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BUFFALO, N.Y., June 23, 2010 - AAA Western and Central New York and the Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) Corporation have established a public-private partnership to provide comprehensive driver rehabilitation services for special needs clients and at-risk older drivers.  Services include driving evaluation, training, and vehicle modification recommendations.

AAA and ECMC provide a variety of services for individuals whose driving skills have been affected by injury, illness, or natural age related changes.  ECMC's Driver Evaluation Program assesses an individual's ability to begin or resume driving, taking into consideration their physical, cognitive, or visual status. Upon completion of an in-clinic and behind-the-wheel assessment, a recommendation is made regarding a client's driving safety and the vehicle modifications, training, or restrictions required to improve driving performance.  AAA's involvement completes ECMC's "Circle of Care" by providing the necessary behind-the-wheel driving instruction, with and without vehicle modification, as well as providing relevant safe driving tips. At the completion of driver training, AAA will also provide the client with all necessary support to comply with the NY State Department of Motor Vehicle standards. 

"AAA is pleased to be partnering with ECMC to provide this much needed service for Western New Yorkers," said Tom Chestnut, President/CEO of AAA Western and Central New York.  "AAA understands the importance of both personal mobility and traffic safety.  Our expertise in these areas will contribute to the ongoing success of ECMC's Driver Evaluation Program."

AAA and ECMC Corporation's partnership has successfully served approximately 40 patients within the last 18 months of operation.  Close to 250 patients in the Buffalo area are in need of this type of service each year.

 "The result of this alliance is that the community now has access to a comprehensive driver evaluation program through the partnership of two well respected organizations," said Jody L. Lomeo, Chief Executive Officer, ECMC Corporation.  "We are pleased to augment this service for our patients and others in the community, with ECMC providing the medical, clinical and therapeutic components, and AAA offering the driver training and instruction piece.  We look forward to a long and productive relationship with AAA."

ECMC driver evaluations are conducted by Occupational Therapists specifically certified and trained as Driver Rehabilitation Specialists. Knowledge of medical diagnoses combined with nationally recognized functional and standardized testing is utilized to complete an accurate assessment.

AAA's driver training specialists are skillfully trained in driver rehabilitation and certified by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).  The in-car training provided will combine safe driving skills, DMV road test requirements, and the use of adaptive devices, such as hand controls and steering wheel spinner knobs, installed on specially equipped vehicles.   

For more information on this new AAA/ECMC partnership for driver rehabilitation services or to inquire about accessing this program, please visit http://www.ecmc.edu/, email driveinfo@ecmc.edu, or call (716) 898-3225. 


The ECMC Corporation includes an advanced academic medical center (ECMC) with 550 inpatient beds and 136 skilled-nursing-home beds, on- and off-campus health centers, more than 40 outpatient specialty care clinics and the Erie County Home, a skilled nursing facility. ECMC is the regional center for trauma, burn care, rehabilitation and is a major teaching facility for the University at Buffalo. Most ECMC physicians, dentists and pharmacists are dedicated faculty members of the university. More Western New York residents are choosing ECMC for exceptional patient care and customer service provided as a result of its Culture of Care. 

As Upstate New York's largest member services organization, AAA provides nearly 880,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive related services.  Since its founding in 1900, AAA has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Visit AAA at http://www.aaa.com/.

NEWS CONTACTS:    Joe Cirillo, Director of PR/Communications, ECMC, (716) 898-4300

Shaun Seufert, Public Affairs Specialist, AAA, (716) 929-3600

Diana Dibble, Public Affairs Manager, AAA, (315) 453-5904


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