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Keeping Us Safe

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Nurse honored with national award for facilitating senior driver self-assessments

PARMA – Four years ago today, an elderly couple froze to death in a Maryland field, lost on their way to visit one of their three children. Today, a nurse at University Hospitals Parma Medical Center was recognized with an award in their memory aimed at preventing similar tragedies.

Lisa Profio, LPN, was presented with the Bill & Betty Fresch Outstanding Achievement Award for her dedication and compassion in facilitating the Beyond Driving with Dignity Program. The nurse of 38 years, who also runs UH Parma Medical Center’s Club for those with early stage memory loss, has been providing the driver self-assessment for older adults over the past three years.

“As a retired state highway patrolman, I have had to deliver dozens of notifications of deaths like these,” said Matt Gurwell, founder of Keeping Us Safe, who presented the award to Profio. “I wanted to be more proactive. Having people like Lisa Profio out in the community across the country trying to keep these tragedies from happening means the world to me.”

Profio is only the second of the 70 certified Beyond Driving with Dignity professionals in 15 states and Canada to receive this award. Nancy Schuster, the first recipient, traveled from Cincinnati to congratulate Profio. The City of Seven Hills has utilized UH Parma Medical Center’s program in its Senior Traffic Offense Diversion Program.

“The beauty of this program is helping older adults make good decisions about their driving skills while preserving their dignity and potentially saving lives,” says Laura Matthews, Manager of the ElderCenter. “Lisa takes wonderful care of our families.”

Beyond Driving with Dignity and The Club are programs of UH Parma Medical Center’s ElderCenter adult day services, with 25 years of serving the needs of older adults and helping them continue to remain a part of the community. These services will soon be offered through UH’s new Center for Lifelong Health, which is dedicated to meeting the health and wellness needs of today’s older adults through a patient-centered approach that emphasizes individual patient preferences. Its comprehensive range of medical services and customized care plans are tailored to the wants and needs of individual patients and their families, from routine checkups and establishing the right doctor to making the best possible decisions at every stage.

To schedule a driver self-assessment or to receive more information, call 440-743-2777.

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