Lexington VA Health Care System begins construction of Fisher House

Construction of the first Fisher House on the grounds of a Veterans Affairs medical center in Kentucky started at the Sousley Campus of the Lexington VA Health Care System.

The Lexington Fisher House will allow up to 16 Veteran families to stay free-of charge, serving families traveling to the health care system to receive care there.

Marine Cpl. (ret). Matthew Bradford and his family know first-hand the importance of a Fisher House. Bradford sustained severe injuries to his eyes and his legs after stepping on an Improvised Explosive Device in Haditha, Iraq. His injuries left him blind and both legs amputated. He spent time rehabilitating at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. He and his family used the Fisher House there.

“Fisher House provided us the place to unwind after a long, grueling day of therapy,” said Bradford, who also sits on the board of the Friends of Lexington Fisher House. “With the huge, life-changing events I underwent, Fisher House provided us with all the needed items to get by day-to-day, so we weren’t stressed out due to hotel and travel expenses. Fisher House removed all the stress it could so I could focus on my therapy and my family could focus primarily on me and my rehab.”

The Lexington VA Health Care System has two campuses in Lexington, Kentucky with four clinics in Somerset, Morehead, Berea, and Hazard, serving nearly 40,000 Veterans in Central and Eastern Kentucky.

“The Lexington VA serves Veterans who travel long distances to receive our care,” said James Watts, associate director. “When you are sick or injured, or worried about a loved one, the last thing you want to do is drive home after receiving care, especially if you need to receive more care the next day. This Fisher House will help so many in our Veteran community focus on what is most important – their treatment and getting better.”

A Fisher House creates an instant community for its residents, united by their common mission of supporting a sick or injured loved one, but also provides individuals with a secure and private refuge after a long day at the hospital to rest and recharge.

“In the time of uncertainty and with many questions in my head about my future and life, the Fisher House provided me and my family that stability, and helped us connect with other families and patients,” Bradford said. “The relationships aided my recovery.”

The 16-suite, 14,490+ sq.-ft. “comfort home” will be the second Fisher House in Kentucky, joining the Fort Campbell Fisher House which primarily serves active-duty service members, and will join more than 92 other Fisher Houses operating in the United States and Europe. Each bedroom suite will be equipped with a private, wheelchair-accessible bathroom. Common areas will include a spacious kitchen, large communal living, dining and family rooms, laundry room, and patio.

“We are honored to announce that construction is underway on the Lexington House,” said Fisher House Foundation Chairman and CEO Ken Fisher. “Veterans deserve our support, and this new home will serve Veteran families traveling to the heart of Kentucky for medical care who might otherwise have to rely on long, expensive hotel stays.”

The Lexington VA Healthcare System conducts approximately 5,000 inpatient admissions and 400,000 outpatient visits per year and provides a wide spectrum of healthcare including support during the transition from active-duty to Veteran status, to delivering the highest quality primary and specialty services, to geriatric and end-of-life care. Recently, the health care system was named a top-rated hospital in Kentucky for patient experience by Becker’s Hospital Review.

With this house, Lexington VA will be able to provide up to 5,840 nights of lodging for families each year and save more than $640,000 dollars annually in lodging and transportation costs.

Local fundraising efforts in the community are driving awareness and support for the Lexington Fisher House, including the annual VA5K with a record number of participants in November 2021.

Construction of this Fisher House is supported by Amazon Web Services (AWS), Barstool Sports, Friends of Lexington Fisher House, Inc., Tennessee Fisher House Foundation, Inc., Vehicles for Veterans, The Wohlers Family Foundation, and the many gifts of a Grateful Nation.

“At AWS, we have a deep sense of gratitude to the members of the armed forces that protect our nation and secure a better future for generations to come,” said Max Peterson, Vice President of Worldwide Public Sector at AWS. “We’re pleased to help support construction of the Lexington Fisher House, and we’ll continue to look for new ways to engage and support the military community in collaboration with Fisher House Foundation.”
“We are so appreciative to all of our donors and supporters who have helped turn this dream into a reality,” said Board Chairman Tom Kenny, Friends of the Lexington Fisher House. “We cannot wait until the doors open to the Lexington Fisher House which will make a difference in the lives of countless veterans’ families for generations to come.”