DALLAS, April 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) announced today that 73 nonprofit hospitals and medical organizations from across the nation will benefit from the Southwest Airlines® 2016 Medical Transportation Grant Program, with the total impact reaching 97 facilities. Through the program, participating nonprofit hospitals and medical programs provide complimentary, roundtrip air travel to families who need to travel for specialized medical care to lessen the financial burden of serious illness.
"Southwest Airlines has a nearly 45-year tradition of treating our Employees and Customers like family. Families support each other during both good and challenging times, and we're honored to be able to serve our communities during a time of great need," said Linda Rutherford, Southwest Airlines Vice President and Chief Communications Officer. "The opportunity to connect someone to the things that are most important in their life drives us to find a network of hospitals and organizations that support this mission and provide the best possible treatment to their patients."
Since the Southwest Airlines Medical Transportation Grant Program's inception in 2007, more than $19.6 million in free transportation has been distributed to organizations in 26 states. "I knew this was one of those situations where I needed to be home, no matter the cost," shares Sarah Zawatski, a caregiver to her mother who received treatment at Banner University Medical Center Phoenix. "With this generous gift, I was able to fly out and not give too much care to the cost of the airline ticket. My care and attention needed to be focused on my mom."
In 2016, Southwest will provide more than $3.2 million in free transportation to caregivers and patients seeking medical treatment. Participating hospitals include:
Angel Flight Central, Arkansas Children's Hospital, Banner University Medical Center Phoenix Transplant Center, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Cedars-Sinai, Children's Hospital & Medical Center, Children's Hospital Colorado Foundation, Children's Hospital Corporation, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Children's Hospital of Alabama, Children's Hospital of Orange County, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, Inc., Children's Medical Center Foundation, Children's Mercy, Children's National Hospital, Cook Children's, Craig Hospital Foundation, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Dell Children's Hospital, Emory Healthcare, Froedtert Hospital Foundation Inc., Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare, Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Foundation, Long Island Jewish Health System , Loyola University Health Systems, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford, Massachusetts General Hospital, MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Mercy Medical Angels, Mercy Medical Center, Miracle Flights for Kids, National Foundation for Facial Reconstruction for NYU Langone Medical Center, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Patient Airlift Services, Phoenix Children's Hospital, Piedmont Healthcare Foundation, Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center, a Division of Duke University Health System, Inc., Rady Children's Hospital Foundation - San Diego, Riley Children's Hospital-IU Health, Rush University Medical Center, Scripps Health, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Seattle Children's Hospital, Shepherd Center, Shriners Hospitals for Children, SSM St. Mary's Health Center Foundation, St. Joseph's Foundation and Barrow Neurological Foundation, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, St. Louis Children's Hospital Foundation, St. Luke's Foundation, Stanford Health Care, Tampa General Hospital, Texas Children's Hospital, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Crippled Children, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, The Johns Hopkins Hospital & Johns Hopkins Children's Hospital, The Nemours Foundation, Children's Hospital, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, UCLA Medical Center, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, University Medical Center Tucson, formerly University of Arizona Medical Center, University Medical Center, Lubbock/University Medical Center Foundation, University of Chicago Medicine, University of Illinois Hospital & Health Science Systems, University of Minnesota Medical Center, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Visit the NUTS About Southwest blog and www.southwest.com/medicalgrant to learn more about the positive impact of the Medical Transportation Grant Program. 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 the hospitals and medical organizations listed above, as each has unique guidelines for the administration of tickets.
ABOUT SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO.
In its 45th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 49,000 Employees to more than 100 million Customers annually. Southwest proudly operates a network of 97 destinations across the United States and seven additional countries with more than 3,900 departures a day during peak travel season. Service to Long Beach, California, our 98th city, will begin June 5, 2016.
Based on the U.S. Department of Transportation's most recent data, Southwest Airlines is the nation's largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded. The Company operates the largest fleet of Boeing aircraft in the world, the majority of which are equipped with satellite-based WiFi providing gate-to-gate connectivity. That connectivity enables Customers to use their personal devices to view video on-demand movies and television shows, as well as more than 20 channels of free, live TV compliments of our valued Partners. Southwest created Transfarency℠, a philosophy which treats Customers honestly and fairly, and in which low fares actually stay low. Southwest is the only major U.S. airline to offer bags fly free® to everyone (first and second checked pieces of luggage, size and weight limits apply, some airlines may allow free checked bags on select routes or for qualified circumstances), and there are no change fees, though fare differences might apply. In 2014, the airline proudly unveiled a bold new look: Heart. The new aircraft livery, airport experience, and logo, showcase the dedication of Southwest Employees to connect Customers with what's important in their lives.
From its first flights on June 18, 1971, Southwest Airlines launched an era of unprecedented affordability in air travel described by the U.S. Department of Transportation as "The Southwest Effect," a lowering of fares and increase in passenger traffic whenever the carrier enters new markets. With 43 consecutive years of profitability, Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for a triple bottom line approach that contributes to the carrier's performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities they serve, and an overall commitment to efficiency and the planet. The 2014 Southwest Airlines One Report™ can be found at SouthwestOneReport.com.
Book Southwest Airlines' low fares online at Southwest.com or by phone at 800-I-FLY-SWA.
SOURCE Southwest Airlines Co.