Our History

1990

Pauline Trost, wife of Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Carlisle Trost, presents to Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher the need for temporary lodging facilities for families at major military medical centers.

1991

Two Fisher Houses open:

  • National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MD – dedicated by President George H. W. Bush
  • Walter Reed Army Medical Center; Washington, DC

Total Fisher Houses open: 2

1992

The Fisher House managers hold their first annual conference in Washington, DC.

Six Fisher Houses open:

  • Wilford Hall Medical Center; Lackland Air Force Base, TX – two houses
  • Naval Medical Center; San Diego, CA
  • Madigan Army Medical Center; Fort Lewis, WA
  • Brooke Army Medical Center; Fort Sam Houston, TX
  • Keesler Air Force Base; Biloxi, MS

Total Fisher Houses open: 8

1993

Fisher House Foundation, Inc. is established as the national not-for-profit organization to assist in the coordination of private support and encourage public support for the Fisher House program.

Three Fisher Houses open:

  • Eisenhower Army Medical Center; Fort Gordon, GA
  • Womack Army Medical Center; Fort Bragg, NC
  • Fitzsimmons Army Medical Center; Denver, CO

Total Fisher Houses open: 11

1994

David Coker joins Fisher House Foundation as its first employee – he becomes the Foundation’s Executive Director and establishes offices in Rockville, Maryland.

Seven Fisher Houses open:

  • David Grant Medical Center; Travis Air Force Base, CA
  • William Beaumont Army Medical Center; El Paso, TX
  • Wright-Patterson Air Force Base; Dayton, OH
  • Tripler Army Medical Center; Honolulu, HI
  • Malcolm Grow Medical Center; Andrews Air Force Base, MD
  • National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MD – second house
  • Stratton VA Medical Center; Albany, NY – first VA Fisher House

Total Fisher Houses open: 18

1995

Four Fisher Houses open:

  • Naval Medical Center; Portsmouth, VA
  • West Palm Beach VA Medical Center, FL
  • Minneapolis VA Health Care System; MN
  • Brooke Army Medical Center; Fort Sam Houston, TX – second house

Total Fisher Houses open: 22

1996

Fitzsimmons Army Medical Center; Denver, CO is transferred to the Department of Veterans Affairs – this Fisher House now supports families of patients at the Denver VA Medical Center.

One Fisher House opens:

  • Walter Reed Army Medical Center; Washington, DC – second house

Total Fisher Houses open: 23

1998

The Fisher Children’s Center at Camp Pendleton, CA is dedicated as a Fisher House affiliated project.

The Fisher House Foundation Board of Trustees approves adding the building of Fisher Houses to its corporate purposes (previously carried out by the Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher Armed Services Foundation).

M. Anthony Fisher, Zachary Fisher’s nephew and a managing partner at Fisher Brothers, joins the Fisher House Foundation Board of Directors as the Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer.

One Fisher House opens:

  • Darnall Army Community Hospital; Fort Hood, TX

Total Fisher Houses open: 24

1999

Zachary Fisher passes away June 4, 1999.

Arnold Fisher, Zachary’s nephew, becomes Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Fisher House Foundation.

One Fisher House opens:

  • Wright-Patterson Air Force Base; Dayton, OH – the Nightingale House, open since 1990, is counted among the Fisher Houses

Total Fisher Houses open: 25

2000

A June 15 ceremony in Portsmouth, VA marks the 10th anniversary of the Fisher House program.

Kenneth Fisher, Zachary Fisher’s grandnephew, joins M. Anthony Fisher as Vice Chairman of Fisher House Foundation.

2001
Fisher House Foundation, in cooperation with the Defense Commissary Agency, announces the Scholarships for Military Children program – each recipient will receive a $1,500 scholarship grant, funded primarily by commissary business partners.

Three Fisher Houses open:

  • Wilford Hall Medical Center; Lackland Air Force Base, TX – third house
  • Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany
  • Cincinnati VA Medical Center, OH

Total Fisher Houses open: 28

2002

Two Fisher Houses open:

  • Bay Pines VA Medical Center, FL
  • Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany – second house

Total Fisher Houses open: 30

2003

As the number of service members wounded or injured in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom increases, Fisher Houses truly become “home-away-from-home” for the families of these heroes.

Fisher House Foundation Vice Chairman, Kenneth Fisher succeeds his father, Arnold Fisher, as the Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Fisher House Foundation.

Audrey Fisher, wife of Arnold Fisher, accepts the role of “Fisher House Ambassador” and begins visiting each Fisher House on a regular basis; she is joined on visits by Nancy Edelman.

One Fisher House opens:

  • Tripler Army Medical Center; Honolulu, HI – second house is dedicated in memory of Vice Chairman M. Anthony Fisher, who was tragically killed in an airplane accident with his wife, Anne

Total Fisher Houses open: 31

2004

Fisher House Foundation partners with “Operation Hero Miles”, a program through which the public donates frequent flyer miles to assist service members in Iraq and Afghanistan to return to the United States on rest and recuperation of emergency leave; the program expands to include free air travel to hospitalized service members for leave or pass, and is extended to their families.

One Fisher House opens:

  • Walter Reed Army Medical Center; Washington, DC – third house, dedicated by the Chairman, Joint Chief of Staff, Air Force General Richard Myers

Total Fisher Houses open: 32

2005

One Fisher House opens:

  • Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center; Houston, TX – dedicated by President George H. W. Bush

Total Fisher Houses open: 33

2006

Fisher House Foundation Chairman Kenneth Fisher meets President and Mrs. George W. Bush in the Oval Office to represent Fisher House Foundation at a meeting of selected members of “America Supports You” organizations.

Team of military spouses runs the Marine Corps Marathon in support of Fisher House, beginning "Team Fisher House."

Two Fisher Houses open:

  • Blanchfield Army Community Hospital; Fort Campbell, KY
  • Palo Alto VA Health Care System; CA

Total Fisher Houses open: 35

2007

Fisher House Foundation Chairman Kenneth Fisher is appointed by President George W. Bush to the “Commission on Care” for America’s returning Wounded Warriors.

Fisher House Foundation Vice Chairman Arnold Fisher serves on the Independent Review Group established by Defense Secretary Robert Gates to talk to patients and family members about their experiences with military medical care.

Three Fisher Houses open:

  • Brooke Army Medical Center; Fort Sam Houston, TX – third and fourth house
  • James A. Haley VA Medical Center; Tampa, FL

Total Fisher Houses open: 38

2008

Fisher House Foundation Chairman, Kenneth Fisher, is honored by US News and World Report as one of “America’s Best Leaders” in the philanthropy category.

Fisher House Foundation partners with the National Military Family Association to provide scholarship grants to military spouses.

Team Fisher House becomes the official online grassroots fundraising platform of Fisher House Foundation.

Four Fisher Houses open:

  • Naval Medical Center; San Diego, CA – second house
  • Dallas VA Medical Center; TX
  • Puget Sound VA Medical Center; Seattle, WA
  • McGuire VA Medical Center; Richmond, VA

Total Fisher Houses open: 42

2009

Fisher House Foundation is designated as the official nonprofit partner for the Indianapolis 500, the largest single sporting event in the United States.

One Fisher House opens:

  • West Los Angeles VA Medical Center; CA

Total Fisher Houses open: 43

2010

President Obama announces the proceeds from his children’s book “Of Thee I Sing” will benefit Fisher House Foundation’s “Heroes’ Legacy Scholarships” for the sons and daughters of fallen/disabled service members.

Ten Fisher Houses open:

  • Hines VA Hospital; Chicago, IL
  • VA Boston Healthcare System; Roxbury, MA
  • St. Louis VA Medical Center; MO
  • Eglin Air Force Base Hospital; FL
  • Miami VA Healthcare System; FL
  • Camp Lejeune Naval Hospital; NC
  • Fisher House for Families of the Fallen; Dover Air Force Base, DE
  • National Naval Medical Center; Bethesda MD – third, fourth, and fifth house

Total Fisher Houses open: 53

2011

A new Fisher House replaced the Nightingale House at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio in April. The Nightingale House was an Air Force housing duplex converted to meet needs similar to Fisher House.  It served families well for 21 years and  was demolished earlier in the year. 

Two Fisher Houses at Walter Reed Army Medical Center close. 

Minneapolis VA Health Care System became the first VA Medical Center to receive a 2nd Fisher House in March.

Three Fisher Houses open:

  •  Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center; Augusta, GA
  • Minneapolis VA Health Care System; MN
  •  Washington DC VA Medical Center; DC

Total Fisher Houses open by the end of 2011: 54

 2012

Fisher House Foundation launches Hotels for Heroes in July.  Hotels for Heroes provides hotel rooms to the families of wounded, injured, and ill military service members who are undergoing treatment at authorized medical centers when a Fisher House is not available. Rooms are made possible through the donation of rewards points by the hotel’s rewards members.

Four Fisher Houses open:

  • VA Salt Lake City Health Care System; UT
  • Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson Hospital; Elmendorf Air Force Base, AK 
  • VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System; PA
  • Fort Belvoir Community Hospital; VA

Total Fisher Houses open by the end of 2012: 58

2013

Fisher House Foundation has received an A+ rating from the American Institute of Philanthropy in its “Veterans and Military” category for seven straight years. Out of 42 charities rated, Fisher House Foundation is one of four charities to receive an A+ rating.

Four Fisher Houses Open: 

  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, United Kingdom - in partnership with Help for Heroes and Queen Elizabeth Hospital Charity 
  • South Texas Veterans Health Care System; San Antonio, TX
  • Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center; Houston, TX - second house
  • Tennessee Valley Healthcare System; Murfreesboro, TN

Total Fisher Houses Open by the end of 2013: 62

2014
Fisher Foundation has received the tenth consecutive four-star rating from Charity Navigator - an accomplishment attained by only the top one percent of non-profits they evaluate.

One Fisher House Opens: 

  • Travis Air Force Base; CA - second house
  • North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System; Gainesville, FL 
Total Fisher Houses Open: 64


Program Totals:

Since 1990, Fisher House Foundation has served more than 220,000 families and provided over 5.2 million days of lodging, saving them more than $200 million in lodging and transportation costs.

Since 2000, a total of 6,072 students have shared $10,000,000 in scholarship grants through the Scholarships for Military Children program.

Since 2005, the Operation Hero Miles program has provided more than 46,000 plane tickets to Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom wounded warriors and their families, worth nearly $73 million. 

Fisher House Foundation ranked a Four Star Charity for nine consecutive years.