Hearts Behind the House: United Health Foundation
“The promise of a Fisher House is remarkable,” said John Mateczun, M.D., President, UnitedHealthcare Military & Veterans. “That, when faced with a medical emergency, our military members and their families will have one less challenge to face. Families will have a supportive place to stay nearby at no cost, and our military members will be able to draw on the strength of their families as they receive treatment. It’s a cause we’re so pleased to support”.
That’s why United Health Foundation awarded a $2.65M grant to Fisher House Foundation and in November 2014, we broke ground on a Fisher House at Camp Pendleton, Calif. The new house will serve as a home away from home for military families, including families of wounded warriors, giving them a place to stay while a loved one is receiving treatment at nearby Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton. This house is the first at Camp Pendleton and will be located adjacent to a new Naval Hospital with a view overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
“It’s a privilege for us to be able to serve those who so admirably serve us,” said Mateczun.
This Fisher House is unique for two reasons. First, it is the first Fisher House ever to be constructed through the support of a sole donor, United Health Foundation.
Second, the support from United Health Foundation also includes a Caregiver Support Program. Child care is often a critical need for families visiting loved ones. In many instances, children are not allowed access to in-patient wards, and caring for children in a hospital environment is challenging for families. This program will provide free child care at an on-base childcare facility to caregivers and families of wounded warriors and other active duty members while they are staying at Fisher House through an annual grant to the Zach and Elizabeth Fisher Child Development Center located aboard Camp Pendleton.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with Fisher House Foundation to build this new home and develop the Caregiver Support Program for the men and women who serve our country and their children and families,” Mateczun said. “Convenient, trusted childcare is so important to many of the families that will stay at this Fisher House. At a time when they have so many things to address and plan for, alleviating this need and allowing families to stay together will help make their stay easier.”
The Fisher House at Camp Pendleton opened in May 2015.