Mutual of America
  2014 Community Partnership Award
  Merit Finalist
  Patient AirLift Services and Shriners Hospital for Children

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.”

Patient AirLift Services (PALS)
Patient AirLift Services and Shriners Hospital for Children
Shriners Hospital for Children
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
Southwest Airlines
Talon Air
Cape Air