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Southwest Airlines Community

Making a Difference with the Medical Transportation Grant Program

Explorer C

Every day, people are being diagnosed with a chronic or terminal illness, many who never dreamed anything like that could happen to them.  The factors that come with such a diagnosis can be devastating to a patient and their family members. Every day, life is transformed into countless doctors’ appointments, medications, and treatments-- as well as the financial burden of taking care of it all. 

After the initial shock, imagine discovering that your treatment will take place in a state located across the country or even a city 100 miles from where you live.  Millions of patients and their families are met with that dreadful news on a daily basis, and many of them need assistance travelling back and forth for necessary treatments.  This is where Southwest Airlines and its partner nonprofit hospitals and medical transportation nonprofit organizations fly to their side. We’re pleased that we can help to lessen some of the anxiety felt by these families.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every two adults suffers from at least one chronic illness.  These illnesses can be extremely disruptive to patient’s lives and those who love them. Through the Medical Transportation Grant Program, our nonprofit hospitals and medical transportation organization partners distribute complimentary, roundtrip tickets on Southwest Airlines to deserving patients and their caregivers who must travel for medical care.

Since the start of the Medical Transportation Grant Program, the amount of funds given to our partner organizations has grown exponentially to help serve individuals who truly need it.  Currently, Southwest Airlines partners with more than 60 nonprofit hospitals and charities nationwide.

From the very beginning, we have received overwhelming appreciation from recipients of the program.  The heartfelt notes, emails, and phone calls are a constant reminder to Southwest Airlines just how valued and important the program is to all of our Communities.  Stories, like the following, touch our hearts:

The thoughtfulness and generosity of Southwest Airlines in providing travel assistance to hospital patients is extraordinary.  Faced with the reality that I’m now a cancer patient undergoing treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center for leukemia, the personal challenges and concerns are quite substantial as I’m sure you understand.  I have had three appointments at MDA in Houston and by choice my wife and I have flown from Dallas to Houston and returned home by Southwest Airlines on each occasion. Based on the treatment for which I am scheduled, I, along with my wife, will be traveling to Houston for [several] additional, separate appointments at MDA over the balance of this year, providing all goes well. The “green pass” assistance will be much appreciated as I take the impact and uncertainty of treatment along with the associated expenses of health care, travel, hotel and meals. Thank you so much for your assistance.

We are so happy to announce the opening of the 2012 Medical Transportation Grant Program application process today.  We hope we can continue to assist as many patients and family members as possible with their medical related travel needs through the 2012 grant program.  For more information about the program or to apply, visit here