Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant Takes Flight and Returns to Work with the Help of St. Luke's Community in Spokane

Carrier Sponsors Airplane Therapy Module At St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute to Help Patients Experience and Prepare for Real-Life Travel After Injury or Illness
Sep 6, 2013 11:00 AM ET

In 2012, Southwest Airlines landed at the St. Luke’s Community in Spokane, Washington, 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 sponsored by Southwest Airlines was retrofitted to be part of St. Luke’s therapy program, the region’s only level I trauma rehabilitation hospital.  Now, the partnership has given one of Southwest’s own Flight Attendants, Kate Ordorizzi, the Freedom to Fly and return to work following an injury.

At the St. Luke’s Community, Kate used the Southwest-sponsored airplane therapy module to practice her job duties such as stowing luggage, performing Safety checks, and delivering drink service. Now, Kate has completed her treatment and is ready to return to work. Visit the NUTS About Southwest blog to see a video documenting Kate’s journey to recovery.  To view a b-roll video and photos, visit  

Southwest Airlines partnership with St. Luke’s signified the first time the carrier partnered with a hospital in this manner. Since the plane landed in 2012, the Community has helped more than 3,500 patients regain both strength and confidence.


About St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute
St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute is the region’s largest free-standing physical medicine and rehabilitation hospital and the only Level I trauma rehabilitation hospital in the Inland Northwest. St. Luke’s serves more than 7,000 patients each year in inpatient and outpatient settings - people who have suffered a stroke, lost a limb, and suffered a brain injury, spinal cord injury or one of many other illnesses or injuries. St. Luke’s has seven outpatient clinic locations throughout the greater Spokane area. St. Luke’s is a division of Inland Northwest Health Services (INHS). For more information on St. Luke’s, visit

About Southwest Airlines
Southwest Airlines is the nation's largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded and has recently acquired AirTran Airways, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Southwest Airlines Co. Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world known for its commitment to the triple bottom line of Performance, People, and Planet, distinguishing itself in its support of men and women in uniform.  To read more about how Southwest is doing its part to be a good citizen, visit to read the Southwest Airlines One Report™. Based in Dallas, Southwest currently operates more than 3,400 flights a day and has more than 46,000 Employees systemwide.