Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative to donate proceeds from the Run for the Wounded Warrior to help wounded service members through the Wounded Warrior Project
Pittsburgh, PA 9/25/12 – The Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative announced today that for the 3rd year its Run for the Wounded Warrior, a 5K and 5 Mile Walk/Run fundraiser to assist service members who have been injured in the line of duty, is being held Pittsburgh’s North Park on November 3, 2012. All proceeds from the Run for the Wounded Warrior will be donated to the nonprofit organization Wounded Warrior Project and the National Organization on Disability, and will support a full range of programs and services for severely injured service members and their families.
Last year was our second year and together with our sponsors and 741 participants we were able to raise over $80,000 to give back to these charities. In addition to raising money, we sought to connect the community with what the Pittsburgh region is doing in the field of regenerative medicine for the wounded soldier.
To date, over 45,000 members of our nation’s armed forces have been physically wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. Studies estimate that more than 30,000 will suffer from the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. These injuries are often devastating, leaving a formerly active young man or woman unable to care for themselves. While grateful for their return, the round-the-clock care required to treat these wounded warriors often falls on their families, giving caregivers no choice but to leave their jobs and forego healthcare of their own.
Of these wounded military personnel returning from Iraq or Afghanistan, approximately one-third of them have life-altering injuries. These disabilities often demand a long and difficult period of recovery and adjustment but they need not be a barrier to civilian employment, income, and independence. Too often, seriously wounded service members lack the training and resources to adapt their military experience and new disabilities to successful civilian careers. The waste of their talents and abilities, and its impact on thousands of military families, is a completely preventable national tragedy. In 2007, the US Army asked NOD to design a solution. The result of this collaboration is the Wounded Warrior Careers Demonstration, in which hundreds of the most severely injured veterans and their families have begun planning, and preparing for careers, enrolling in school or training programs, taking jobs, and moving ahead.
Proceeds will help NOD initiate a Wounded Warrior Careers project in western Pennsylvania. This will help us serve up to 100 of the most severely –injured veterans and family members pursue a career—and the dignity, financial self-sufficiency and sense of optimism that careers bring--upon their transition home from combat. Since 2008, NOD has operated Wounded Warrior Careers in Colorado, North Carolina and Dallas Texas. Our veterans are achieving work and education milestones at 68%--twice the rate of their counterparts without benefit of our services.
Since its establishment in 1996, PTEI has sought to support the growth of a regional industry through focused efforts to facilitate commercialization of university-derived technologies associated with engineered tissues. This mission reflected PTEI’s early efforts to establish Pittsburgh as a major hub of U.S. research and technology development in tissue engineering, a field of biomedicine that was then in its infancy. Now, PTEI directs national research programs for the U.S. Department of Defense, supporting professional training for scientists, creating award-winning science education programs for “students” of all ages, and bridging geographic and scientific boundaries to link scientists and industry partners around the world. These innovative programs in research, education and industry network development enhance the very means by which regenerative therapies are developed, and will accelerate their delivery to patients. By doing so, PTEI is fulfilling its mission to improve the health of individuals by establishing the region as an internationally recognized center of excellence in research, education, and commercial development for the advancement of tissue-related medical therapies.
“This event is being organized first and foremost to raise money and awareness for the Wounded Warrior Project and the National Organization on Disability. However, we want to take this opportunity to highlight what else is happening in the Pittsburgh region to specifically benefit the health and well being of the wounded warrior. There are countless scientists, doctors, companies, and many others whose focus is regenerative medicine techniques to specifically heal our soldiers. On race day we will take the time to highlight these efforts.” Event Director, Charlotte Emig
For Immediate Release
Contact: Charlotte Emig