Tips and Resources for Patient Travel

Many patients and their families find themselves travelling long distances for patient care, diagnosis, and/or participating in a clinical trial.  Many hospitals and clinical trial sites provide funding while others cannot.  Below are some resources and/or tips that may be helpful.

GENERAL TRAVEL

Traveling with a Medical Condition


LODGING SUPPORT

National Association of Hospital Hospitality Houses
“Non-profit organization serving facilities that provide lodging and other supportive services to patients and their families when confronted with medical emergencies.”
PO Box 1439 Gresham, OR 97030
Phone: 1.800.542.9730
Email: Helpinghomes@nahhh.org
Web: Www.nahhh.org
Ronald McDonald Houses
“Our Ronald McDonald House program provides a ‘home-away-from-home’ for families so they can stay close by their hospitalized child at little or no cost.”
Web: http://rmhc.org/what-we-do/ronald-mcdonald-house/ Click on their chapter link for nationwide locations.



TRANSPORTATION SUPPORT

Free Gas USA Inc.
Gasoline assistance program. Provides gas-assistance grants to poverty-stricken applicants to drive to work, medical appointments, school, grocery shopping, etc. Must meet salary requirements.
P.O. Box 2632
Kalamazoo, Michigan 49003-2632
Email: info@freegasusa.org
Web: www.freegasusa.org

Angel Bus
757-333-0084
www.Angel-Bus.org
“Angel Bus is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to providing compassionate, non-emergency long-distance ground transportation to patients in need.  Angel Bus, which utilizes motor coaches and their volunteer drivers as well as commercial buses.”
Air Care Alliance
888-260-9707
www.aircareall.org
“The Air Care Alliance is a nationwide league of humanitarian flying organizations whose volunteer pilots are dedicated to community service. This site will introduce you to us and to all the groups we list whose volunteers perform public benefit flying for health care, patient transport, disaster relief, environmental support, and other missions of public service.”
Air Ambulance Service
877-560-1773
www.airambulanceservice.com
Air Ambulance Service provides medical transportation to injured, infirmed and those unable to fly without medical supervision across the globe. Experienced medical teams are dispatched to escort patients to their primary care centers on a case by case basis as dictated by the individual needs of the patient. (Commercial.)
AirStar
480-649-261
www.airstararizona.com
info@airstararizona.com
While not free, this Arizona-based company offers assisted medical flights at very reasonable prices compared against typical medical flight where the patient must pay. (Commercial.)
Angel Flight, Inc. People Flying People in Need
918-749-8992
www.angelflight.com
Angel Flight is a non-profit organization of pilots and other volunteers dedicated to serving the community by arranging free private air transportation for medical patients who cannot afford to utilize normal, commercial transportation. Angel Flight also provides services to blood, organ and tissue banks. Angel Flight is a member of Air Care Alliance, a group of 37 organizations providing similar services throughout the United States. These groups are coordinated through a toll-free service (NPATH) that helps individuals in need find assistance in their area.
This is a small volunteer organization that operates (only) in and around Oklahoma.
Angel Charity Network
www.aircharitynetwork.org
Air Charity Network™ (ACN) provides access for people in need seeking free air transportation to specialized health care facilities or distant destinations due to family, community or national crisis. This is a network of volunteer pilot organizations – nationwide.
Angel Flight at NIH
301-451-9646
www.angelflightatnih.org or http://mercymedical.org
For patients in medical and financial need who need to travel to the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Arranges charitable airline flights for patients involved with NIH clinical trials or other rare disease or rare cancer treatment programs or clinical trials.
Children’s Flight of Hope
www.childrensflightofhope.org
Children’s Flight of Hope provides free, private air transportation to and from medical facilities for children in need. “With our organization-owned aircraft and crew of experienced volunteer pilots, we transport children and their families to and from hospitals throughout the eastern United States. We seek to ensure that children in our service area (North Carolina) are not denied access to medical treatment at distant facilities due to either financial need or a medical condition that precludes travel via ground or commercial aircraft.” (Local flights only.)
Corporate Angel Network
1-914-328-1313
www.corpangelnetwork.org
Free flights for cancer patients and their families. Private jets used by corporations that have empty seats, free flights. No financial requirements. One of many advantages is low risk of exposure to contagious illness because just a few people are on plane. (Note: flight not guaranteed even after it is arranged.)
DELTA Medical Fare
http://www.delta.com/planning_reservations/special_travel_needs/medical_fare/index.jsp
Delta offers discount airfare for last minute travel of immediate family members of hospitalized individuals. Eligibility and required documentation can be found on their website. Tickets must be purchased by calling any Delta ticketing location. For reservations or pricing, call Delta Reservation Sales. These fares are not available at delta.com.
FOOTPRINTS in the Sky
footprintsflights.org
(303) 799-0461
7375 South Peoria Street Suite # 209, B-10 Centennial, CO
A Denver-based 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation dedicated to providing flights to medical facilities throughout the United States for people in need of critical and life-saving medical care.
Mercy Medical Airlift
800-296-1217
www.mercymedical.org
Mercy Medical Airlift serves nationwide and is the oldest and largest charitable medical air transportation non-profit in the United States. Free airline tickets for cancer patients and their escorts are available year around. (MMA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving people in situations of compelling human need through the provision of charitable air transportation. MMA is totally supported through charitable giving and the services of volunteer pilots and office assistants.
Midwest Express Miracle Miles
One free flight, thereafter flights are discounted. No financial requirements. Call Natalie Fuerst at 1-414-570-3644. (A small program.)
Miracle Flights for Kids
(800) -359-1711 or (702) 261-0494
www.miracleflights.org
Transporting children to medical treatment since 1985.
National Patient Air Transport Helpline (NPATH)
800-296-1217
www.patienttravel.org

Provides information about all forms of charitable, long-distance medical air transportation. Will refer cancer patients to Mercy Medical Airlift for free tickets.
Operation Liftoff
www.operationliftoff.com
“Providing special trips to children who are facing life threatening illness.” Free flights, no financial requirements. Operation Liftoff provides air transportation for children with a life threatening illness for a wish trip or treatment trip. (Very small.)


Additional Tips and Resources for Raising Funds for Patient Travel!

Try local government and non-profit resources such as SOCIAL & WELFARE SERVICES:
http://www.socialwelfareservices.org/
Web Searches for Resources – Use GoodSearch.com to search the web for available funds. (Don’t forget to use the UMDF’s code!)
Some keywords to try in your web searches:
·      ARC of (your state)
·      legal aide
·      financial assistance
·      disability assistance
·      disability stipend
·      family assistance
·      disability resources
·     …Or any other creative combination of words!
And don’t forget to put the name of your state in the search!
Different states have different names for programs, so you may need to do some research for programs in your area. Applications can usually be made to:

·     Your state’s Early Intervention Office
·      Department of Public Welfare Disabilities Office
·      Commission on Disability
·      Georgia Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities (www.gcdd.org)
·      Medicare Waiver Program
·      New York Economic Opportunity
·      Illinois Family Assistance for Children with Developmental Disabilities
·      The ARC of Illinois, Consumer Involvement Program-Consumer Stipend Funds
·      Utah Governors Council for People with Disabilities
·      New York Development Disabilities Planning Council’s suggested steps for gaining financial assistance: www.ddpc.state.ny.us/pages/conference_funding_information.htm
Funds can also be found by contacting your church or synagogue, the local United Way, the March of Dimes, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Easter Seals, Kiwanis, Rotary or Lions Club.