Loving People is at the Heart of Southwest Airlines, and one of the many ways we connect with our communities is through our Medical Transportation Grant Program (MTGP), which is celebrating its 15 th anniversary this year! Through this special program, Southwest provides complimentary, round-trip travel to nonprofit hospitals and medical transportation organizations so that medical patients and their family members can travel for specialized life-saving or life-changing medical care.
We are honored to work with nonprofit hospitals and medical transport organizations nationwide that support this mission, like Shriners Children’s. Shriners is also celebrating its own milestone this year—2022 marks the healthcare system’s 100 th anniversary of providing care! “For 100 years, Shriners Children’s has focused on its mission to provide specialized medical care for children. For the past 15 years, Southwest Airlines’ Medical Transportation Grant Program has made it possible for thousands of children without the resources needed to travel to come to our pediatric hospitals or medical centers and receive the life-changing care and treatment they need,” said Mel Bower, chief marketing and communications officer for Shriners Children’s. “We are deeply grateful for your generosity and commitment to those in need. Thank you for helping Shriners Children’s make a difference and improve lives.”
As we reflect on 15 years of giving through this program, we’re reminded of the extraordinary friends we’ve supported along the way, like sweet little Cora, a patient at Shriners Children’s Philadelphia. Cora was born with arthrogryposis, a rare condition that can cause stiff joints in the arms and legs at birth. Since March 2021 Cora has flown to Shriners Children’s to receive treatment, often flying on Southwest through MTGP. “[Receiving this support] relieved a lot of stress and kept things peaceful,” shared Coryn, Cora’s mom. “It’s made our transition from one state to the next for healthcare easier.”
While many of our Customers are traveling for business or leisure—it warms my heart that we are also using our seats to help support thousands of patients, annually, that must travel for special medical care, like our friend Cora.
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Southwest Airlines Medical Transportation Grant Program (MTGP) turns 15 this year! Since 2007, Southwest has proudly served medical patients and their families by providing more than $42 million in complimentary air travel for life-saving or life-changing medical care. We are honored to work with nonprofit hospitals and medical transport organizations nationwide that help support this mission.
As we reflect on 15 years of giving through this program, we are reminded of some of the extraordinary friends we have supported along the way, including sweet Wrenn, courageous Cam, and inspiring Oyoana. Travel support through MTGP provided some financial relief so Wrenn, Cam, Oyoana, and over 100,000 other patients impacted through the program, could focus on what matters most -- their health and wellbeing. This year, Southwest will award 76 grant recipient organizations with over 10,000 roundtrip flights to continue serving this important need.
In celebration of this 15th-anniversary milestone and as a thank you to our hard-working healthcare heroes, we are donating an additional 15 roundtrip flights to each of our medical program recipients to further advance their missions.
“We were thrilled to receive the good news of having received 15 round trip tickets to celebrate the Medical Transportation Grant Program’s 15th anniversary,” shared Kelly Johnson, System CNO from The Queen’s Health Systems in Honolulu Hawaii. “It couldn’t have come at a better time! We just launched a Safety Tips initiative amongst our caregivers and will be using six of the tickets as prizes. Our caregivers are so exhausted so we wanted to come up with a fun way to re-educate our caregivers on the importance of safety.”
It’s been amazing to see the reach and impact MTGP has had on so many by truly connecting People to what’s important in their lives. We look forward to sharing more about this signature program as we honor our partners and the many families that have benefited by receiving life-changing care and support.
To view a full list of participating partners visit www.southwest.com/medicalgrant. Stay tuned for an in-depth story about one of our original hospital program partners!
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Loving People is at the Heart of Southwest Airlines, and one of the many ways we connect with communities across the country is through our Medical Transportation Grant Program (MTGP). Through MTGP we provide complimentary, roundtrip tickets to nonprofit hospitals and medical transportation organizations.
In 2021, we are donating 7,500 tickets to help remove the financial burden for those who need to travel for life-changing or specialized medical care. More than 75 nonprofit hospitals and medical transportation organizations across the United States received the tickets, including two hospitals in Hawaii that are new to the program! The full list of the 2021 MTGP recipients can be found by visiting southwest.com/medicalgrant.
This year marks the 14th year of this signature program and since its inception, we’ve proudly provided more than 96,000 patients and their caregivers travel assistance, equaling more than $38 million. Easing the burden of transportation costs through MTGP helps give patients and their families peace of mind about how they get to the care they need—a role we are honored to play.
By providing complimentary air travel, we’re able to make life a little bit easier for families in trying times in their lives, including MTGP recipient Wrenn. Head over to our 50th Anniversary website for a look back on how MTGP has made a difference for families over the years.
Giving back is at the Heart of what we do because we believe community is more than a place—it’s at the Heart of what brings us together.
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Do you work with the Loma Linda Heart Institute in California? We need help getting someone back from California to Arizona. He had unexpected surgery on his heart while on vacation and is now stable enough for medical transport back to Arizona but insurance says they wont pay for it.
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As you may know, we are celebrating Loyalty Month at Southwest. During the month of May, we are showing our appreciation – and loyalty – to those who give back to us, whether it is a Rapid Rewards Member, Military Heroes, Teachers, or Nurses! This month we are making an extra special effort to thank these folks and let them know how much we appreciate them. This month celebrated National Nursing Day, and we celebrated this day and loyalty month by surprising nurses at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas. We have a long history with Texas Scottish Rite, as they are part of our Medical Transportation Grant Program and their nurses and staff members took place in a special photo shoot with DearWorld earlier this year. So, how do you celebrate nurses? How about a banner with their great DearWorld photos, a delicious cake, fun sticky note pads, and individually wrapped snacks to get them through their long shifts! My co-workers and I had such a good time visiting, showing our appreciation, and celebrating all that they do each and every day to make a positive difference in the lives of their patients and their families. Each and every one of the nurses that stopped by had a personal story about Southwest, and one shared how the Medical Transportation Grant Program has made a difference in the life of one of her patients who travels to Texas Scottish Rite for treatment. I think nursing is a true calling, and we were proud to – in some small way – celebrate Nurses loyalty to their patients and how much we appreciate what they do!
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