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Fisher House planned at Alvin York VA Hospital

Fisher House planned at Alvin York VA Hospital

Posted: Thursday, May 3, 2012 5:00 pm

The first Fisher House is planned for Murfreesboro near the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System — Alvin York V.A. Hospital that serves veterans.
A Fisher House is “a home away from home” for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and Veterans Administration medical centers. The homes are normally located within walking distance of the treatment facility or have transportation available. There are 56 Fisher Houses located on 22 military installations and 20 VA medical centers. Many more houses are under construction or in design.
Alan Owen of Gleason was one of the representatives of the Sons of the American Legion to make a presentation of a $5,000 check for the Tennessee organization. The donation will go toward the construction of a 12-unit apartment and two-hotel room complex to meet the lodging needs of veterans’ families near Tennessee Valley Healthcare System — Alvin C. York (Murfreesboro) campus on Lebanon Pike. Attending the check presentation were Andrea Lawrence, president, Tennessee Fisher House Foundation; Alan Owen of Gleason, S.A.L. National Executive Committeeman; Ed Wallace of Nashville, S.A.L. State Commander; Dale Gore of Chattanooga, Squadron 95; Gary Crockett of Tullahoma, alternate national executive committeeman; Doug Southhall, interim director of Alvin C. York Veterans Medical Center; Bill McIntire, S.A.L. Squadron 95; Rosetta Fisher-Oliver, volunteer service director Alvin C. York Veterans Medical Center; John L. Jones, S.A. detachment adjutant; Byron Trantham, S.A.L. East Tennessee vice commander.
Typically, the houses are 5,000- to 16,800-square foot homes donated by the Fisher family and Fisher House Foundation. Each house is designed to provide eight to 21 suites. All are professionally furnished and decorated in the tone and style of the local region. The houses can accommodate 16 to 42 family members. They feature a common kitchen, laundry facilities, spacious dining room and an inviting living room with library and toys for children. Newest houses are 100 percent handicap accessible and include elevators. A Fisher House is a temporary residence and is not a treatment facility, hospice or counseling center. The program began in 1990, and has offered more than three million days of lodging to more than 120,000 families.
Fisher Houses are gifted to the U. S. government. The Fisher House Foundation Inc., a not-for-profit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code, builds new houses and assists in the coordination of private support and encourages public support for the homes.
Families do not pay to stay at a Fisher House. Fees at Army, Navy and Air Force Fisher Houses are underwritten by Fisher House Foundation. These homes enable family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful times — during the hospitalization for an unexpected illness, disease or injury.
Fisher Houses have full-time salaried managers, but depend on volunteers and voluntary support to enhance daily operations and program expansion. The Fisher House Foundation Inc. and many individual Fisher Houses receive support through the Combined Federal Campaign.
The Fisher House program is a unique private-public partnership that supports America’s military in their time of need. The program recognizes the special sacrifices of our men and women in uniform and the hardships of military service by meeting a humanitarian need beyond that normally provided by the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.
Because members of the military and their families are stationed worldwide and must often travel great distances for specialized medical care, Fisher House Foundation donates “comfort homes,” built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers.
Annually, the Fisher House program serves more than 17,000 families, and have made available over four million days of lodging to family members since the program originated in 1990.

Published in The Messenger 5.03.12

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