house resolution no.124

Reps. Lasinski, Yancey, Ellison, Sabo, Byrd, Tate, Mueller, Vaupel, Howell, Love, Rabhi, Hoadley, Pohutsky, Warren and Jones offered the following resolution:

A resolution to declare June 14, 2019, as Fisher House Day in the state of Michigan.

Whereas, Michigan now boasts among its citizens more than 670,000 veterans, many of whom are recently returned home from service in Iraq and Afghanistan; and

Whereas, The Veterans’ Administration Ann Arbor Healthcare System (VAAAHS) provides state-of-the-art healthcare for hundreds of thousands of veterans living in Michigan and Ohio; and

Whereas, The VAAAHS serves as a referral center for specialty care, providing critical medical treatment that unavailable in other Veterans’ Administration (VA) facilities, including trans-aortic valve replacement, deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s Disease, and access to the Traumatic Brain Injury Center; and

Whereas, Each year, the VAAAHS serves veterans by providing more than 630,000 outpatient visits and over 5,000 inpatient admissions in their care centers; and

Whereas, Many VAAAHS patients travel a long distance to receive care, which can present a significant barrier to healthcare for these veterans and their families and caregivers. Over 500 housing requests are made each month to Veteran Affairs Medical Centers in southeast Michigan by family members for the purpose of traveling with their veteran as he or she receives care; and

Whereas, Family support and engagement has been shown to significantly improve patient outcomes. The Fisher House Program provides a free-of-charge “home away from home” for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers; and

Whereas, There are currently 71 Fisher Houses located in 27 states. In May 2016, Fisher House Michigan, a nonprofit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the federal tax code, was formed with the purpose of bringing the first Fisher House to Michigan; and

Whereas, The U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Fisher House Foundation approved a location at the VAAAHS in November 2016. The construction will be funded by a $5 million capital campaign by Fisher House Michigan, as well as matching funds from The Fisher House Foundation, a nationwide nonprofit organization. Once it is complete, the Fisher House at the VAAAHS will provide 5,840 nights annually of free lodging to veterans’ family members and caregivers; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives, That the members of this legislative body declare June 14, 2019, as Fisher House Day in the state of Michigan. We recognize and commend the groundbreaking of the first Fisher House in Michigan; and be it further

Resolved, That we encourage the citizens of Michigan to support these efforts.