The United States health care system is one of the most technologically advanced
in the world. The problem is that not everyone can access it. Thousands of Americans
lack the financial means to travel long distances for the specialized medical evaluation,
diagnosis or treatment they require.
Patient AirLift Services (PALS) was founded in 2010 to ensure that no needy patient
is denied access to the best medical care because of distance. PALS connects individuals
seeking medical treatment with volunteer pilots who provide free air transportation
to those essential services. The two main requirements for Patient AirLift Services
are that patients must be medically stable and ambulatory, and there must be a financial
or compelling need for the flight.
In 2012, PALS collaborated with Shriners Hospital for Children to create a lifeline
of hope for young patients and their families who live too far to take advantage
of the world-class pediatric services offered at Shriners’ hospitals in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, and Boston and Springfield, Massachusetts. This partnership provides
a cascade of benefits: when a family comes to Shriners with transportation concerns
and PALS is able to fulfill that need at no cost, the dollars saved by Shriners
can be used to help another family.
The only service of its kind in the New York Tri-State area, PALS also arranges
air transportation for members of the military through its PALS for Patriots Program,
as well as humanitarian airlift services for disaster and emergency relief. All
PALS pilots—who donate their time and aircraft and cover all flight costs—are licensed
by the FAA and are instrument rated.
“Having to navigate complex medical needs is challenging enough for families without
having to deal with transportation issues,” said Eileen Minogue, Executive Director
of Patient AirLift Services. “Our partnerships’ goal is to eliminate the barriers
to care for those in need by providing transportation to facilities where they can
receive medical attention they might otherwise have to do without.”