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New partnership at Moncton airport will benefit those in need of medical care

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A new partnership at YQM is expected to help out some of the most vulnerable patients in New Brunswick.

The airport has officially partnered with Hope Air, which is an organization that provides free flights, accommodations, meal vouchers and ground transportation to Maritimers who need financial assistance when it comes to getting medical care and treatments.

“We only have three criteria,” said Hope Air chief development officer, Jon Collins.

“We have demonstrated financial need, your appointment has to be covered by a provincial health plan and you have to travel for care. If you meet those, generally, we’ll help you get to where you need to go.”

Greater Moncton Romeo LeBlanc International Airport president and CEO, Courtney Burns made the announcement on Thursday morning alongside Collins on Thursday morning.

“Once we started to learn more about the numbers in New Brunswick, how many patients they’ve been helping since their inception in 1986, it just made absolute sense to partner with them,” said Burns, adding many of the current airline partners like WestJet, Porter and Air Canada already work with Hope Air.

“Since they started in 1986 in New Brunswick alone they’ve supported 558 patients and that’s through almost 6,400 travel arrangements,” she said.

“In the last two years, they’ve helped 49 patients with 505 travel arrangements, so you think of someone that may need to go every three weeks for a specific treatment or they have surgery and they need three or four follow ups.”

Travellers using YQM will notice a few difference moving forward.

Firstly, there will be tap-style donation towers set up for Hope Air with the option to donation either $2 or $10 towards the organization.

Burns says they also plan to show videos and advisements on their digital screens to help raise awareness and will be promoting Hope Air through its social media challenges.

Additionally, any patients travelling with Hope Air will now receive free parking at Greater Moncton Romeo LeBlanc International Airport.

“Really, it was a natural fit for us for so many different reasons,” said Burns.

In 2023 alone, Hope Air provided nearly 25,000 travel arrangements across Canada, and Collins says that includes patients, a guardian if the patient is a minor, and a secondary traveller if it is deemed medically necessary.

“Here in New Brunswick, most of what we do are complex cases so that might be a cancer case that cannot be handled locally or maybe a transplant when there’s only a few centres in the country that provide those,” he said.

“I shared a story this morning where a child had 28 trips to Halifax for his cleft palate.”

Collins say Hope Air currently does some advertisements at Halifax’s airport, but this partnership with YQM is the largest in the Maritimes.

More information about Hope Air can be found on their website including how to access their services if you’re in need.

“In terms of the reaction we see, honestly, it’s relief,” said Collins.

“Every time I’ve ever spoken to a patient, they didn’t know we existed and then when they discovered us, all the extra questions go away and they can focus on what matters most – their health.”

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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