The Main Stream

Jul 14, 2014 6:15 PM by John Overall

Tucson VA raising funds to build a Fisher House

TUCSON - The Southern Arizona VA Hospital in Tucson is working to raise funds to build a Fisher House, an on-site facility for families of veterans recovering from surgery or illness.

There are 63 Fisher Houses across the country. The Fisher House Foundation has agreed to cover half of the six million dollars needed to build the facility. The VA has to come up with the other half.

Fisher House Project Officer, Dana Staggs, said this project will benefit the city of Tucson.

"Benefit for Tucson, is that our veterans are taken better care of," said Staggs. "These are our American heroes and we ought to reach out and help them as much as we can."

The proposed Fisher House in Tucson will be a 16 bedroom home near the Southern Arizona VA Hospital on 6th Avenue near Ajo Way.

A home away from home for families of Veterans recovering from surgery or other medical issues.

Staggs said people heal better with their families helping them.

"They'll have living facilities, they'll be there with other families to be able to talk to them about their issues because they're all going through the same thing at the same time," said Staggs.

Rick Grinnell is a Navy Veteran who has undergone several surgeries at the Tucson VA. His family lives nearby so it was easy for them to visit during his rehab.

"It really expedites the healing process. There's nothing better than having somebody who loves you, cares about you, be there to support you while you're going through whatever it is you have to deal with," said Grinnell.

More than two thousand veterans living outside of Tucson received hospital care at the Southern Arizona VA last year. Their visiting family members had to find their own lodging and cover the cost.

That will change if the VA can raise $3 million to build a Fisher House here in Tucson. To donate go to www.arizonafisherhouse.org.

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