VA St. Louis Health Care System
The Official Opening of The VA Fisher House of St. Louis
Mrs. Suzie Schwartz, wife of Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, US Representative Russ Carnahan (D, MO-3), and VISN 15 Heartland Network Director, James Floyd joined Fisher House Foundation President David Coker families to officially dedicate the St. Louis Fisher House. They joined a crowd of over 500 who witnessed the official dedication of the Fisher House. Rachael Fernandez, Fisher House Manager, accepted a ceremonial key to the house . As customary for each Fisher House dedication, a medal of honor recipient will present the facility with an official Congressional Medal of Honor Plaque. Lt. Col Harold Fritz (USA, Ret.), Vice President of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society presented the plaque to Medical Center Director, Rima Nelson. There was near standing room only at the dedication ceremony, which was held in a large tent directly across from the Fisher House. A ceremony performance was conducted by a quintet from the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.
Rima Nelson, St. Louis Medical Center Director, commented, Veterans seeking care at St. Louis VA Hospital often travel several hundred miles to take advantage of the many specialty services offered at our facilities. These veterans are often accompanied by their spouse and other family members. The Fisher House provides an opportunity for family members to remain closer to their loved one so they may participate in the healing and recovery process.
Just before the ceremony, Fisher House representatives presented its "Patriot Award" to the key organizations that donated funds to assist in the construction of the St. Louis Fisher House, including the Dennis and Judy Jones Family, the Iraq and Afghanistan Deployment Impact Fund, the Veterans Canteen Service, C. Lloyd Johnson (an Acosta Company), and the Sophia and Elmer Oerter Charitable Foundation.
The Fisher House of St. Louis officially began accepting guest on July 28th. The house has 20 bedrooms, a fully stocked kitchen and several common living room and dining room areas for families to gather and offer each other support and friendship while their loved ones are hospitalized at the VA medical center.
Hundreds of veterans, veterans service and community supporters of the Fisher House of St. Louis attended the dedication ceremony. Many of these groups have pledged their ongoing financial support to the St. Louis Fisher House in the future. Following the dedication ceremony several organizations presented checks to the St. Louis Fisher House Board including; the Sophia and Elmer Oerder Charitable Foundation (Columbia, IL), Collinsville VFW Riders and AMVETS Post 1 Riders of Kirkwood. Several others pledged to come out and cook dinner for the residents of the house regularly and continue to support the house with donations. To volunteer or make donations to the Fisher House of St. Louis please contact Rachael Fernandez at 314-894-6145.