Just like a for-profit company, the success of Angel Flight West is predicated on cost-effectively dealing with supply and demand. For us, the challenge is always having volunteer pilots (supply) available when a passenger (demand) needs transportation to medical treatment, but doesn’t have the resources to pay for it.
After a period of decline, we are now seeing an increase in requests for our free medical transportation services.
There are several reasons for this increase. We updated our web site to make it easier to request flights online. We’re finding that more people are discovering us on their own using the internet, and researching their own transportation options rather than relying on their healthcare providers. Since our web update, we have seen more visits to the site (https://angelflightwest.org) – and, most importantly – more visitors completing the process.
Another reason is a recent survey completed by Social Workers and Case Managers regarding our service. Their input has provided insight into how we can enhance the process for requesting flights and we are implementing changes. We are also doing more to publicize who we are and what we do…as exemplified by this Blog, as well as our Facebook and our Twitter presence. And, we continue to encourage volunteers to “adopt-a-hospital”, establishing relationships in a facility who are familiar with Angel Flight West.
We are also seeing an increase in requests due to the Affordable Care Act. More people now have insurance to pay for the care they couldn’t afford. And, the nature of treatments are changing – providing new medicines and protocols to those who previously didn’t have hope.
All this means that we expect the demand for our services to grow in the coming years. So, we need to grow our “supply” of volunteer pilots as well. As a pilot there is nothing more rewarding than to be able to use our skill to help someone else. Angel Flight West provides the opportunity for us to combine a passion for flight with a compassion for others. We encourage you to join the 1,400 members of Angel Flight West who make a difference more than 10 times each day. (Join now online!) I look forward to meeting you in 2014.
Alan Dias, Executive Director