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HUNTINGTON, WV, Oct. 04, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ground was broken today for a Fisher House at the Hershel "Woody" Williams VA Medical Center in Huntington, WV. It will be the first Fisher House built in the state. Once complete, up to 16 families can stay at the home 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 VA medical center.
A long-time supporter of Fisher House Foundation, Senator Joe Manchin joined the Deputy Secretary of VA James M. Byrne; Chairman and CEO of Fisher House Foundation, Ken Fisher; and Medical Center Director J. Brian Nimmo, for the groundbreaking, announcing the start of the new home.
“A Fisher House here in Huntington is the least we can do to thank our West Virginia military members, veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice. I thank my dear friend, Ken Fisher, for making this project a reality,” said Senator Manchin. “Whether it is providing death benefits to families of the fallen during a government shut-down, to funding our very first Fisher House in West Virginia, Ken has worked alongside me to provide for West Virginia Veterans. In 2018 alone, Fisher Houses served 32,000 families, and now, a Fisher House will serve West Virginians. This is an immense help to families across our state, and I am honored to be here today for the groundbreaking of the Hershel “Woody” Williams VAMC Fisher House.”
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 the more than 28,000 veterans from southwestern West Virginia, southern Ohio, and eastern Kentucky.
"VA values the commitment of Fisher House Foundation in helping us keep the nation’s promise to our veterans,” said Department of Veterans Affairs Deputy Secretary James Byrne. “This groundbreaking is the next step toward making West Virginia’s first Fisher House a reality.”
The 16-suite, 13,270+ 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.
“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 Senator Manchin for his continued support to our military and veterans and in getting this Fisher House built at the Huntington VA.”
The Hershel "Woody" Williams VAMC provides in and outpatient health care including bariatric 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 Huntington 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.
“The Hershel "Woody" Williams VAMC is excited to be the site of the first Fisher House at a West Virginia facility,” said Huntington VA Medical Center Director Brian Nimmo. “This house is going to make a tremendous difference in the quality of our service and our ability to provide care for Veterans. We are truly honored to be working with the Fisher Foundation.”
Construction of this Fisher House is supported by 84 Lumber Company and the many gifts of a Grateful Nation.
About Fisher House
Fisher House Foundation is best known for its network of 84 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
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Huntington, WV, is a fully accredited 80-bed acute medical and surgical care facility offering primary and subspecialty outpatient care, including rehabilitation and mental health services. The Hershel “Woody” Williams VA Medical Center is honored to serve veterans in a primary service area that includes 10 counties in West Virginia, two counties in southern Ohio, and 12 counties in eastern Kentucky. All military Veterans are encouraged to enroll in the VA Health Care System. To begin the process, please complete an Application for Health Care Benefits. To find more information on how to register for benefits, please visit: https://www.huntington.va.gov/patients/eligibility.asp
Michelle Baldanza Fisher House Foundation, Inc. (240) 599-2478 firstname.lastname@example.org Dwayne Rider Hershel "Woody" Williams VA Medical Center, Huntington, WV (304) 429-6741, ext. 2518 Dwayne.Rider@va.gov