Pediatric Patient Resources

Ronald McDonald House PhotoPlease note that some of these resources may have changed due to COVID-19.


  • Ronald McDonald House of North Central Florida: assists families with seriously ill children by providing temporary housing, basic amenities and psychosocial support during medical treatment
  • Cost: There is a recommended donation of $15/night for a room. However, no family will be turned away due to an inability to pay.
  • Eligibility: Patients must be on a pediatric service and age 21 or younger; patients must reside outside of Alachua County; anyone age 18+ must successfully pass a background screening
  • Gainesville: Local Hotel Listing

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave. Eligible employees are entitled to twelve workweeks of leave in a 12-month period:

  • to care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition
  • due to an employee’s serious health condition

Social Security Disability

SSI makes monthly payments to people with low income and limited resources who are 65 or older, or blind, or disabled. Your child, if younger than age 18, can qualify if he or she has a physical or mental condition, or combination of conditions, that meets Social Security’s definition of disability for children, and if his or her income and resources fall within the eligibility limits.

Ground Transportation

Medicaid Transportation: patients covered under a Florida Medicaid plan have access to transportation assistance services to assure Medicaid recipients can regularly access medical care.

  • You must call at least 48 hours before the appointment to schedule transportation
  • Things you need to know before calling:
    • Medicaid Member ID
    • Name, DOB, home/pickup address, name of any passengers
    • Appointment time and date
    • Address of appointment: Shands Hospital – 1600 SW Archer Rd. Gainesville, FL 32610
  • Once you have the above information, call your assigned Medicaid provider listed below and request to arrange transportation to your medical appointment:
  • Sunshine State: (877-659-8421)
  • United Healthcare: (866-726-1457)
  • Humana Medicaid: (866-726-1457)
  • Wellcare & Staywell: (866-591-4066)
  • Prestige: (855-381-3778)
  • CMS Ped-I-Care: (855-739-5986)
  • Molina: (866-528-0454)

Air Travel

  • Mercy Medical Flights: If you are in need of assistance in getting transportation to receive medical treatment, we can help. We provide assistance in the air with commercial airline tickets and volunteer pilots and on the ground with gas cards, bus and train tickets.
  • Grace on Wings: The nation’s only charity air ambulance. To be eligible, the patient must have a condition requiring medically-supervised transport for a distance of at least 150 miles.
  • Operation Liftoff: Operation Liftoff provides air travel for children with a life-threatening illness and their parent(s) when medical treatment is not available in their geographical area.
  • Air Care Alliance: Volunteer pilots fly to help others! Search their nationwide listing to find out more about the various kinds of flight assistance for medical travel available.
  • Angel Flights Southeast: provides a variety of services to the community, but mostly arranges free air transportation by private aircraft to distant medical facilities when commercial service is not available, impractical or simply not affordable.
  • Vital Flights: Within Florida only; Vital Flight coordinates free air transportation for individuals seeking medical, compassionate, or humanitarian care.
  • Corporate Angel Network: Arranges free travel on corporate jets for cancer patients, bone marrow donors and bone marrow recipients. Must be able to walk up the steps of a corporate aircraft without assistance and be able to travel without use of oxygen, IV, or onboard medical assistance
  • Miracle Flights: Patients under the age of 18 and up to 2 caregivers (or age 18+ with 1 caregiver); Flights are subject to household income guidelines; receive assistance as often as needed and available
  • Children’s Flight of Hope: For children with serious illnesses or injuries, treatment may be available. But sometimes it’s located too far away for them to access. Children’s Flight of Hope (CFOH) is changing that by providing air transportation for children to access specialized medical care.
  • CAIR Flight: a Tampa based organization that coordinates charitable air travel to those in need. The typical aircraft seats four people and are non-pressurized. Must be ambulatory. Can carry supplemental oxygen provided by our passenger, if required. Typically, there is room for one family member and limited weight soft-sided luggage.
  • Air Charity Network: a charitable organization that provides access for people in need who are seeking free air transportation to specialized health care facilities. They serve all 50 states and the volunteer pilots utilize their own aircraft to provide free air transportation to medical facilities for citizens who are financially distressed or otherwise unable to travel on public transportation.

Important Links