NATIONAL VICE PRESIDENT
Ken Ness is from Minnesota and was a cadet in the U.S. Air Force. While attending the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1974, he fractured his neck in a wrestling accident, initially completely paralyzed from the neck down.
Ness was first treated in Denver where his accident occurred, and then transferred to Wood VA Hospital (now known as Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center). He had an operation that was successful in fusing his cervical spine, however, Ness was rendered totally paralyzed again. Luckily, he began to have sensation and function slowly come back. Ness was told he was perhaps the only person ever to have been entirely paralyzed twice and experienced such a great recovery.
Ness provided legal assistance to help establish the Wisconsin Chapter of PVA in 1982, and since then, he has been the chapter’s General Counsel. Ness officially became a member of the Wisconsin Chapter in1986. He has served on the chapter’s Board of Directors and has held positions as the chapter's national director and secretary.
For over forty years, Ness has been assisting individuals either as an employee of a U.S. Senator, as an attorney both in governmental and private practice, and/or in his capacity of working for the Wisconsin Chapter of PVA.
The medical care and treatment that I received once I was transferred to the SCI unit at Wood VA Hospital was a direct result of the education and advocating done by PVA.
Ness was newly elected to the fourth National Vice President spot of PVA’s Executive Committee during the organization’s 73rd
Annual Convention in May 2019, and began his one-year term on July 1, 2019. He wanted to be on the Executive Committee “in order to assist in meeting the upcoming challenges in whatever manner I can, and in helping make the decisions that will need to be made in the very near future.”
The services and programs that PVA provides is not only for paralyzed veterans, and Ness wants the public to know that. “Some of the medical treatments championed by PVA are the ‘gold standards’ around the world for all SCI patient care - not just for veterans; the medical research that is funded by PVA is very broad based and helps virtually all patients - not just paralyzed individuals; and many of PVA’s advocacy successes have, and continue to benefit many others, both veterans and in the general public.”
Ness loves participating in many different adaptive sports including cycling and air rifles. He has three children and lives in Elm Grove, Wisconsin.