Fisher House Impact Report-2021

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OUR IMPACT Keeping military and veteran families together


keeping families together For more than 30 years, Fisher Houses have helped military and veteran families stay together during the most difficult times by providing a home away from home, at no cost, while loved ones receive medical care at military and VA medical centers around the world.

Front cover: Rosa María López Acosta looks into the eyes of her husband, José Antommarchi García. The couple traveled from Puerto Rico to Hines, Illinois to fight José's rare form of cancer.

Love is good medicine Thanks to your help, there are already 92 Fisher Houses operating around the world, and Fisher House Foundation is on the road to building the 100th Fisher House soon. Since 1990, we’ve served more than 430,000 military and veteran families, saving them more than $547 million. On any given night, more than 1,300 families can now stay in a Fisher House. Because of your support, military and veteran families can rely on Fisher House to help them stay together during a medical crisis. While the COVID-19 pandemic continued, families still dealt with injuries and illness. In 2021, 17,000 families stayed at Fisher Houses. Your continued generosity saved families more than $22 million. Hotel for Heroes and the Hero Miles programs remained active, providing flights and hotel rooms when Fisher Houses were not available. Students received scholarships as they navigated closures and openings of campuses around the country, and we partnered with other nonprofits through the Newman’s Own Awards program, supporting innovative programs for the military and veteran community. When someone walks through the doors of a Fisher House, we want them to know the American public appreciates their service, honors their sacrifice, and is there to help them in their time of need. Fisher House is here for our military heroes and their loved ones, now and for generations to come.

josé and rosa


village in Puerto Rico. His tests revealed he had a rare form of cancer. He and his wife, Rosa María López Acosta, had no idea they were about to embark on a long journey far from their rural home to save his life, but local doctors said specialized treatment at a VA facility was urgent. The only way to save his life was available at the Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital Department of Nuclear Medicine in Hines, Illinois. For the next two years, the couple traveled back and forth from Puerto Rico to Hines, always staying at the Hines Fisher House. While José had concerns about Rosa traveling with him because of the risk of COVID, she wanted to be with him as his wife and caretaker. As the pandemic continued into 2021, Fisher Houses across the country still served military and veteran families. Always keeping safety as a priority, Fisher House staff and volunteers made sure their guests felt at home. “We didn’t know where we were going to stay because we didn’t have any family here [in Hines],” Rosa said. “For us, who came from the island not knowing what to expect, the way Holly [the Hines Fisher House manager] received and welcomed us, our lives changed, and we felt at peace.”

Since 1990, Fisher House Foundation has saved more than


In 2019, José Antommarchi García went to his doctor near his small

430,000 military and veteran families over $547 million.



Life doesn’t stop when a service member is injured or becomes ill. Our Hero Programs relieve the burden of expensive transportation and hotel costs and enable our military heroes and their loved ones to try and balance hospital life and home life. There are circumstances when the military or VA cannot provide airfare or times when Fisher Houses are not available. Hero Miles and Hotel for Heroes use donated frequent flyer miles or loyalty points to cover these expenses so that families can focus on healing. Through the Hero Programs, Fisher House Foundation also partners with other nonprofits that are devoted to helping military, veterans, and their families during the recovery journey. Army Veteran Mike Lacy and his wife, Jessica, attended a retreat Hotel for Heroes and Hero Miles, which uses donated frequent flier

that helps service members and their caregivers through the healing process. Many of the attendees were Purple Heart recipients who were wounded while overseas. A considerable number have traumatic brain

miles to purchase

injuries or suffer from post-traumatic stress or both. Nearly all still

airline tickets, have

struggle with what they have been through.

saved nearly $118 million for military

“Hero Miles allowed me to participate in this program, giving me

families since their

the opportunity to work through some of the toughest issues from


my time in the military,” said Mike.

mike and jessica


Added in 2021

★ ★(2) ★

Kansas City VA Medical Center—Kansas City, MO

Houses under construction: C.W. Bill Young Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center—Bay Pines, Florida

★ ★

★(2) ★(2)

Wm. Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center—Columbia, South Carolina Lexington VA Medical Center, Franklin R. Sousley Campus—Lexington, Kentucky

Houses in design:

★ ★ ★ ★ ★(2)

The Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center—North Chicago, Illinois

★ ★

Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital—Columbia, Missouri

Hospital de Veteranos (VA Caribbean Healthcare System)—San Juan, Puerto Rico Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veterans' Hospital II­—San Antonio, Texas






★(2) ★

★(2) ★(2) ★


★★(2) ★ ★ ★

★★ ★ ★ ★ ★



★ ★

★ ★★


★(2) ★

★ ★Birmingham, UK

★ ★★(2) ★ = existing houses ★ = houses under construction Numbers in parentheses indicate multiple houses at one location.

★ ★


Landstuhl, Germany

* As of May 2022



Army veterans Autumn and Chris Bishop were serving in Alaska when their twins were born. They left service after completing their tours and relocated to Covington, Georgia. Now, twins Amber and Jayden are in their freshman year at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia and are recipients of the Heroes’ Legacy Scholarship from Fisher House Foundation. While both parents were in the military, it was their mom who left service with a 100% disability rating, qualifying them for the scholarship. Jayden is majoring in civil engineering while Amber is studying nursing. She plans to pursue a master’s in occupational therapy and either work with special needs kids in a pediatric setting or work in occupational therapy for veterans. Fisher House Foundation awarded over $32 million in scholarships since the scholarship programs began, helping


As a nursing student, Amber anticipates a lot of extra expenses for additional equipment, but the scholarship has more than monetary value. “In the end, I hope to give back. I can’t give back in the sense of what our veterans and active service members have done for America, but I look forward to being able to give back to

more than 15,000

others through my passion for healthcare,” she explained. “This

students achieve their

scholarship brings forth gratitude for those who have served and

educational goals.

motivation towards my future career in healthcare.”

the bishop family

the bishop family


more stories THE WINTER FAMILY In February 2021, Marissa and Jermaine Winter rushed to Anchorage, Alaska when complications threatened their pregnancy. Maddox was soon born just 2 pounds, 5 ounces and needed 10 weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit. The family stayed at Fisher House, allowing them to focus on care and bonding. “Passing the kitchen in the mornings and seeing food all ready to go is a Godsend. For us, that means we can get just a little more sleep on those days and nights we don’t have to cook. And let me tell you, sleep isn’t something we get often,” said Marissa.

DR. LEE Dr. Kenneth Lee, the head of the Chief of Spinal Cord Injury Division at the Milwaukee Veterans Administration Medical Center, says Fisher House is essential to veteran care. As a combat veteran, Dr. Lee understands the importance of getting veterans treatment. In 2004, during a deployment to Iraq, a suicide bomber detonated a bomb, severely injuring Dr. Lee and other soldiers. “I wish more people knew about the Fisher House and not find out the way that I did, which is, you know, you got hit with something, and then Fisher House showed up,” Dr. Lee said. Dr. Lee says his wife and two children had a safe place to stay at Fisher House while he received treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.


THE LANES Fisher House guest and Army veteran J.P. Lane’s recovery after suffering 26 injuries in an IED blast in 2011 led to an incredible journey. Years later, he uses his journey to inspire others as a writer and inspirational speaker. He credits Fisher House with helping him make it through some of the toughest parts of his recovery. “There were moments that I remember not wanting to wake up and get out of bed. It was a relaxing place to get away from the world,” said J.P. “When I had my days that I did not want to go anywhere, I just wanted to relax and just keep to myself and have my moments and my peace, just alone. That was the place to be. I stayed there and had my space and was able to just relax, pretty much recover, mentally and physically.”

THE SIBETANGS Families share special moments and important milestones while staying at a Fisher House. For the Sibetangs, that important milestone was their wedding day. Arlene, an Army veteran, was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer that brought them to the Palo Alto Fisher House in California from their home in Guam. When she and Layla, her fiancée, decided to get married at the start of a long bout of chemotherapy treatments, the house came together to make it special on short notice. There, in the Fisher House, Arlene and Layla’s new friends joined the couple in celebrating this joyous day. The assistant manager broadcast the ceremony on FaceTime to family on Guam as the housekeeper and a hospital photographer took photos. “From now on, when we say home, we mean Fisher House,” Layla said.


more stories LAURA URQUHART Laura Urquhart stayed at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center Fisher House in Milwaukee, Wisconsin when her father, Robert, entered hospice care. “There was a quilt in the corner on a chair with a note saying it was for me,” she said. “I sleep in my (Fisher House) bed every night and it doesn’t matter what the temperature is, that makes me feel comforted.” Robert passed away on August 21, 2021. Fisher House is honored to have provided comfort to Laura during her father’s final days.

THE McLAUGHLIN FAMILY In January of 2020, Tarah McLaughlin’s husband, Staff Sgt. Ian P. McLaughlin, was killed when his vehicle struck an IED in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Ian was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, so his wife and three children lived at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. Tarah immediately left for Dover Air Force Base for the dignified transfer of remains. Tarah contacted Fisher House Foundation to share her experience while staying at the Dover Fisher House for Families of the Fallen. “Within seconds of settling into our room, it was the first time since losing my husband that I felt safe and secure,” she said. “The accommodations and the people at the Fisher House made me feel at home in probably one of the darkest times of my life.”


Because of you, families stayed together despite the difficulties of the ongoing pandemic. Our military, veterans, and their loved ones deserve to be honored for their service and sacrifice. It is our sacred responsibility to give our unwavering support to all those who have served in our nation’s uniform.

thanks to you...

As the pandemic restrictions eased and then tightened again, your support was steadfast. At Fisher Houses across the country, volunteers found creative ways to help, from donating much needed items, to delivering meals and tending the garden. Fisher House communities never stopped being there for our heroes. We know that you will continue to be there as the need grows. Your generous gifts of time, treasure, and talent provide the necessary resources to ensure this program will be here for generations to come. Thanks to your support in 2021, we expanded the Fisher House network to 92 Fisher Houses with the newest Fisher House in Kansas City, Missouri. On any given night, up to 1,300 military and veteran families can stay at a Fisher House. Your generosity has helped families reach the bedsides of injured service members, helped caregivers stay with their veterans during long hospital stays, and helped children reach their educational goals. Together, we are moving steadily along the road to 100 Fisher Houses and we are grateful to be on that journey with you.

Fisher House Foundation, Inc. 12300 Twinbrook Pkwy Suite 410 Rockville, MD 20852 (888) 294-8560

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