Researchers evaluating new cancer treatment

By: samjack

NEW YORK — Ed Pulido joined the Army at 18 and spent 19 years in uniform. He lost his left leg four years after being wounded by a roadside bomb in Baqouba, Iraq. And when he was discharged in 2005, with a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart, he decided to the devote the rest of his life to work with a foundation helping the families of veterans who have been wounded or killed.

But he had one problem, he said: “how to initiate the contacts with corporate leaders, to be able to fundraise and to network.”

That’s where Sidney E. Goodfriend came in.

Goodfriend spent 25 years as a banker on Wall Street, mostly at Merrill Lynch. But, he said, he had made enough money, he was looking for a career change and he wanted to make a contribution through public service.

With his own money and using his Wall Street connections, Goodfriend, 48, founded a group called American Corporate Partners, which pairs returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan with mentors from the corporate world. He has enlisted six companies — Campbell’s, PepsiCo, Home Depot, Verizon, General Electric and investment bank Morgan Stanley — that have each promised to offer returning vets 50 mentors, in eight cities.

Starting pointThe mentors pledge to spend four hours each month for a year meeting with their assigned veteran, and the meetings could take most any form: lunch, a fishing trip, a golf outing.

“These folks come back, and in their first year, they don’t know anybody, and they especially don’t know anybody in the corporate sector,” Goodfriend said. “There is no way for them to transition easily into corporate America.”

Goodfriend said the priority is helping disabled or severely wounded veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, or the spouses or relatives of soldiers killed in action. “If you had to give preference, you’d probably give preference to those who sacrificed more,” he said.

Pulido, who lives in Oklahoma City, said he will be driving once a month to Dallas to meet with his mentor, from Frito-Lay, a division of PepsiCo. “The transition from military to civilian, it’s a very hard transition if you don’t have the skills and the education,” Pulido said. “I’m going to be driving down to Dallas to be part of that program because I think it’s important for my future.”

Matching mentorsAnother veteran, retired Capt. Sara Skinner, 31, spent 12 years in the Army, including four at West Point, and did two tours in Baghdad — the second time replacing a platoon leader who had been killed. She was injured and received a Purple Heart. The married mother of three is now working as an operations manager for SunGard Availability Services, an Internet company in Atlanta.

Skinner, who is waiting to be matched with a mentor, is looking for advice on how to leverage her military skills in the private sector. She heard about American Corporate Partners in an e-mail from a West Point alumni site.

“I know from the Army the value of mentoring,” she said. “What are the logical career paths? And specifically for me — I’m a woman; I have children.” She said she is looking for a female mentor “who is successful also with children and a family.”

Phelps is trained in advanced laparoscopic pelvic surgery and regularly performs in-vitro fertilization. He will be seeing patients at the Women’s Health Center at Bay Colony and on Galveston Island.

Golf tournament, auction party set

UTMB’s nursing school is gearing up for its 14th annual Salute to Nursing Golf Tournament and Auction Party. The event is planned for Oct. 10.

This year’s tournament is in honor of UTMB President David L. Callender and his wife, Teri Wenglein-Callender, to commemorate their first year of service at UTMB.

The golf tournament will be a shotgun scramble held at the Galveston Country Club.

It will be followed by a casual evening at the Galveston Island Convention Center at the San Luis Resort featuring a live auction, silent auction, buffet dinner and dancing.

Proceeds from the events are used to fund scholarships for nursing students.

New grants to expand health care access

Just as the state’s first 3-Share benefits program went into effect, two state agencies provided two grants totaling $1.3 million to expand health care access to small-business owners and their employees beginning next year.

Goodfriend said the idea is to match mentors with veterans as closely as possible without pigeonholing.

He has assembled a high-level bipartisan advisory board.

As evidence of the need, when the program officially opened two weeks ago with 300 slots, Goodfriend said, it received 800 applications, though it had no publicity.

Most had heard about it by word of mouth.

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