VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System
VA Ann Arbor Breaks Ground for a New Fisher House
Fisher Houses Will Provide Free, Temporary Lodging to
Military & Veteran Families
ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN [June 14, 2019] – Ground was broken today for a new Fisher House at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System in Michigan. Once complete, up to 16 families can stay at the Fisher Houses free of charge on any given night, allowing them to be close to their loved ones at the most stressful time – during hospitalization at the Ann Arbor VA Medical Center.
U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell, National VA Fisher House and Family Hospitality Program Manager Jennifer Koget and Fisher House Foundation Chairman and President David Coker joined Medical Center Director Ginny Creasman for the groundbreaking, announcing the start of the new home.
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 each individual with a secure and private refuge after a long day at the hospital to rest and recharge.
This 16-suite, 13,000+ sq.-ft. “comfort home” will join 84 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.
“In Ann Arbor, we’re so proud and honored to deliver exceptional health care for our veterans,” said Creasman. “Now, with the first Fisher House in Michigan, we can provide the next level of caring for our heroes’ families.”
“VA is grateful to Fisher House Foundation and many community partners for their tremendous efforts to make the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System Fisher House a reality,” said Koget.
“It’s very clear from the overwhelming response just how much Michiganders care about military and veterans’ families,” said Coker. “They know that we owe our veterans much more than just a thank you for their service and sacrifice. These men and women deserve tangible support when they need it most – and this Fisher House will make that possible.”
This project has benefited from the tireless efforts of Fisher House Michigan. Volunteers have hosted countless fundraisers, including the annual “Stories of Service” Veterans’ story-telling event that draws thousands. Fisher House Michigan has already raised nearly $2.5 million for the construction of the Ann Arbor Fisher House, part of their $7 million pledge to complete the project.
Construction of this Fisher House is also supported by: Checkered Flag Foundation; Masco Corporation Foundation; American Legion Department of Michigan; Ambassador & Mrs. Ronald Weiser; The Palmucci Family; AM General; Michigan Medicine; Members of the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor ; UAW Local 900; Vietnam Veterans of Michigan; The Tallman Family; Trinity Charitable Foundation; Bill & Wendy Holmes; Old National Bank; Erwin Prieskorn American Legion Post 46 in Ann Arbor; DAR of Michigan; gifts in honor of Matthew Drake and military members actively serving in Michigan; and gifts in memory of Robert W. "Fletch" Fletcher, CPT Art Holst, Scott Freestone & Ron Arenas; and the many gifts of a grateful nation.
About Fisher House
Fisher House Foundation is best known for its network of 75 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 it serves. 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 $407 million in out of pocket costs for lodging and transportation. Fisher House Foundation also operates the Hero Miles Program, using donated frequent flyer miles to bring family members to the bedside of injured service members as well as the Hotels for Heroes program using donated hotel points to allow family members to stay at hotels near medical centers without charge. The Foundation also manages a grant program that supports other military charities and scholarship funds for military children, spouses and children of fallen and disabled veterans. www.fisherhouse.org
About VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System
Since 1953, the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, including the VA Ann Arbor Medical Center, the VA Toledo Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC), the VA Flint CBOC, and the VA Jackson CBOC, as well as the VA Center for Clinical Management Research, an HSR&D Center of Excellence, has provided state-of-the-art healthcare services to the men and women who have proudly served our nation. Nearly 69,000 Veterans living in a 17-county area of Michigan and Northwest Ohio utilized VAAAHS in fiscal year 2018.
CLICK HERE to view photos from the Groundbreaking Ceremony.