Michael E. Debakey VA Medical Center to Receive a Third Fisher House

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Fisher House Will Provide Free, Temporary Lodging to Military & Veteran Families

Ground was broken today for a third Fisher House at the Michael E. Debakey VA Medical Center. Once complete, this will be the first VA in the nation to have three Fisher Houses. Combined with the other two homes, up to 61 families can stay at a Fisher House 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 Houston VA Medical Center.

Fisher House Foundation President David A. Coker joined Medical Center Director Francisco Vazquez and Dr. Richard Wainerdi, President Emeritus of Texas Medical Center, for the groundbreaking and to announce 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.

The 20-suite, 16,000+ sq.-ft. “comfort home” will join 71 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.

“When Veterans are receiving care at the Houston VA Medical Center, having their family close by makes a huge difference in their recovery and really is good medicine,” said Vazquez. “We are so thankful to the Fisher Foundation for donating this third Fisher House and joining us in supporting the men and women who have served our country.”

“Veterans travel from all over the country to receive specialized and life-saving medical care in Houston,” said Coker. “Without a free room available in a Fisher House, the high cost of lodging can be a barrier to getting the care they deserve. As need increases, we consider it a privilege to work with the generous American public to provide for our nations heroes and their families.”

Construction of this Fisher House is supported by: Alorica, Mr. John Burkland, La Quinta Inns & Suites, Motorola Solutions Foundation, Shell Oil Co. and United Airlines.

About Fisher House
Fisher House Foundation is best known for a network of 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 $320 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.

http://www.fisherhouse.org

About the Michael E. Debakey VA Medical Center

The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center serves as the primary health care provider for almost 130,000 veterans in southeast Texas. Veterans from around the country are referred to the MEDVAMC for specialized diagnostic care, radiation therapy, surgery, and medical treatment including cardiovascular surgery, gastrointestinal endoscopy, nuclear medicine, ophthalmology, and treatment of spinal cord injury and diseases. The MEDVAMC is home to a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Clinic; Network Polytrauma Center; an award-winning Cardiac and General Surgery Program; Liver Transplant Center; VA Epilepsy and Cancer Centers of Excellence; VA Substance Abuse Disorder Quality Enhancement Research Initiative; Health Services Research & Development Center of Innovation; VA Rehabilitation Research of Excellence focusing on mild to moderate traumatic brain injury; Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center; and one of the VA’s six Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Centers. In late 2012, the MEDVAMC received official designation as a Kidney Transplant Center. Including the outpatient clinics in Beaumont, Conroe, Galveston, Houston, Katy, Lufkin, Richmond, Tomball and Texas City, MEDVAMC outpatient clinics log more than a million outpatient visits annually.

Awards and Accreditation
The MEDVAMC has received national awards and honors including accreditation from Joint Commission* for hospital, long-term care, behavioral health care, home care, and substance abuse. In early 2014, the MEDVAMC was awarded re-designation for Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Services by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. This recognizes the Medical Center for quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice. MEDVAMC is the first VA medical center in the nation to receive redesignation of Magnet status twice. The Medical Center is consistently recognized for demonstrating low observed-to-expected mortality rates in general surgery, all surgery, and all non-cardiac surgery. In 2011, the medical center’s Pathology and Laboratory Medicine was awarded accreditation by the Accreditation Committee of the College of American Pathologists and its Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center was awarded a 3-year accreditation by Rehabilitation Accreditation Commission (CARF). The MEDVAMC earned the Gold Seal of Approval™ in 2011 from the Joint Commission as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center. The MEDVAMC is the first VA medical center with this designation.

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Kerri Childress
Fisher House Foundation
+1 (240) 599-2463
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