Southwest Airlines Medical Transportation Grant Program: 33,000 Lives and Counting!

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Southwest Airlines Medical Transportation Grant Program: 33,000 Lives and Counting!

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Friday, February 21, 2014 - 10:00am

By: Debbie Wafford

As manager of the Southwest Airlines Medical Transportation Grant Program, I have the privilege of working on a program that has touched the lives of more than 33,000 patients and their families. Throughout the year, we receive numerous thank you notes from patients, doctors, and social workers. And while every story is special, this year the story of Toby Shaw has especially touched me.

As the mother of two kids, I can sympathize with the tough decisions that Toby’s parents were faced with. They knew he needed specialized care for his arthrogryposis (ACM) and were doing anything in their power to get him that care. Thankfully, with the help of Miracle Flights and the Southwest Airlines Medical Transportation Grant Program, Toby and his family are able to travel from their home in rural Ohio to Philadelphia where Toby is treated at Shriners Children’s Hospital.

Since 2007, the Southwest Airlines Medical Transportation Grant Program has supported patients’ needs for travel by donating roundtrip travel to hospitals and medical organizations. Shriners Children’s Hospital has been a part of the program for the past four years. I’m delighted to share that Shriners is one of nearly 100 hospitals and organizations that will benefit from our program in 2014. 

Seeing Toby’s smile or hearing his infectious laugh is all it takes to know that what I do matters, and I’m proud to work for a Company that believes in making a positive impact. 

To learn more about Toby’s story please check out this blog post from his mother.

Through the Southwest Airlines Medical Transportation Grant Program we provide complimentary, roundtrip tickets to nonprofit hospitals and medical transportation organizations. Shriners Hospital for Children is one of 99 hospitals and medical organizations impacted through this program.  In 2014, Southwest Airlines Medical Transportation Grant Program will give more than $2.8 million in free transportation to patients needing to travel for treatment.

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