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DAV: FULFILLING OUR PROMISES TO THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO SERVED Bringing a Fisher House to the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System
A Fisher House is "a home away from home," dedicated to our greatest national treasure...our military service men and women, and their loved ones.
A families love is always the best medicine.  When a loved one is injured or ill, a Fisher House unites families and relieves the financial and emotional strain of being away from home.  Fisher Houses also provide an outlet for families to find support and encouragement from others in a similar circumstances.  Too often families incur significant expense and unnecessary hardship in their efforts to ralley round a loved one in time of need.
What is Fisher House? 
    The typical Fisher House has eight to 21 suites, with a first floor that is designed with handicapped access.  The houses can accommodate 16 to 42 family members.  They feature a common kitchen, laundry facilities, spacious dining room, an inviting living room, complete with fireplace, library, and toys for children.
    A Fisher House is a temporary residence and is not a treatment facility, hospice or counseling center.  Fisher Houses have full-time salaried managers, but depend on volunteers and voluntary support to enhance daily operations and program expansion.  In 2005, Fisher Houses served 8,000 families and saved families more than $7 million in lodging costs, plus food and transportation; Since inception Fisher Houses have served more than 100,000 families and saved families more than $70 million in lodging costs, plus savings on subsistence and transportation costs.
Who are the Fishers?
    Zachary Fisher was ineligble for military service during WWII due to a construction accident.  Nevertheless, he was determinded to do his part.  His wife, Elizabeth, entertained troops in Europe during the war as a member of the USO.  Saddened by the deaths of military personel who often leave behind families in need, the Fishers made numerous contributions to aid such families.  In 1990 they began the Fisher House Program, constructing a network of comfort homes in the U.S. and overseas for families of hospitalized military personnel.  The Fishers had witnessed first-hand the value of having families close by to help in the healing process.
What does the Fisher House Foundation do?
    Fisher House Foundation is committed to projects that improve the quality of life for service members and their families.  The Fishers also established the Fisher Armed Services Foundation, dedicated to providing scholarship funds to the families of active and former service members.  They founded the Fisher Center for Altzheimer's Disease Research Foundation.  The Foundation now also offers the Scholarships for Military Children Program and the Hero Miles Program for the Department of Defense which provides free airline tickets to wounded or injured service members and their families.(see announcements & links)
How many Fisher Houses are there?
    There are 35 Fisher Houses on 17 military installations and eight VA Medical Centers.  Three more houses are still in construction and will open in early 2007.  Five more have been approved for building in 2007.  There is at least one Fisher House at every major Military Medical Center.
How is a Fisher House paid for?
    Fisher House Foundation pays the costs of construction and furnishing for each fisher house, and the Foundation will have the money on hand before construction begins.  So they may conserve funds to build more houses, they ask if half the money for a new house can be raised in the local area, and then do a one-for-one match.  Fisher Houses are given to the U.S. Government as gifts but houses located at the V.A. Medical Centers do receive support from tax dollars.  As verified by their most recent audit and tax return, only 3% of expendatures are for administration or fundraising.
Who gets to stay at a Fisher House and how much does it cost?
    As of October 1, 2006, there is no cost to any familiy to stay at any Fisher House.  Families of active duty military members and veterans who are undergoing life-saving care at military or veterans' hospitals can stay at a Fisher House to be near to their loved ones.  Veterans/Military who must receive recurring care can also stay with their families at the Fisher House.
Why does VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System need a Fisher House?
    Numerous veterans have to travel across the state, and even across the country, to receive some of the specialized services provided at VAPHS, such as transplants and oncology treatment.  The ability to bring their familiy with them for support and to have them nearby during procedures and care is a challenge that countless numbers of these veterans face.  A Fisher House is the solution to this obstacle.
Where can I get more information?
    For further information, visit www.fisherhouse.org or write to Fisher House Foundation, Inc. 1401 Rockville Pike, Suite 600, Rockville MD. 20852.  Toll-free telephone: (888)294-8560 or e-mail: info@fisherhouse.org
How can I make a donation?
    Any interest in assisting the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System in beginning the process of building a Fisher House for the loved ones of Pittsburgh area veterans is greatly appreciated.  Please specify when making a donation that you would like it to be used for the Fisher House at VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System.  Online donations or forms for faxing or mailing donations at          www.fisherhouse.org/contibute/contribute.shtml Checks made payable to: Fisher House Foundation can be mailed to:
Fisher House Foundation, Inc. 1401 Rockville Pike, Suite 600, Rockville, MD. 20852
Fisher House Foundation, Inc. and many individual Fisher Houses also receive support through the Combined Federal Campaign.  

Last modified at 3/17/2008 10:59 AM  by PA 08 Webmaster 

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