Fisher House to Expand to 14 More VA Hospitals

http://wp.me/p1d7d0-9Wy Fisher House to buildU.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Yasmine T. Muhammad/Released

Fourteen new Fisher House locations near the Department of Veterans Affairs facilities across the U.S. are on the docket for the non-profit starting in 2018, officials with the non-profit said this week.

Fisher House provides lodging and the comforts of home at 71 locations to military family members and veterans using medical facilities. For example, if a service member is injured and placed at a military hospital far from their duty station, a Fisher House may be able to host the family free of charge. Or if a family member needs to travel for a medical procedure, the Fisher House may be able to provide them with somewhere to stay. Although meals aren’t always guaranteed, the houses have full kitchens and frequently have donated meals on hand.

Originally the homes were located near active duty base medical facilities. But as the numbers of areas that needed houses dwindled, the charity started building near VA facilities to help families traveling to those locations, David Coker, the organization’s president said.

In preparation for more homes, Fisher House officials asked the VA to supply them with a list of locations that could most benefit from the service.

“To make sure we’re investing in the right communities periodically we got back to the VA to say ‘what are your next priorities for Fisher Houses,” Coker said. “It helps make sure we’re simply putting them where they’re needed and not where people want them.”

The VA’s 14 suggested locations that will get added to the list are:

  • James J. Peters VA Medical Center, Bronx, N.Y.
  • VA Hudson Valley Health Care System, Montrose, N.Y.
  • Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System, New Orleans
  • Kansas City VA Medical Center, Kansas City, Mo.
  • VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, Ann Arbor, Mich.
  • White River Junction VA Medical Center, White River Junction, Vt.
  • Huntington VA Medical Center, Huntington, W.Va.
  • William Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center, Columbia, S.C.
  • Bay Pines VA Healthcare System (second house), Bay Pines, Fla.
  • Hunter Holmes Maguire VA Medical Center (second house), Richmond, Va.
  • Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital, Columbia, Mo.
  • Perry Point VA Medical Center- VA Maryland Health Care System, Perry Point, Md.
  • South Texas Veterans Healthcare System (second house) San Antonio
  • Overton Brooks VA Medical Center, Shreveport, La.

When they get built depends on many factors, including how much preparation each site will require, Coker said. Fisher House currently runs 40 houses on DoD installations and 31 for the VA, with 16 more in various stages of development, VA officials said.

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Amy Bushatz
Amy is the editor in chief of Military.com’s spouse and family blog SpouseBuzz.com. A journalist by trade, Amy also covers spouse and family news for Military.com where she is the managing editor of spouse and family content. An Army wife and mother of two, Amy has been featured as a subject matter expert on CNN.com, NPR, Fox News, NBC, CBS, ABC and BBC as well as in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. Follow her on twitter @amybushatz.