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The operation was funded under a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense as part of the military’s efforts to expand research in innovative medical procedures.
After that procedure was successfully completed, the Defense Department awarded a $3.4 million grant to the hospital in December 2009 to fund five face transplants, including Wiens’s, according to Col. Janet Harris, director of the Clinical and Rehabilitative Medicine Research Program for the Army Medical Research and Materiel Command.
“Our interest is in research that is going to further us being able to provide better care for our troops injured in combat,” she said.