HINES – May 28, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today opened the nation’s newest Fisher House on the campus of the Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital in Hines. The facility is the first Fisher House in Illinois and provides a “home away from home” for the families of wounded servicemembers.
“When our wounded servicemembers need medical care, they must have the support and comfort of family nearby,” said Governor Quinn. “Since 1990, Fisher House has provided a ‘home away from home’ for family members to support their loved ones, and we are honored to open Illinois’ first Fisher House here at Hines VA Hospital.”
Governor Quinn was joined at the formal dedication ceremony by Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs L. Tammy Duckworth and Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Dan Grant.
“This day is a dream come true for the many people who worked extraordinarily hard to make the Hines VA Fisher House a reality,” said Director Grant. “This facility will be a tremendous comfort not only to family members, but to wounded servicemembers who need their support.”
Construction on the Hines VA Fisher House began in fall 2009. The two-story brick building has 20 cozy bedroom suites and includes: a large, sunny kitchen with three refrigerators and multiple cooking areas; a dining room; a living room; and laundry facilities. The facility is free to all families and received its first visitors in March 2010.
The Fisher House program is a unique public-private partnership that provides housing at little or no cost for family members of military personnel receiving medical care at military and Veterans Affairs medical centers around the world. The Fisher House Foundation manages 43 Fisher Houses throughout the U.S. and two in Germany. Last year, Fisher House served approximately 9,500 families and saved them an estimated $12 million in hotel and transportation costs.
Governor Quinn was also joined by U.S. Army Lt. General David H. Huntoon Jr., Sharon Helman, director of the Hines VA Medical Center and Kenneth Fisher, chairman of the board of trustees of the Fisher Foundation. CBS 2 Chicago’s Jay Levine emceed the ceremony.