LAUGHLIN — For military families who live far from military and veterans hospitals, times of medical crisis can create financial burdens that are hard to overcome.

Veterans Administration Southern Nevada Medical Center Fisher House, 6900 N. Pecos Road, North Las Vegas, is a new 16-suite free home away from home for families of military service members and veterans receiving health care treatment at Southern Nevada VA Medical Center in Las Vegas.

The Fisher House program provides temporary housing for families of patients hospitalized for a combat injury, illness or disease at VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System Medical Center, or at Mike O’Callaghan Federal Medical Center at nearby Nellis Air Force Base.

The North Las Vegas center is the first Fisher House in the state of Nevada, joining more than 65 other Fisher Houses on military installations and VA Medical Centers across the U.S. 

The 13,500-square-foot facility, which was gifted to the VA, includes suites equipped with private, handicapped-accessible bathrooms. Common areas include a spacious kitchen, large communal living, dining and family rooms, a laundry room and patio. 

The opening of the building represents the culmination of a multi-year public-private effort by Fisher House Foundation, Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Nevada Military Support Alliance, officials said. The Nevada Veterans Foundation will support the operations of the house. 

More than 27,000 families stayed in Fisher Houses in 2015. The Fisher House Foundation has saved military and veterans’ families an estimated $320 million in out-of-pocket costs for lodging and transportation since the program’s inception in 1991, according to its website.

Peggy Kearns, VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System director, Kenneth Fisher, chairman and CEO of Fisher House Foundation, Gov. Brian Sandoval, North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee, and Nevada Military Support Alliance President Scott Bensing marked the official dedication of the house with a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday.

The VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System provides delivery of health care to more than 57,000 Veterans and ensures outpatient and inpatient services are available to more than 158,000 veterans residing in an official catchment area of Clark, Lincoln and Nye counties.

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