United Airlines is stepping in to help the coronavirus crisis in New York City by providing free round-trip flights for medical volunteers heading toward the frontline fight that is raging in the Big Apple. The airline is working closely with the Mayor’s office and a network of medical volunteer organizations, including The Society of Critical Care Medicine, to coordinate travel for doctors, nurses and other medical professionals from across the country to help treat patients during this time of unprecedented need.
“Our healthcare workers are heroes, and they need reinforcements,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in a statement. “This generous partnership with United Airlines will ensure medical professionals from across the country can come to New York City to help us in our hour of need.”
The need for medical volunteers has never been more important in New York City, which has more than 50,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the most of any U.S. city.
“We are profoundly grateful for the extraordinarily talented and selfless individuals who are working around the clock and have an unwavering commitment to support our communities and medical providers at this time of exceptional need,” said Jill Kaplan, President, New York / New Jersey for United Airlines. “It is our hope that providing air travel at no cost will allow additional dedicated volunteers and first responders the ability to reach the Tri-State area, that has been hit hardest by COVID-19.”
United is working with local government agencies and their non-profit partners to ensure qualified medical professionals are staffed in hospitals best suited to their areas of expertise and have the proper housing and transportation to enable them to effectively offer their services. The airline is also closely collaborating with a network of professional medical volunteer organizations to help further enlist volunteers who have offered their support in this time of great need.
United plans to expand this program to additional areas in the Tri-State region and beyond to allow more volunteers to offer their vitally important services in the places that need them most.
Those interested in volunteering or learning more about the program can visit the New York City Health’s website here.