New Orleans, LA, Nov. 05, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Fisher House Foundation and Department of Veterans Affairs’ Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System broke ground today on the first Fisher House to be built in Louisiana. The house will be located on Canal Street in New Orleans and will allow up to 16 families to stay free of charge on any given night while their loved ones are receiving care at the VA medical center.
The Secretary of VA Robert L. Wilkie joined Chairman and CEO of Fisher House Foundation Ken Fisher and Medical Center Director Fernando Rivera for the groundbreaking, announcing the start of the new home.
“The 16-suite New Orleans VA Fisher House will be the first Fisher House in the state of Louisiana,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “These beautifully furnished and decorated homes enable family members to be close to their loved one during an extremely stressful time – hospitalization for a combat injury, illness or disease.”
A Fisher House creates an instant community for its residents, united by their common mission of supporting a sick or injured loved one, but also will provide individuals with a secure and private refuge after a long day at the hospital to rest and recharge. This Fisher House will serve Veterans, their family members and caregivers throughout south Louisiana and the surrounding states.
The 16-suite, 13,000+ sq.-ft. “comfort home” will join 86 other Fisher Houses operating in the United States and Europe. Each bedroom suite will be equipped with a private, handicapped-accessible bathroom. Common areas will include a spacious kitchen, large communal living, dining and family rooms, laundry room and patio.
“Veterans issues are not something that you can just talk about on Veterans Day,” said Ken Fisher. “These are real men and women with real issues. They served in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. We owe these men and women a debt we can never repay, but I’m happy that we can at least be there for their families when they need us the most. I thank the Friends of the Fisher House of Southern Louisiana and all those who have contributed towards getting this Fisher House built for the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System.”
The Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System provides in and outpatient health care including orthopedic surgery, geriatric extended care service, cancer care coordination, oncology and hemodialysis services, spinal cord injury and polytrauma care and a substance abuse residential rehabilitation and treatment program. The 16-suite New Orleans VA Fisher House will provide “a home away from home” for more than 500 families each year and is estimated to save families more than half a million dollars in lodging and transportation costs.
“Family and loved ones are critical members of the health care treatment team and their proximity to the patient is a positive influence on health care outcomes,” said Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System Director Fernando Rivera. “That’s why this Fisher House is so important. It relieves the burden and expense on our nation’s heroes and facilitates their loved ones as engaged members of their treatment team.”
Construction of this Fisher House is supported by 84 Lumber Company, Boysie Bollinger, Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar and the many gifts of a Grateful Nation.
About Fisher House
Fisher House Foundation is best known for its network of 86 comfort homes where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment. These homes are located at major military and VA medical centers nationwide, and in Europe, close to the medical center or hospital they serve. Fisher Houses have up to 21 suites, with private bedrooms and baths. Families share a common kitchen, laundry facilities, a warm dining room and an inviting living room. Fisher House Foundation ensures that there is never a lodging fee. Since inception, the program has saved military and veterans’ families an estimated $451 million in out of pocket costs for lodging and transportation. www.fisherhouse.org
About the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System
SLVHCS is tertiary care regional referral center for Veterans throughout south Louisiana and the surrounding states. The medical center has one of the largest academic programs in VHA and continues to grow its medical affiliations with Louisiana State University and Tulane University Medical Schools. In addition to primary care, mental health and specialty care, the medical center has a robust research program that includes 11 merit-equivalent grants, 66 studies and $2.9 million in direct research support in fiscal year 2019 alone. For more information, visit www.neworleans.va.gov or go to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the keyword NewOrleansVA.
Michelle Baldanza Fisher House Foundation 240-599-2478 firstname.lastname@example.org