Columbia, South Carolina [Nov. 8, 2021] – Initial work has begun on the construction of a Fisher House in Columbia, South Carolina for the Columbia VA Health Care System. This house will allow veteran families to stay free of charge while a loved one receives medical care, supporting up to 16 families on any given night.
The Columbia Fisher House will be the second house in South Carolina supporting both active duty and veterans. The Columbia VA Health Care System supports 36 of the 46 counties in South Carolina and treats patients from neighboring states.
Rebecca Truettt stayed at the Charleston Fisher House while her husband Terry, a retired Army Black Hawk pilot, was treated for cancer.
“I just can’t even imagine what the outcome would have been,” said Rebecca. “It just really made so much of a difference in how he recovered and how his treatment went to have the Fisher House right there within walking distance to the hospital.”
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 entire Columbia VA family is thrilled to have partnered with the Fisher House Foundation and our great community leaders to have a Fisher House built on our campus by the fall of 2022,” said David L. Omura, director of the Columbia VA Health Care System. “When a Veteran is in need of a family’s support, the best thing you can do is be physically present. This new home away from home will allow our Veteran’s families to be steps away from their loved ones as they are receiving care on our 97-acre campus.”
The 16-suite, 14,490+ 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, laundry room, patio, and large communal living, dining, and family rooms.
“We are thrilled to bring this house to South Carolina, and especially proud to announce this as we head towards Veterans Day,” said Fisher House Foundation Chairman and CEO Ken Fisher. “We owe these men and women a debt we can never repay, but it is my honor to at least be there for their families when they need us the most.”
The Columbia Fisher House will be able to provide up to 5,840 nights of lodging for families each year and save them more than a half-million dollars annually in lodging and transportation costs.
Construction of this Fisher House is supported by 84 Lumber Company, BCBS SC, Dominion Energy, Michelin of North America, Friends of Fisher House Columbia, Samsung Electronics America, Vehicles for Veterans, and the many gifts of a Grateful Nation.
About Fisher House
Fisher House Foundation is best known for its network of 92 comfort homes where military and veteran 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 veteran families an estimated $525 million in out-of-pocket costs for lodging and transportation. www.fisherhouse.org
About the Columbia VA Health Care System
The Columbia VA Health Care System opened in 1932 at its current location and has since expanded to include seven community-based outpatient clinics (CBOCs) located throughout South Carolina in Anderson, Florence, Greenville, Orangeburg, Spartanburg, Sumter, and York counties, serving eight sub-markets and 36 of the state’s 46 counties. The Columbia VA Health Care System serves nearly 87,000 unique Veterans with 263,000 Veterans in its catchment area. In FY21, the Columbia VA Health Care System provided more than 1.19 million outpatient visits. The health care system’s medical center is a level 1b teaching hospital delivering a full range of patient care services utilizing state-of-the-art technology, education, and research. Comprehensive health care is provided through primary care, tertiary care and long-term care in areas of medicine, surgery, psychiatry, physical medicine and rehabilitation, cardiology, neurology, oncology, dentistry, geriatrics and extended care. The facility is accredited by the American College of Surgeons, the Commission on Accreditation for Rehabilitation Facilities in the Health Care for Homeless Veteran Program, the Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Care, the Outpatient Interdisciplinary Pain Program, the Mental Health Intensive Case Management program, and the Commission on Laboratory Accreditation of the College of American Pathologists. All recent surveys have been successful including the Joint Commission, the Long-Term Care Institute, and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehab Facilities. The medical center has a Molecular Pathology Section that conducts cutting edge testing, 3D mammography technology and a DaVinci XI robotic surgical system.