on a national level with the help of more than 100 participating retailers and CPG companies throughout the country.

Acosta conceived and launched Believe in Heroes last year as a corporate social responsibility program with a single regional retail partner and 13 national CPG brands. The initiative raised $200,000 for WWP and increased awareness for the program among consumers and CPG brands. Acosta has since expanded the program to a national one, and has gifted the Believe in Heroes moniker to WWP, thereby allowing the organization to add partners outside the CPG industry. This year's Believe in Heroes fundraising initiative kicks off on 9/11 and will culminate on Veterans Day 2011.
Capital One
Cardinal Health
Code, Call of Duty Endowment
Food Lion
Harris Teeter
National Association of Collegiate Directors
Survival Straps
Tough Mudder
U Haul

The movie American Sniper has been released by Warner Brothers and they have committed to donating another million to WWP from sales of it. The question is, why didn't they donate to the Chris Kyle Foundation since this movie was about his life?
Chris Kyle is the American Sniper.
Through four tours he served and protected his fellow military members and his country, becoming one of the most decorated Navy SEALs in US history.

He wrote his story with the 2012 New York Times Best Selling book, American Sniper,which was immortalized in 2014 by screen legend, Clint Eastwood in a movie of the same name. The movie received six Oscar nominations including Best Picture and Best Actor for Bradley Cooper.

Chris sadly lost his life in February 2013 while pursuing his post-deployment passion - helping fellow military members re-patriate after their service.

The legacy of Chris Kyle lives on through the Frog. The Frog logo is the convergence of two tattoos that Chris wore.

Help us keep Chris’ spirit alive through the Frog.

While you may think the money you spend on the DVD goes to helping veterans, since Warner Brothers is making the donation from what you spend, it may not be going to them. It may be part of the money going to UCLA or other charities. Then you don't know what they do with the money either.

If we donate to a charity knowing where the money is going, then that is fine but if we donate and just assume it goes to helping the veterans, then shame on us! Top that off with the simple fact that if you think all veterans should matter equally, WWP does not support all wounded or disabled veterans. They only help Post 9-11 veterans. In other words, Gulf War/Desert Storm, Vietnam, Korean War and WWII veterans are not among those worthy of help.

The issues veterans from all generations face everyday have gotten worse after all these claims made about helping them. The average citizen hears about them, donates a couple of dollars, then they get on with their lives feeling as if they just did a good thing. For the veterans and families, nothing really changes for us and frankly, we wonder when folks will notice when it comes to helping us, no one seems aware few are really helped by billions raised every year by a growing list of charities claiming they do.

As for the inpatient care, the VA already does that and you already paid for it with your tax dollars.

PTSD Treatment Programs in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs In a Crisis?

If you are in crisis dial 911 or 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255), press 1 for Veterans. No matter where you live, PTSD treatment in the Department of Veterans Affairs is available. Each medical center within VA has PTSD specialists who provide treatment for Veterans with PTSD and there are nearly 200 specialized PTSD treatment programs throughout the country.

Some large Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs) also offer PTSD care. When there are no nearby facilities, smaller CBOCs provide needed treatment services by telemental health (using technology to communicate) or by referral to Vet Centers or community clinicians. This fact sheet describes the specialized PTSD programs and these other options within VA for getting PTSD treatment.

You can use this VA PTSD Program Locator to see if there is a specialized program near you. Who is covered for VA care?

VA services are provided to all Veterans who:
Completed active military service in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard (or Merchant Marines during WWII)
Were discharged under other than dishonorable conditions
Were National Guard members or Reservists who have completed a federal deployment to a combat zone At times, the VA has special agreements to provide care to Active Duty service members and family.

What services are offered?
Each PTSD program offers education, evaluation, and treatment. Program services include:
One-to-one mental health assessment and testing
One-to-one psychotherapy and family therapy
Group therapy (covers topics such as anger and stress, combat support, partners, etc.) or groups for Veterans of specific conflicts or specific traumas

The VA provides treatments shown by research to be effective in treating Veterans. To learn about these treatments, see our Understanding PTSD Treatment page. Not all VA's offer the same programs, and some specialty programs require a referral. Your doctor can help you decide which program is best for you.

PTSD specialists
Every VA Medical Center has providers that have been trained to offer PTSD treatment. Services for PTSD are delivered by mental health care workers called PTSD specialists. For more information about types of mental health care workers, see our fact sheet: Types of Therapists.

In addition, all regions (called VISNs in VA) have specialized residential or inpatient care programs to address the needs of Veterans with severe symptoms or trouble functioning related to PTSD. Below you will find information about options for getting PTSD treatment within VA.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

American Sniper UCLA Conversation They Missed

UCLA missed the conversation they could have had, like maybe, the same one taking place in the veterans community. We talk about the power this movie has to help people understand what PTSD to the point where they actually care about the veterans and their families.

Right up front understand I have not seen it yet for a reason. I live with what combat does everyday, so I am waiting for it to come out on pay-per-view so I can walk away from it if I have to. Most of the veterans I know are doing the same thing because the last thing they want to do is sit in a huge, dark, crowded room with a bunch of strangers behind them.

This movie started a conversation few others have managed to do and that is what war does to those we send.

From their point of view, it isn't about right or wrong reasons. It is about those on their left and their right. It is about the bond they share willing to die for each other and the pain they bring home.

Politicians start wars and they are the ones who get to decide to end them. Ever since the beginning of this country, one group makes the decision to risk lives while about group decides to put their lives on the line. Even with the draft, most enlisted because it was supposed to be important enough that the security of this nation was in jeopardy. If politicians lied, the end result was the same for those who went.

Nothing is new in any of this. No wound is different. No suffering is different. No struggle trying to deal with the VA is different no matter how many times politicians want to blame the VA instead of themselves. Doesn't seem to matter this has all been going on for decades as more and more veterans are failed.

How great would it have been if students talked about any of this? How about if they talked about the history of what politicians have said about taking care of our veterans since the Patriots decided freedom was worth fighting for?

So many conversations they could have had but they decided to get political instead of historical. For heaven's sake! Reporters won't do it and if UCLA students won't who will?
CEC to hold post-film talk on ‘American Sniper’ after student outcry 
Daily Bruin
Posted: April 20, 2015
On the undergraduate government's Campus Events Commission's Facebook event page for Tuesday's film screening of "American Sniper," students protested the free showing of the controversial, Oscar-nominated film. In response, CEC added a discussion after the screening. (Warner Bros.)
Undergraduate student government officers added a post-film discussion to their Tuesday screening of “American Sniper” after dozens of students plastered its Facebook event page with concerns that the film promotes Islamophobia and glorifies war.

“American Sniper,” released in January, is based on the true story of Chris Kyle, a Navy SEAL who has the most recorded kills in U.S. military history and who served four tours during the Iraqi war.

Some who like the film say it celebrates an American war hero and sheds light on the internal struggles soldiers face after war. But many of the commenters on Facebook said they want the screening on campus to be cancelled because they said they think the film perpetuates Islamophobia and ideas of American imperialism.

Undergraduate Students Association Council Campus Events Commissioner Greg Kalfayan said he decided to show “American Sniper” for students who didn’t have the opportunity to watch it when it was first released. The commission is currently showing all films nominated for the best picture Academy Award, which includes “American Sniper.”

“We anticipated criticism, but not in the amount we received,” Kalfayan said. The CEC staff knew “American Sniper” had already stirred controversy on other college campuses, said CEC director of films and third-year sociology student Stone Frankle.

At the University of Michigan, over 200 students signed a petition earlier this month asking the school to cancel a student-planned free showing of the movie. The school canceled the showing at first, but ended up showing the movie despite the petition, saying that canceling the event was inconsistent with its values of freedom of expression. read more here

Monday, May 27, 2013

Vietnam vet inspires Calif. town to help the wounded

Vietnam vet inspires Calif. town to help the wounded
By Carter Evans

A Vietnam veteran has literally been on the march to help severely injured vets from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, while this former marine has embraced those wounded warriors.

The tiny town of Murphys, Calif., has embraced him.

For Ric Ryan, it began with a quest: Walking every day, hoping to escape the demons of Vietnam.

"I'm the walking man of Murphys," he said.

In Murphys, people began to notice. Their attention first surprised, and then inspired.

"What's going on?" one neighbor asked.

"Same old thing," Ryan replied. "Walking for the vets"

Each time someone waved, Ryan would wave back and donate 25 cents to a UCLA program called "Operation Mend" for soldiers disfigured by war.

"It's something that's helping him mentally and physically and emotionally," said Ryan's wife, Joanne.

"This is our man, this is our hero," a neighbor remarked.
read more here

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Operation Mend at UCLA helping soldiers recover better

Military, civilian medical communities team up to improve the lives of troops with severe disfigurements from war
By Charlie Reed, Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Saturday, February 6, 2010

Gunnery Sgt. Blaine Scott can now eat a cheeseburger without first having to tear it to pieces.

It’s a small yet significant triumph for the 37-year-old native of Kellerton, Iowa. In 2006, a roadside bomb in Iraq scorched 40 percent of his body, including his face. Three of his fellow Marines died in the attack.

Scott endured more than a dozen surgeries during the 18 months he spent recovering at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, where 800 troops wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan have been treated at its burn center since 2003. But it wasn’t until he returned to active duty and hooked up with Operation Mend at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center that civilian plastic surgeons restored his ability to chew, gave him a new nose and further refined scars with another dozen surgeries.

"It’s good to get back to the way I was," said the married father of three, whose youngest son knows him only by the face scarred by war.

Advances in combat medicine and body and vehicle armor have made war more survivable for troops like Scott. Today, 3 percent of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq die from their wounds, compared with 19 percent during the Vietnam War and 25 percent during World War II, according to statistics provided by the Pentagon.

But the price of survival is often paid with severed limbs, disfigured faces and burned bodies.

Operation Mend is among a growing number of partnerships the military has forged with the civilian medical community to help the tens of thousands wounded in combat, many with severe disfigurements. And recent investments in reconstructive surgery research point to the military’s growing attention to improving life for war-mangled troops.
read more here

Friday, December 19, 2008

Vulnerability to post-traumatic stress disorder runs in families

Keep in mind, I'm not a psychologist, but this makes no sense at all. Family members have been involved in many traumatic events together, from sudden death, fires, accidents, hurricanes and tornadoes, yet they do not walk away the same way. All members of the same family yet all different. While all survivors of trauma are never the same after, some are more wounded than others. Some get over it with time but others need help to heal from it. Maybe this study is right but then again maybe they just found what they went looking for.

We all know what it's like living with someone with PTSD. The "secondary PTSD" plays into this. Depression and anxiety are part of the "normal" life of the family.

Vulnerability to post-traumatic stress disorder runs in families ...
EurekAlert (press release) - Washington,DC,USA

Contact: Mark Wheeler
University of California - Los Angeles
Vulnerability to post-traumatic stress disorder runs in families, study shows
Research finds genetic connection between PTSD, depression and anxiety

Earthquakes have aftershocks — not just the geological kind but the mental kind as well. Just like veterans of war, earthquake survivors can experience post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety.

In 1988, a massive earthquake in Armenia killed 17,000 people and destroyed nearly half the town of Gumri. Now, in the first multigenerational study of its kind, UCLA researchers studying survivors of that catastrophe have discovered that vulnerability to PTSD, anxiety and depression runs in families.

Armen Goenjian, a research psychiatrist in the UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, and colleagues studied 200 participants from 12 multigenerational families exposed to the earthquake. Participants suffered from varying degrees of the disorders. The researchers found that 41 percent of the variation of PTSD symptoms was due to genetic factors and that 61 percent of the variation of depressive symptoms and 66 percent of anxiety symptoms were attributable to genetics. Further, they found that a large proportion of the genetic liabilities for the disorders were shared.

The research appears in the December issue of the journal Psychiatric Genetics.

"This was a study of multigenerational family members — parents and offspring, grandparents and grandchildren, siblings, and so on — and we found that the genetic makeup of some of these individuals renders them more vulnerable to develop PTSD, anxiety and depressive symptoms," said Goenjian, a member of the UCLA–Duke University National Center for Child Traumatic Stress and lead author of the study.

In addition, Goenjian noted, the study suggests that a large percentage of genes are shared between the disorders.

"That tracks with clinical experience," he said. "For example, in clinical practice, the therapist will often discover that patients who come in for treatment of depression have coexisting anxiety. Our findings show that a substantial portion of the coexistence can be explained on the basis of shared genes and not just environmental factors such as upbringing."

The researchers used statistical methods to assess heritabilities. One method was used to determine the genetic component of a disorder such as PTSD. Then, a separate analysis was used to see if different phenotypes shared genes. The results showed that a significant amount of genes are shared between PTSD and depression, PTSD and anxiety, and finally depression and anxiety.
click link above for more

Monday, September 22, 2008

With traumatic injuries, what you can't see may hurt most

With traumatic injuries, what you can't see may hurt most
In disasters such as the Metrolink train crash, concealed internal wounds are often the most dangerous. Trauma centers at UCLA and elsewhere are designed specifically to treat such critical patients.
By Mary Engel, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
September 22, 2008
In the 10 days since one of the worst commuter rail accidents in California history, the region's trauma surgeons have reknit shattered limbs, repaired battered organs and returned dozens of patients to homes and families, where many will now face weeks or months of painful recuperation.

Twenty patients remain in the region's hospitals as a result of the Sept. 12 head-on collision between a Metrolink commuter train and a Union Pacific freight train in Chatsworth. Four were still in critical condition Sunday.

The most obvious injuries were the open fractures, where splintered bones in arms and legs had punched through skin, spilling tissue and blood. But the biggest threat to those who survived the initial impact was the hidden mayhem inflicted on lungs, hearts, brains, livers and other internal organs when the train came to a dead stop, slamming bodies into seat backs, tables, the steel sides of the train cars and one another.

"It would be like standing against a wall and having a car hit you at 40 mph," said Dr. Henry Gill Cryer, trauma director for the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where several of the badly injured were treated.

click post title for more

Sunday, August 10, 2008

UCLA FOCUS to help Navy Families

Navy families to get help dealing with deployment
UCLA teams with military to provide support services
By Rachel McGrath
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Military families stationed at Naval Base Ventura County will be given more support services to deal with the emotional and psychological effects of long-term deployment and combat readiness, officials said.

Beginning in September, a three-person team specializing in "resiliency-building" will be based at the chaplains' offices at Port Hueneme in what officials describe as "a unique partnership" between academics at UCLA and the military.

"We started getting lots of questions from military mental health leadership and the then-director of psychiatry at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in 2003," said Dr. Patricia Lester, director of the FOCUS project which is based at the Semel Institute at UCLA. "It was thought that some lessons we'd learned in other contexts could help inform the military experience."

Lester, a specialist in child and adolescent psychiatry, developed a customized program in response to the unique deployment experiences of military personnel since the start of the war on terror, and the program was piloted at Camp Pendleton, the Marine Corps base, during 2004 and 2005.

"We want to give families the tools early on, when the stress is moderate, to be able to address specific questions, such as how to prepare for a parent's deployment and how to deal with a parent who has post-traumatic stress issues," Lester said.

For example, Lester said, the FOCUS program, which stands for Families OverComing Under Stress, is designed to help children understand and cope with a parent who has returned from active duty and has problems readjusting to family life, and help family members communicate with each other about why a parent is very sad or jumpy or afraid of loud noises and how to deal with that.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Post-traumatic stress disorder plagues veterans

Post-traumatic stress disorder plagues veterans
Seda Terzyan, Bruin senior staff (Contact)
Published: Monday, July 28, 2008
Gripping her steering wheel and driving at high speeds with knuckles clenched so tight that the circulation of blood to her hands was cut short, Diana Rider, 33, glanced down and noticed her fists were white and numb.

The U.S. Army veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom later realized that her intense panic response was caused by the dead animal she passed on the street while driving.

Rider has experienced many violent flashbacks since she returned from the war front, causing her to relive multiple traumatic events she bore witness to in Iraq.

She served in Iraq at the start of the war in 2003 for 14 months and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder following her service, and still suffers when subtle reminders at home pull her back into the battleground.

“I was almost killed many times – in a lifetime, people do not have to deal with death in their face multiple times,” Rider said. “I was in the middle of a riot where groups of people were attacking me trying to steal my weapon, and another time a bomb exploded only 50 yards away from me.”

The intense stress of multiple traumas and near-death experiences are trademarks of PTSD, a stress disorder that follows an experience in which one believes that they may be killed, said Judith Broder, psychiatrist and founder of the Soldiers Project, a volunteer group of mental health professionals who treat combat veterans free of charge.

“It becomes complicated since troops are deployed and placed in potentially life threatening situations all the time, putting them in a state of hyper-vigilance,” Broder said. “When they come home from battle, they realize something is wrong and what was normal in danger becomes pathological at home.”

Many soldiers who are currently serving in Iraq say that the transition back to home after months of intensity is difficult.

“The reason PTSD is rising is not only due to more awareness about the issues, but due to the longer and multiple separations from the community which are protective against PTSD,” Broder said. “The normal human connection is necessary.”
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