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Fisher House: A family’s love is good medicine

By Milan Eagle media

“Across the United States there are more than 1,000 veteran families staying every night at a Fisher House”
There are 650,000 Veterans living in Michigan, and 5 major VA Medical Centers to support them. However, while there are nearly 80 active Fisher Houses around the world, (76 in the U.S., Ohio has four for example) there are NONE in Michigan. Working collaboratively with the Fisher House Foundation and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Fisher House Michigan (FHM) aims to change that.
Fisher Houses have been approved for both the Ann Arbor and Detroit VA Hospitals, and FHM has set a strategic goal of raising $20,000,000. This amount will fund these first two houses, support the families during their stay in these houses, and provide sufficient funds to endow a future for any other Fisher Houses in the state that the VA authorizes.
According to Board Member, Mark Palmucci, “ground breaking for Michigan’s first Fisher House by VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System is scheduled for spring 2019. The build out cycle typically is 12-15 months. The second Michigan location has been approved in Detroit close to John Dingle VA Medical Center and they are working to finalize the land acquisition. Target of $5,000,000 has been changed to $20,000,000 and they hope to achieve that within the next 2 years. Over 90% of every dollar goes into the housing cost.”
Fisher House Michigan fund-raising is a volunteer organization, with a tiny professional staff. Merging the Detroit Fisher House initiative with Fisher House Michigan salutes the Ann Arbor volunteer organization for its lean and effective methods, which have won it a Platinum Rating for transparency from Guide Star Charity Rating System.
A Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher House is like a Ronald McDonald House, except that Fisher Houses are built near military and VA hospitals for the families of our active U.S. Military Service Members and Veterans who need inpatient medical services. A temporary home away from home, Fisher Houses keep loved ones together in a supportive environment during medical crises, without the burden of an out-of-pocket expense.
These are first-class facilities, beautifully designed and well built. Our military heroes deserve nothing less. But they are not financed by the VA but rather by private citizens and corporate donors, who want to give back for the safety, security, freedom and comfort our military provides.
Fisher Houses typically include 16 suites, with private bedrooms and baths. Veterans and their families share a common kitchen, laundry facilities, a dining room and living room at no cost while they undergo treatment. The common areas help create a support network among the families, who are all experiencing stressful times as their loved ones undergo medical treatment.
A Fisher House provides no-charge accommodations to the families of the patients who live more than fifty miles away from the facility when there is financial stress on top of the medical stress.
A family’s love is good medicine. Fisher House Foundation ensures that there is never a lodging fee. Since inception, the program has saved military and veterans’ families an estimated $407 million in out of pocket costs for lodging and transportation. Fisher House Michigan is dedicated to bringing Fisher Houses to the deserving Veterans and their families of Michigan. Together, the Ann Arbor and Detroit Fisher Houses will provide 11,680 nights of free lodging annually, saving Veterans and their families over $1.5 million in out-of-pocket costs.
Fisher House Michigan Executive Director, Kate Melcher, is a Saline High School graduate, a former senate staffer and after 9/11 she joined the Army, as a Captain she piloted Apache helicopters.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, about Fisher House Michigan and their special fund-raising events or how you can help by honoring the exceptional sacrifice our Active Military and Veterans made, contact Fisher House Michigan at 518-481-0552 OR info@fisherhousemichigan..

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