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Iowa Couple Starts Nonprofit to Provide Free Medical Flight Service


Doug and Robyn Pralle, two Hampton, Iowa residents, have started a nonprofit to transport people requiring medical treatment without any charge. Named Compassion Flights, the nonprofit medical flight service began their operations in January 2017. Compassion Flights will transport Iowa residents who have to travel a long distance for medical treatments.

Past Experience Inspires Doug

When Doug was younger, he had a good experience of people doing nice things for him and his family as his father received cancer treatment in Chicago. He and his mother even received tickets to a Chicago Cubs game from doctors at the hospital.

From this experience, Doug was inspired to also do something to help people requiring medical treatment. So he decided to provide a free medical flight service to North Iowa residents who need to travel to other states for medical treatment.

Donations Fund Operations for Medical Flight Service

Doug Pralle is a licensed pilot and owns a Cessna 183, which he uses for the Compassion Flights operations. Even before Compassion Flights received nonprofit status, he had flown several people needing medical treatment to hospitals in other states.

Donations fund the operations of the nonprofit. Recently, they had even received a grant of $5000 from the Franklin County Community Foundation. The Pralles will be using these funds to remodel an unoccupied avionics shop just next to the hangar they use. The renovated space will serve as office space for the nonprofit.

The couple works jointly to make the nonprofit operational. While Doug flies the plane, Robyn does the paperwork and handles the applications for flights. Compassion Flights also has a board of directors responsible for choosing whose applications would be approved.

The Pralles intend to enhance their operations further and are currently on the lookout for more pilots and volunteers to be a part of their organization.

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