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Congress Sends Bill to President with $60 Million for Louisville VA, Additional $5 Million Secured by Yarmuth for Other Local Projects

(Washington, DC) Today, two days after House approval, the Senate approved the budget for FY09, and the President is expected to sign it in the coming days.  The bill includes funding for four projects secured by Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3), including $60 million for a new VA hospital in Louisville.

“With the commitment we’ve received from the VA to fund a new hospital in Louisville, area veterans can be confident that they will soon have a new, state-of-the-art facility that will offer the very best care and the treatment they have earned,” said Congressman Yarmuth.

“The VA has assured me that with this level of construction funding in our bill, they intend to spend approximately $60 million in fiscal year 2009 to move the Louisville project forward.  John Yarmuth's role in this process was absolutely instrumental,” said Congressman Chet Edwards, Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs.

The bill also includes the funding that Yarmuth secured for the following three Louisville projects:

$1.6 million– National Foundation to Support Cell Transplant Research— Composite Tissue Allotransplantation
Currently, transplant patients must take medication that weakens their immune system for the rest of their lives in order to prevent tissue rejection, but composite tissue allotransplantation (CTA) replaces this practice with one that no longer endangers the overall health of the patient. This project will work to move composite tissue allotransplantation (CTA) from a promising experimental procedure to a routinely applied standard of care treatment for catastrophic injury and loss of tissue. As of now, amputation and prosthetic devices are the only options for wounded soldiers.  With this research transplantation, particularly upper extremities, could become an option.

$1.7 million – UofL - Digital Directed Manufacturing
Direct Digital Manufacturing (DDM) uses high-tech digital manufacturing technologies to produce complex products in a fraction of the time required by conventional manufacturing processes. DDM involves the creation of a 3-dimensional computer model of the desired part and the use of a specially designed machine equipped with a laser to fuse powdered materials to produce the part one layer at a time. Replacement parts could theoretically be produced anywhere in the world, in real-time, on an as needed basis rather than in a factory thousands of miles away, thereby saving the military significant time, cost, and logistic burden.

$1.6 million—UofL— Minimizing Health Effects of Air Toxics on Military Personnel
This project will document, study, and analyze the health effects of toxic air pollutants.  Air toxics such as acrolein, butadiene, and formaldehyde are common products of combustion and reach lethal concentrations following a military or terrorist attack, or during a fire.  The results of this project can then be used by the military to develop strategies to prevent or minimize the acute effects of air toxics on military personnel, thereby reducing long-term health risks.

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