The Southwest Airlines Community Affairs & Grassroots Team works tirelessly to build strong and strategic relationships in the communities we serve. By fostering these true partnerships, Southwest Airlines proves its commitment to making a difference. This month I am particularly proud to showcase Rady’s Children’s Hospital and Scripps Health who are both providing the impactful work of improving community health. Their work helps families who have enough to worry about when seeking care for their loved ones. We are proud to help children receive life-changing, even lifesaving, care while removing financial concerns about travel for their families.
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Southwest Airlines has long partnered with organizations within the San Diego community. These partnerships have enhanced the lives of many individuals, as well as the community as a whole. Two of the organizations they work with include Scripps Health and Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, both of which are essential healthcare resources for San Diegans, as well as out-of-town patients seeking world-class care and innovative treatments.
For several years, Southwest Airlines has partnered with Scripps Health, providing complimentary transportation vouchers to patients in need. In doing so, they have literally saved lives – specifically those in need of living organ transplants – by working with the Scripps Center for Organ and Cell Transplantation. Transportation can be a major issue for out-of-town patients. However, with airfare vouchers, Scripps Health has been able to bring in organ donors and recipients from outside San Diego, who otherwise would not have access to live organ transplants in their area. This means they get much-needed access to living organ transplants that get them off the waiting list and on the road to a better health much more quickly. Not only does this partnership with Southwest Airlines help organ recipients, but it also benefits patients of the trauma center, blood and marrow donors and recipients, as well as case managers and social workers who need to travel to care for patients. Of course, Scripps Health is immeasurably grateful for this partnership, “On behalf of our physicians, nurses, support staff and patients, Scripps extends its heartfelt thanks to Southwest Airlines for its support.” Scripps Health has long been a groundbreaking institution providing critical patient care, from establishing San Diego’s first blood and bone marrow transplant program in 1980 to the local first liver transplant program in 1990.
Similarly, Rady Children’s Hospital has partnered with Southwest Airlines to provide patient families in Hawaii with airfare vouchers to travel to their hospital for treatment. Through this program, they have been able to help children living in Hawaii who do not have access to cancer- and tumor-fighting proton therapy, heart transplants, and certain cardiac care services. Their Heart Institute team includes several associated physicians who live and work in Hawaii, and their Heart Transplant Center is a top referral location for the state. Rady Children’s Hospital shares that they are “so grateful and proud of our incredible seven-year, continuing partnership with Southwest Airlines which provides care while removing financial concerns about travel for their families.” In addition to their partnership with Southwest Airlines, Rady Children’s Hospital has also recently established the COVID Collaborative for Children – through which they have tested many children and their families – as well as a vaccination clinic that has administered over 30,000 vaccine doses already. Rady Children’s Hospital is ranked in all 10 pediatric specialties surveyed by U.S. News & World Report and has achieved Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, recognized as the gold standard in nursing excellence, among many other accolades.
Together, Southwest Airlines, Rady Children’s Hospital and Scripps Health have provided life-saving services to patients from San Diego and across the country, allowing them to receive the care they need. Southwest Airlines is proud to support their partners in San Diego and help make this a place where people can live full, happy lives.