Vimal Patel traveled a great distance to receive care from Indiana University Health.
After surviving a gruesome car crash that shattered both his heels, Patel’s California clinicians recommended a double foot amputation. Instead, Patel’s brother-in-law researched other options, and Patel chartered a plane to the IU Health trauma center—a center funded in part by Rev, IU Health Foundation’s signature event.
Of course, not everyone has the means to charter their own plane to access IU Health’s world-class programs and services.
To eliminate barriers that patients traveling to Indiana for care might face, such as cost, distance or language, IU Health launched the Destination Services program in 2013.
The program offers patients and their families access to clinical coordinators who assist with every aspect of the visit. They help make travel arrangements, schedule appointments and collaborate with insurance providers, as well as embassies. Most importantly, their job is to ensure that the patient’s visit is as stress-free as possible, so they can focus on getting well.
“Our Destination Services team continuously strives to provide the highest quality of medical care for people who live either around the corner or around the world,” said Mohammad Al-Haddad, MD, medical director of IU Health Destination Services.
In addition to the resources offered by Destination Services, gifts to the Patient Assistance Fund help traveling patients cover expenses not covered by insurance—such as transportation costs and hotel stays.
As IU Health continues to lead the way in organ transplants, neurosurgery, urology, oncology, gastroenterology and trauma care, donor generosity will ensure that more patients can choose IU Health, even when it’s not close to home.
Patel is glad he traveled to IU Health for his care. His IU Health physicians successfully saved both of his feet.
He stayed at IU Health Methodist Hospital for two and half months. During that time, he received hyperbaric oxygen treatment and worked diligently with the rehab team to gain strength in his feet before flying home to California.
Today, Patel can walk, jog, jump and ride his bike.
If you would like to aid traveling patients and make a gift to the Patient Assistance Fund, please contact IU Health Foundation Team Member Giving Manager Sarah Bock at 812.318.0545 or SBock@iuhealth.org.