Military families who have a loved one receiving medical treatment at the Naval Hospital at Camp Pendleton have a new “home away from home” at which to stay at no cost with the opening of the first Fisher House at the military installation. Military members, families and community leaders celebrated the new facility with a ribbon cutting and tour.
United Health Foundation provided a $2.65 million grant to fully fund the construction of the Pendleton Fisher House, the first to be funded through the support of a single donor. The new, eight-suite, 8,000-plus square-foot home is expected to serve more than 280 families and provide nearly 3,000 nights of lodging annually, saving families more than $360,000 a year in lodging expenses. The Pendleton Fisher House stands adjacent to the Naval Hospital and has a view overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
“We are grateful for the work of Fisher House and United Health foundations, and their commitment to our military members and their families,” said Brig. Gen. Edward D. Banta, Commanding General, Marine Corps Installations West-Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. “This home is a symbol of hope and will be an important resource for military families while their loved ones receive medical care.”
“We are extremely proud to open the doors of this new Fisher House at Camp Pendleton,” said Kenneth Fisher, Chairman and CEO, Fisher House Foundation. “With the generous support from United Health Foundation, this home will provide an environment where families can focus solely on the healing process, free from any financial burden or need to find child care.”
In addition to the $2.65 million grant, United Health Foundation, through its 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.
“We are supporting the Fisher House Foundation to help ensure that when our veterans return home from duty, they have the best medical care, the best health services and the support they need to recoup and recover,” said John Mateczun, M.D., president, UnitedHealthcare Military & Veterans. “United Health Foundation understands the important role families play in the healing process for our nation’s service members and veterans, and this new Fisher House at Camp Pendleton takes a huge burden off family members by providing housing, resources and compassionate care when they need it most.”
The new Naval Hospital at Camp Pendleton serves 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 $285 million to programs and communities around the world. We invite you to learn more at www.unitedhealthfoundation.org.
About Fisher House Foundation
Fisher House Foundation is best known for a network of comfort homes where military and veterans’ 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 it serves. 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 veterans’ families an estimated $282 million in out of pocket costs for lodging and transportation.
Fisher House Foundation also operates the Hero Miles Program, using donated frequent flyer miles to bring family members to the bedside of injured service members as well as the Hotels for Heroes program using donated hotel points to allow family members to stay at hotels near medical centers without charge. 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.