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Fisher House Offers Free Web Sites For Hospital Patients

Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 9, 2002 – Families of patients at any military medical center or hospital can now receive up-to-the-minute reports on a loved one through their own customized Web pages.

Fisher House Foundation is best known for its network of 30 facilities on or near the grounds of major military medical centers to house patients' visiting families. The foundation has contracted with "CaringBridge," an easy-to-use Internet service that enables users to make virtual visits to patients undergoing medical treatment, said Fisher House Executive Director David Coker. The service allows patients and their families to communicate by establishing personal Web pages, complete with journals, photos and password protection, he noted.

"While the service is primarily for families staying at a Fisher House, we are making it available to any service member, active or retired, at any military health facility," he said.

CaringBridge founder Sona Mehring said her service allows patients and their families to "better manage the sometimes overwhelming amount of communication necessary to satisfy the concerns of family and friends by giving them a free and private place on the Web to post updates on their condition and receive messages of hope and encouragement."

To enter the CaringBridge site, go to www.caringbridge.org. For information on the Fisher House program and the locations of its facilities, go to www.fisherhouse.org.

(From a Fisher House Foundation announcement.)


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