Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas
Third Fisher House Coming to Houston VA
Veterans and visitors to the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) will soon see a beautiful new home being constructed near the main Holcombe entrance to the campus. The Fisher Foundation recently announced plans to build a third Fisher House on the Houston VA campus, with a groundbreaking tentatively set for this summer. The new home will provide lodging for up to 20 families of Veterans at no cost, allowing them to be close to their loved ones at the most stressful time – during a hospitalization. The MEDVAMC already operates two busy Fisher Houses on campus and has housed more than 12,500 families since the first house opened in 2005.
“We are very proud to once again partner with Houston VA,” said Ken Fisher, Chairman and CEO of Fisher House Foundation, “because we both understand that not all battles are fought on the battlefield. A medical crisis, the most personal battle of all, can result in panic and confusion when the family is forced to find a place to stay in a strange city. That’s where Fisher Houses have an impact. A home away from home, free of charge, near their loved one’s bedside.”
The MEDVAMC, which serves more than 118,000 Veterans and is one of the largest VA Medical Centers in the country, is the first facility to have a second, much less a third, Fisher House on its campus. The Houston Fisher Houses offer free, extended-stay facilities for families of hospitalized active-duty or retired military member and Veterans who live more than 50 miles from the Medical Center. The Fisher House will not only create an instant community for its residents, united by their common mission of supporting a sick or injured love one, but will also provide each individual with a secure and private refuge after a long day at the hospital to rest and recharge.
“We are thrilled to be able to offer the families of our Veterans first class accommodations in our Fisher Houses,” said Adam Walmus, Medical Center Director. “We can’t thank the Fisher Foundation enough for how much they have helped enhance the healing experience of our nation’s heroes by keeping their loved ones close by. Having a third Fisher House here in Houston will allow us to support even more families in the years to come and even offer us the option to provide housing to some of our Veterans who come here for long-term treatment.”
The third Houston VA Fisher House will join the other 70+ Fisher Houses operating in the United States and Europe, and will be gifted to the VA upon completion of the construction. Each of the bedroom suites comes equipped with a private, handicapped-accessible bathroom. Common areas in the houses include a spacious kitchen, large communal living, dining and family rooms, laundry room and patios.
“So far our Houston Fisher Houses have accommodated Veteran family members ranging in age from one week to 90 years young,” Walmus said. “The Houston community has been incredibly supportive in donating to the Fisher Foundation and in supporting the residents of our Fisher Houses with food, household and toiletry item donations. When a loved one is hospitalized, it so great to be able to house their families right here on campus in these beautiful, peaceful and comfortable homes. Having family close by really is good medicine.”
Since its inception, the Fisher Houses have saved military and Veteran’s families an estimated $320 million on out of pocket costs for lodging and transportation. Inside each house is a statue of the Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher with the inscription: “This gift is dedicated to our greatest national treasure, our military servicemen and women, and their loved ones.”
For more information about the Houston Fisher Houses call Frank Kelley at 713-794-8095.