New VA Fisher House 'breathtaking'

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Mention to Anne Arnold that a bedroom at the new Fisher House Augusta looks like a fancy hotel room and she has a ready answer.

Felicia Turner tours the new Fisher House at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta, Ga on Wednesday  Jackie Ricciardi
Jackie Ricciardi
Felicia Turner tours the new Fisher House at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta, Ga on Wednesday

“It’s nicer,” said Arnold, manager of the Fisher House at Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta. The new $5.6 million, 20-bedroom facility is designed to be a place to stay for families of those being treated at the VA or in the Active Duty Rehabilitation Unit housed at the VA.

“This is so needed,” Arnold said. The medical center’s Spinal Cord Injury Unit social workers “told me they can probably keep the house full with just spinal cord” patient families.

The VA got to show off the new Fisher House on Wednesday to admiring groups of supporters,

“It is just breathtaking,” said Felicia Turner, principal of Lakeside Middle School, whose students raised money for the project and painted two rocking chairs that will be donated to the home. Individuals and corporations helped raise $1.8 million for the facility and the Fisher House Foundation supplied the rest, Arnold said. But while it came with all the furnishings and even a wood-paneled elevator, there are still some other things that are needed. Which is why Blake Hill, adjutant for the Chapter 44 of the Disabled American Veterans, was asking her about the sheets.

“I couldn’t believe that satin finish,” he said.

“They’re really pretty,” Arnold said.

In fact, Hill said, the whole place is impressive.

“You won’t believe the amenities that are in this building,” he said.

“It’s really first class,” Arnold said.

The 56th Fisher House to open in fact might have the best grounds of any of them, she said.

“This has the nicest setting,” Arnold said.

Fisher House dedication information

Fisher House Augusta will be dedicated on Oct. 5 and families will probably start to move in around that time. The home is the 56th Fisher House built and 20th built at a Department of Veterans Affairs hospital, this time at Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center. Supported by the Fisher House Foundation, the facility provides a place to stay for families of patients at the medical center if they meet the following criteria:

  • Must be referred through the VA Social Work Referral Consult Process;
  • Must be medical stable and able to care for themselves;
  • Must live more than 50 miles from the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center;
  • Have a stay or three days or longer;
  • Minor children are always supervised by family.

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