June 7th Declared Hope Air Day in Ontario

Communities across Ontario stand in support of government funding for Hope Air Medical Travel programs in Northern and Rural Ontario communities.
Toronto (May 7, 2024) – Hope Air today announced that June 7th will be recognized as Hope Air Day in Ontario. Municipal leaders representing communities including Timmins, Hearst, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, and Marathon, will join Hope Air in advocating for critical funds and services by issuing their own proclamations, further reinforcing the role the charity plays in ensuring that where Canadians live does not dictate if they live.

Hope Air Day will unite residents, healthcare professionals, government, industry, and volunteers in delivering the message that Ontario patients deserve to receive equitable access to health care, regardless of location. This issue is particularly relevant for the 800,000 residents of Northern Ontario who represent the communities of most significant need. Hope Air’s services relieve long distance medical travel expenses by providing flights, accommodations, transportation and meals for patients with all health conditions recognized by the Province including cardiovascular, cancer, diabetes, transplants, respiratory and a wide range of pediatric medical conditions.

“Every Ontario resident deserves equal access to vital medical care,” said Mark Rubinstein, Chief Executive Officer, Hope Air. “Hope Air Day signals a moment of truth for our provincial health care system and underscores an urgent need, especially in Northern Ontario, where patient demand for Hope Air’s services is increasing rapidly. Continued funding is essential to eliminating financial barriers and ensuring equitable access to healthcare for Ontario’s remote and underserved communities.”

To mark the occasion, Canadian country music artist and pilot Cory Marks will fly into Timmins, Ontario with upwards of 20 volunteer pilots on Hope Air’s Give Hope Wings Expedition to perform a live concert with participation by patients, pilots, government officials and industry leaders. The event will be live streamed to audiences across Canada.

“Growing up in North Bay, I know firsthand the challenges people face getting the care they need,” says Cory Marks. “Hope Air is a lifeline, and I’m honored to support them in keeping this vital service available for everyone.”

As demand for Hope Air’s service increases substantially (165% in Ontario, year-over-year), urgent action and funding is required. Hope Air presently receives no direct government funding to sustain its operations, and programs have been supported through limited private sector donations.

Make a difference by donating, volunteering, or raising awareness about Hope Air. And, pledge your support for Hope Air Day at www.hopeair.ca/ontario.

About Hope Air
Founded as a registered charity in 1986, Hope Air is a unique and essential national charity that directly addresses the challenges of equitable access to health care for people living on a low income in small and rural Canadian communities. Over the past ten years, Hope Air has delivered free flights, accommodations, meals and ground transportation for more than 15,000 patients in Ontario, with more than 22% of these services provided in 2023. For more information, visit hopeair.ca.

For further information:
Jodi Lumsden
Director of Marketing & Communications Tel. 647-688-5634

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