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Medical Transportation Grant Program Uses Airplane Seats for Good

Addison is a fighter. Since she was born, Addison has fought Larsen's Syndrome, a disease that causes many dislocations to her body.   The Medical Transportation Grant Program has allowed Addison to travel to Children’s Hospital in Boston to receive care from one of the top hospitals in the nation. Since 2009, Addison has learned how to stand on her own, take her first steps, jump her first jump, walk by herself, and enjoy having fun like the rest of the kids her age.
Addison is one of thousands of patients who have benefitted from Southwest’s Medical Transportation Grant Program over the last six years to get the medical treatment she needs. Through this program, we’re proud to have the opportunity to use our airplane seats for good and turn miles into smiles by providing complimentary, roundtrip airline tickets to nonprofit hospitals and medical organizations that then provide the tickets to patients and their caregivers who must travel for treatment. 
For 2013, Southwest will provide more than $2.8 million in free transportation to caregivers and patients seeking medical treatment. Now in its sixth year, Southwest has provided more than $10 million to organizations in 24 states. This year, we’re excited to partner with more than 90 nonprofit organizations and welcome new recipients to the program such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, an airport currently served by AirTran that will convert over to Southwest service by the end of 2013. Now, more than a year after celebrating our red bellies touching down in The Peach State, we’re thrilled to have three medical organizations in Atlanta part of the program—Emory University Hospitals, Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, and Shepherd Center.  To see a full list of the 2013 recipients, please visit:
Medical Transportation Grant Program
(click to enlarge and download)

After more than four decades of giving from the heart, we are humbled to ease the difficulties these patients and families are facing through the Medical Transportation Grant Program.  This infographic highlights the lives we’ve been able to touch through this unique program. 

Here are just a few sound bites that we’ve heard along the way from caregivers of patients and hospitals that have benefitted from the grant program.

"The financial burden on our family has been severe. I have many things to be thankful for, but regaining my health has been a long, expensive road. Southwest Airlines has been a true blessing. Thanks to them the burden is lightened." – Medical Transportation Grant Program Recipient

"It is difficult to put into words how grateful me, my wife, and my disabled son are for Southwest Airlines' Medical Transportation Grant Program. It has been a very difficult ordeal to go through these past two years, but without the assistance of Southwest, I would not have the chance to extend my life to this point and beyond, and for that reason we thank you from the bottom of our hearts." –MD Anderson Patient

"The Medical Transportation Grant program has been an incredible help for our family. We never thought that we would have a life-threatening disease that would turn our lives upside down. Thanks to this program, we had one less thing to worry about and were able to focus on our child’s health." –Parent of Medical Transportation Grant Program recipient

To learn about qualifications for travel assistance through the designated organizations, please contact the Social Work, Travel/Concierge Service, or Patient Assistance Department directly at each location, as each have unique guidelines for administration of tickets. Find out more about all the ways Southwest stands for community by visiting   

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