LANSING — State Rep. Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Township) testified in front of the House Military and Veterans Affairs Committee today in favor of her House Resolution 191, which supports the initiative to bring the first Fisher House to Michigan. The Fisher House would be established in Ann Arbor to provide lodging for the family of veterans who visit the Veterans’ Administration Ann Arbor Healthcare System (VAAAHS).
“Michigan is home to hundreds of thousands of veterans, many of whom come home from serving in Iraq and Afghanistan with uniquely critical health care needs,” Lasinski said. “We should be doing all we can to support our veterans and their loved ones when they make the transition back to civilian life and face a lifetime of health care needs. An excellent way to ensure they are cared for and supported is by showing our support for the state’s first Fisher House to be established in Ann Arbor.”
The Fisher House Program provides free lodging to families of VA patients, to act as a “home away from home” for family members of patients receiving medical care. The VAAAHS provides more than 800,000 outpatient visits and more than 5,000 inpatient stays at their hospital and extended care center every year. Already, 200 to 300 families request lodging at the VAAAHS every month due to the distances traveled to receive care.
The VA already approved a Fisher House location at the VAAAHS, and in May 2016, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Fisher House Michigan was formed to work on bringing the first Fisher House to Michigan.
“The VAAAHS is a world-class facility that attracts hundreds of thousands of veterans and their families every year seeking its services. It is critical that we do all we can to support these patients and their loved ones as they seek out the treatment they need,” Lasinski said. “Our veterans and their families made selfless sacrifices for our safety and comfort here at home. Now it’s time we return the favor.”