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Our History

The Burn Foundation of America was founded as the Southeastern Firefighters Burn Foundation in 1988 by Dr. Joseph M. Still, the namesake of the JMS Burn Center. Dr. Still was dedicated to the continuous improvement of treatments for burn patients, and believed that having family close by was a key factor in the healing process. However, he was distressed to see family members sleeping in the burn center waiting rooms, or their cars, and often wearing the same clothes they had been wearing for days. After witnessing the strain that finding a place to stay and providing for themselves put on the families of burn patients, he was driven to find a solution. With the help of local fire departments and local community leaders, the Burn Foundation of America was formed.

Today, JMS Burn Center is the largest in the country, and Dr. Still’s dream to provide a place to stay and non-medical necessities for burn patients and their families, remains the Burn Foundation of America’s mission.

burn foundation history


The Burn Foundation of America has expanded its services across four states and continues to grow alongside the needs of burn patients and their families across the United States.

2,457 Burn/wound patients and their families served

7,986 Nights of free lodging at the Chavis House

1,617 Guests received free lodging

1,034 Burn patients received transitional services