Southwest Airlines Rehabilitation Therapy Module Takes Flight in St. Luke's Community

Innovative Airplane at St. Luke's Rehabilitation Institute Helps Patients Experience and Prepare for Real-Life Travel After Injury or Illness
July 26, 2012
Spokane, WA

SPOKANE, Wash. --- Southwest Airlines has landed at St. Luke’s Community, a 2,200 square foot real-life therapy area at St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute dedicated to helping people recover after an injury or illness. A portion of a fuselage was retrofitted to be part of St. Luke’s therapy program, the region’s only level I trauma rehabilitation hospital.

“In the comfort of St. Luke’s Community, therapists coached me on how to board and exit the airplane, navigate the aisle, side step into and out of a seat and sit and stand,” said Lynda Housden, a St. Luke’s patient recovering from knee replacement and adjusting to a recent Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis. “I was so excited, and thrilled to know that the skills I learned in the Southwest Airlines airplane module would prepare me for my next business trip.  I have all the confidence in the world.”

St. Luke’s Community is designed with the every day in mind – from the grocery store, bank, office and restaurant to the bus, car and airplane. With the guidance of physical, occupational and recreational therapists, patients practice getting in a car and putting on their seatbelt. Patients cross the street, navigate the curb and different surfaces; patients board a bus and now an airplane.

“Southwest Airlines’ contribution to St. Luke’s Community is helping patients regain confidence in their abilities to travel after an illness or injury,” said Nancy Webster, St. Luke’s therapy director. “Southwest is known for their commitment to the communities they serve and we are grateful for their support.”
“Southwest Airlines is proud to partner with St. Luke’s on this unique opportunity to create an airplane therapy module that will help patients return to their daily lives faster,” Southwest Airlines’ Spokane Station Manager J Evans said.  “This is the first time Southwest has partnered with a hospital in this manner, and we look forward to learning how we can best serve our customers and continue offering our Legendary Customer Service.”

For more information about St. Luke’s Community and St. Luke’s, follow online and through social media:
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St. Luke’s Community is a collaborative project, receiving generous support from employees, community members, past patient and businesses. Special thanks to St. Luke’s Community therapy module sponsors: Empire Lumber, Layman Law Firm, Red Lion Hotels Corporation, Spokane Transit Authority, Southwest Airlines, Tomato Street Italian Restaurant, Walgreens, Washington Trust Bank and Wendle Ford for helping bring the community to St. Luke’s patients. For more information on St. Luke’s Community and ways to support the project, please contact the INHS Foundation at (509) 473-6099 or visit

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Nicole Stewart
(509) 232-8131

St. Luke's Rehabilitation Institute
711 S. Cowley St.
Spokane, WA 99202-1330

Inpatient Information: (509) 473-6058 or 1-833-FOR-SLR-1
Outpatient Information: (509) 473-6869