Mercy Medical Airlift (MMA) sent an article to reprint in newsletters describing their services. Since I wasn't sure how it could be utilized by our families, I called the helpline number and received the following information. This service is not ordinarily available for emergency situations because the volunteer pilots are working persons and need advance notice. However, this could be a valuable service for those families who have limited funding and need to travel several hours or more for their clinic appointments.
The National Patient Air Transport Helpline (N-P-A-T-H)
1-800-296-1217 is a one-of-a-kind unique hotline which makes referrals to all known appropriate charitable, charitably-assisted and special patient discount commercial long-distance air medical transport options. By calling the 24-hour helpline you can tap into a wealth of available resources. Referrals are based on an evaluation of the patient's medical condition, type of transport required and departure/destination locations. Patient referrals are made to over 45 different sources of air medical transport help.
N-P-A-T-H provides information and referral for:
- Those who must find a way to travel considerable distances for specialized evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, and/or recovery necessitated by illness or accident.
- Q Health care professionals (doctors, nurses, social workers, and discharge planners) who must find the most cost- effective way to move patients and their family members long distances.
- Q Volunteer pilots who want to serve with one of the volunteer pilot agencies that is part of the Air Care Alliance (ACA). ACA is the nationwide league of humanitarian volunteer pilot organizations flying for public benefit.
- Q The "special lift" air medical transport program operated in conjunction with N-P-A-T-H. Sponsors of large-scale disease research or experimental treatment programs can take advantage of this program which will manage and coordinate the air medical transportation aspect of the special project - arranging to move large numbers of patients to and from special research or treatment facilities, one at a time, as required (via charitable means) nationwide.