University of Pittsburgh
April 15, 2010

Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to Visit Pittsburgh April 19 for a Town Hall Meeting Hosted by the University of Pittsburgh

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg will welcome to Pittsburgh Admiral Mike Mullen-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the principal military advisor to President Obama, the Secretary of Defense, and the National and Homeland Security Councils-on Monday, April 19. Admiral Mullen will visit Pittsburgh to participate in a Town Hall Meeting to be held from 2 until 3:15 p.m. in the auditorium of Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum, 4141 Fifth Ave., Oakland. The meeting, which is open to the public, will focus on current issues affecting veterans and their families in the region and on efforts to create broad-based support for integrating returning veterans into the Pittsburgh community and region.

"We are delighted that Admiral Mullen will be visiting our region and our campus," said Chancellor Nordenberg. "As our country has come to see larger numbers of veterans moving through what can be a challenging transition process, American society as a whole has responded with generosity and good will. Enhancing the educational and employment opportunities for our veterans as well as providing the necessary health care network for them and their families are critical elements to the transition from military to civilian life. A key focus at Pitt is our research programs directed to medical advances that will position us to better meet the needs of returning veterans. However, it also seems clear that even more could be done to ensure that there is an effective flow of information about available services and programs to those who might benefit from them and to facilitate even higher levels of cooperation between organizations that are committed to the same mission-helping those who served their country maximize their own opportunities to build fulfilling lives in the civilian community."

Joining Admiral Mullen on the Town Hall Meeting's panel will be U.S. Representative Tim Murphy (Pa. 18th); Ronald Conley, director of the Allegheny County Division of Veterans Services; Jeremy W. Feldbusch, national spokesperson for the Wounded Warrior Project; Albert H. Mercer, executive director of the Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania; Michael E. Moreland, network director of the VA Healthcare-Veterans Integrated Service Network 4; Ann Rairigh, director of Pitt's Office of Veterans Services; Major General Stephen Sischo, deputy adjutant general of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard; and Terry Gerigk Wolf, director and chief executive officer of the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System. The discussion will be moderated by Rory A. Cooper, FISA-Paralyzed Veterans of America Chair, University of Pittsburgh, and Senior Career Scientist, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Throughout the day, Admiral Mullen will visit several veteran-related services and health care organizations, including the Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania, the H. John Heinz III Progressive Care Center of the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, the Pitt-UPMC McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and the Center of Excellence for Wheelchair and Related Technology, a partnership between Pitt, the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, and UPMC. Researchers at the McGowan Institute will demonstrate advances being made in hand transplantation, vision restoration, the regeneration of muscle and tissue, burn therapies, traumatic brain injury therapies, and soft-tissue reconstruction. Researchers at the Center of Excellence for Wheelchair and Related Technology will demonstrate advances in mobility and other assistive technologies.

Admiral Mullen's visit comes as Pitt has recently expanded its Office of Veteran Services. In January, "Military Advanced Education's 3rd Annual Guide to America's Military-Friendly Colleges and Universities" listed Pitt as one of the country's top military-friendly universities. More than 400 veterans are currently enrolled at Pitt.

Admiral Mullen was sworn in as the 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in October 2007. A native of Los Angeles, he graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy in 1968.

No backpacks, bags, computers, computer bags, or similar items will be allowed into Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall. Doors will open at 1 p.m. and those planning on attending should allow sufficient time for security check-in.

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