Fisher House Foundation and United Health Foundation broke ground today on the Fisher House at Camp Pendleton, that will serve as a home away from home for military families, including families of wounded warriors, who can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment at nearby Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton. This house is the first at Camp Pendleton and will be located adjacent to the new Naval Hospital with a view overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
The groundbreaking event was hosted by the Deputy Commanding General, I Marine Expeditionary Force Brig. Gen Joaquin F. Malavet and attended by Capt. Mark Kobelja, Commanding Officer Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton; Derek Donovan, vice president of programs at Fisher House Foundation; and John Mateczun, M.D., President, UnitedHealthcare Military & Veterans, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company.
The construction of the Camp Pendleton Fisher House is the first to be funded through the support of a single donor – United Health Foundation, which provided a $2.65 million grant. The home will be an eight-suite, 8,000+ square-foot home that is expected to serve more than 280 families and provide nearly 3,000 nights of lodging annually, and save those families more than $250,000 a year in lodging expenses.
“We are honored that the Fisher House Foundation has chosen Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton as the location to build its next facility. We understand the important role family members play in the healing process of our service members, and now, along with our new Naval hospital, we will be able to provide the same world-class service to our families as we do our service members,” said Brig. Gen. Edward D. Banta, Commanding General, Marine Corps Installations West-Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
The United Health Foundation Caregiver Support Program will make child care available to military families staying at the Camp Pendleton Fisher House through a special grant to the Zach and Elizabeth Fisher Child Development Center located on Camp Pendleton. Childcare can be a critical need for families visiting loved ones, as children are not typically allowed access to in-patient wards, and caring for children in a hospital environment is not an ideal situation for families. This trendsetting program will provide additional support to caregivers and families of wounded warriors and other military service members who are recovering at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton.
“I want to thank United Health Foundation for its generous partnership and for providing childcare support to families staying at the new Fisher House,” said Ken Fisher, CEO and Chairman of Fisher House Foundation. “For 25 years, Fisher Houses have provided ‘a home away from home’ for military and veterans’ families dealing with injury or illness. This home at Camp Pendleton is one step closer to providing that care for all of our deserving men, women and their families for decades to come.”
“We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with Fisher House Foundation to build this new home and develop the Caregiver Support Program for the men and women who serve our country and their children and families,” Mateczun said. “Convenient, trusted childcare is so important to many of the families that will stay at this Fisher House. At a time when they have so many things to address and plan for, alleviating this need will help make their stay easier.”
This new hospital will serve more than 70,000 active-duty and veteran members of the military and their families.
The new Fisher House will allow loved ones to be close to a hospitalized service member at Camp Pendleton, and will augment the lodging needs of the Fisher Houses located at the nearby Naval Medical Center San Diego where many critically wounded service members receive treatment and rehabilitate.
About United Health Foundation
Through collaboration with community partners, grants and outreach efforts, United Health Foundation works to improve our health system, build a diverse and dynamic health workforce and enhance the well-being of local communities. United Health Foundation was established by UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) in 1999 as a not-for-profit, private foundation dedicated to improving health and health care. To date, United Health Foundation has committed more than $240 million to programs and communities around the world. We invite you to learn more at www.unitedhealthfoundation.org.
About Fisher House Foundation
Fisher Houses are constructed to provide free, temporary housing to the families of service members and Veterans needing medical care. Enabling family members to be near a loved one in a time of need – often without warning or the ability to muster the financial resources to do so – is a core concept of the Fisher House motto: “A Family’s Love is Good Medicine.” Additionally, Fisher House Foundation operates the Hero Miles Program, using donated frequent flyer miles to bring family members to the bedside of injured service members. The Foundation also manages a grant program that supports other military charities and scholarship funds for military children, spouses and children of fallen and disabled veterans. www.fisherhouse.org.