Bay Pines, Florida [Nov. 8, 2021] – Initial work has begun on the construction of a second Fisher House in Bay Pines, Florida for the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System. This house will increase the capacity for Veteran families to stay free of charge while receiving medical care, allowing the two houses to support up to 25 families on any given night. This will be the 9th house in Florida supporting both active duty and Veterans.
Bay Pines approved for second Fisher House
The first Bay Pines Fisher House opened in 2002 and has served thousands of families residing across the southwest region of Florida who travel to the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center in Bay Pines for inpatient care. In 2016, Janice Cullen spent time at the Bay Pines Fisher House while her Marine Veteran husband received medical care. She said her months-long stay created life-long friendships.
“We needed each other, and we were thankful we had each other, and we were thankful that we had a place to go,” Janice said. “And there is no way any of us could have afforded being in a hotel room that long or ate three meals a day... Fisher House took care of this.”
“We strive to do what we can to keep the families together during some of their most challenging and vulnerable times of need,” stated Paul Russo, director and chief executive officer of the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System. “The Fisher Houses enable us to serve our Veterans and families by providing lodging and comforting support for many, some of whom live upwards of three hours away from our main medical center. It enables us to keep everyone within arm’s reach and to best support our Veterans.”
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 provides individuals with a secure and private refuge after a long day at the hospital to rest and recharge.
The 16-suite, 13,270+ sq.-ft. “comfort home” will join 92 other Fisher Houses operating in the United States and Europe. Each bedroom suite will be equipped with a private, wheelchair-accessible bathroom. Common areas will include a spacious kitchen, large communal living, dining and family rooms, laundry room and patio.
“As we approach Veterans Day, we are honored to announce that construction has begun on this house in Bay Pines,” said Fisher House Foundation Chairman and CEO Ken Fisher. “These Veterans deserve our support. 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.”
The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System serves more than 120,000 Veterans and provides a wide spectrum of healthcare including support during the transition from active duty to Veteran status, to delivering the highest quality primary and specialty services, to geriatric and end-of-life care.
With this additional house, Bay Pines Fisher Houses will be able to provide up to 9,125 nights of lodging for families each year and save more than a million dollars annually in lodging and transportation costs.
Construction of this Fisher House is supported by The Armed Forces Financial Network, In memory of Ceasar “Sandy” Sansevero and Theresa Sansevero, Troll Co. Clothing, Vehicles for Veterans and the many gifts of a Grateful Nation.