Maximizing the patient experience for those in need of transportation assistance with the Breathing Room Foundation

Helping provide "breathing room" for patients at 10 different cancer centers throughout the Greater Philadelphia area.

“We identified a need, and Roundtrip went into this with us together. Roundtrip has become an important, reliable resource for our families. The fact that they can get picked up at their front door and dropped off at their treatment with a kind, considerate driver in a clean car simply makes a world of difference.”

– Mary Ellen Fitzgerald, Director


Serving the Greater Philadelphia area since 1997, the mission of the Breathing Room Foundation is to provide those affected by cancer with personal, individualized support to alleviate the emotional, physical, and financial strain that a cancer diagnosis brings. It is the goal of the foundation to ensure that families have the “breathing room” they need to allow them to concentrate their efforts on regaining their health. Breathing Room’s vision is to ensure that no family fights cancer alone by offering solutions to their most critical needs as they face the hardships related to a cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Through the generous support of its community members, Breathing Room has served countless cancer patients over the last 20+ years. With 1,200 new patients referred to the Breathing Room Foundation every year, each recipient is offered a financial award that can be used for a variety of things and is meant to address the individual’s most pressing needs. In addition to the financial award, the foundation offers support through year-round children’s programs and volunteer services.


Frequently, the most significant barrier to care for patients awarded by Breathing Room is transportation. Looking for a solution to help meet this important patient need, the organization originally turned to black car service while also supplying taxi, bus, and train vouchers. However, this approach proved to be both expensive and unreliable. Patients were not able to maximize the financial award and the lack of flexibility for canceling and rescheduling rides resulted in Breathing Room paying a penalty out of the amount awarded to the patient. As cancer patients don’t always have a set schedule, the lack of flexibility was difficult to accept. In 2018, Breathing Room approached Roundtrip to improve their resource allocation to maximize the patient experience for those in need of transportation assistance. 

Finding A Better Fit

Since launching in August of 2018, Roundtrip has become a trusted partner in helping Breathing Room pursue their mission and vision, serving hundreds of patients going to and from 10 different cancer centers in the Greater Philadelphia area, including Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Fox Chase Cancer Center, the Bott Cancer Center at Holy Redeemer Hospital, and the Abramson Cancer Center at Penn Medicine. Breathing Room praises Roundtrip as a flexible, cost-effective solution that is easy to use, and is making a real difference in the lives of the families the organization serves.

Rounding out 2019, the foundation experienced significant ride growth month over month. From October to November ride volume increased by 26% and then from November to December ride volume increased by 215%.

Program Expansion

To optimize its services, the Breathing Room Foundation wanted to put more resources towards addressing the most common and pressing patient needs. After putting out a survey to its network, 80% of the ~25 referring social workers identified transportation as one of the top issues their patients struggled with, and the top issue that they had difficulty finding resources for.

After receiving grant funding, this response culminated in the launch of the Breaking Barriers pilot program on August 1, 2019. When someone is diagnosed with metastatic cancer or a recurrence of cancer, this program allows Breathing Room to jump in with specific funding to help cover as many rides for the patient as necessary, breaking down the transportation barriers that these patients may be facing when it comes to receiving the vital care they need. 

Since launching, the Breaking Barriers program has allowed Breathing Room to use Roundtrip to complete 250 additional rides at one hospital alone. As the foundation plans to expand the program to all of the facilities it serves in Greater Philadelphia, Roundtrip will be a trusted resource in providing transportation for all the families in need of breathing room.

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