Tammy has over 15 years experience as an occupational therapist and over 12 years as a driving rehab specialist. These testimonials are from former clients at a military treatment facility, as well as former clients at DRCE.
We went to DRCE to get an evaluation for our 21 year old son, Kevin, who suffered an SCI about 8 months ago and is paralyzed from the chest down. He was reluctant to go, but we encouraged him to at least have the evaluation. Once Tammy at DRCE got him behind the wheel, he was hooked and wanted to drive as soon as possible. Tammy and her team provided help in locating the vehicle we wanted, driver training with hand controls, modification of the vehicle to our specifications, and delivered it a week earlier than promised, so that Kevin could drive it locally for a week before heading to college with it. We can’t say enough good things about this company. With all the issues we have encountered with our healthcare company, and the wheelchair and equipment companies, DRCE was a breath of fresh air. They truly care about their customers and provide high quality products and services.
To say Tammy, Scott, Justin, Josh and the rest of the team are amazing just doesn’t do them Justice. Tammy is such a sweet and wonderful person, she made me feel completely at ease as I drove with her. I lost the entirety of my right leg three years ago so I was a little nervous about relearning to drive, but she made it so comfortable; I wasn’t driving with some stranger, I was driving with an old family friend. She and her team welcomed my husband and myself into their family and it has been wonderful! You will not find a better team.
Professional service from an incredible staff of veterans running this amazing company! I have been in and out of driver’s training for 8 years and this great team finally provided the proper training to get me back on the road. They take a personal interest in taking care of their clients in a timely manner. I highly recommend DRCE for any of the adaptive vehicle needs, from training to finding the perfect ride.
James Howard, US Army, Retired
The team at DRCE is delivering on its commitment to excellence when it comes to the adapted vehicle market. I recently had to upgrade my vehicle and they absolutely nailed the install. Their level of customer service is top notch and a breath of fresh air when having to navigate such a complex need and process. I highly recommend their business to anyone who has this need. THANK YOU, DRCE!
Robert Fecteau, US Army, Retired
This amazing business was founded by a wounded warrior who served in Afghanistan and a retired Army Major who founded the first and only comprehensive driving program in the Department of Defense at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in 2008. Under one roof, the Driver Rehabilitation Center for Excellence (DRCE) will do a full driving evaluation of someone who is disabled but wants the freedom and mobility of driving restored to their life. DRCE provides a comprehensive program to evaluate whether the person is capable of driving, designs a system to get them back on the road, and modifies vehicles in their state of the art shop to accommodate special needs. In the past therapists working with the disabled and vehicle modifiers adapting vehicles for the disabled worked in different silos and talked past one another. DRCE integrates the entire process.
Not only does DRCE service wounded warriors and other disabled persons wishing to get back on the road, the also provide independent driver evaluations for senior citizens. In my case, my wife and I wanted to provide other family members assurance that a senior family member was still capable of driving locally to familiar locations during the day. DRCE put this senior family member through a series of mental agility, coordination and on the road evaluations then delivered a comprehensive report on this persons ability to drive.
The two co-founders, Josh and Tammy, are on site you work with them during the evaluation. Highly recommended for anyone who is disabled and wants to drive again or who wants to evaluate the driving capabilities of a senior family member.
My son was seriously wounded in Afghanistan in late 2012 and has been a patient and receiving rehabilitation at Walter Reed ever since- now almost 4 years! He is a triple amputee (right arm above the elbow, both legs above the knee and 3 fingers on his left hand, as well as numerous other injuries.) During the first bleak weeks and months after his injury, we began to hear reports of other seriously injured patients learning to drive again. This seemed impossible, even to this old physical therapist, now physician and my physician husband. There were times we wondered if our son would ever be able to sit up in a wheelchair. But very gradually he was able to and one of his first trips out of his room was to attend the presentation of an adapted van to a quadruple amputee. We were amazed to see him drive it away! That gave us hope and gave my son a goal to work for.
Once he could sit for long enough, and after Tammy Phipps helped him renew his lapsed out of state driver’s license, driving lessons began. My husband had to hide his eyes for the first chair to van transfer. That’s how scary it was. But Tammy had worked with several other patients with similar injuries and knew exactly what equipment would be best. Before we know it, our “Flip” had his own van, Tammy had made sure he could do transfers, drive, put gas in the vehicle, go through drive-thrus, etc and he was on his way. I will never forget the first time he picked me up at Reagan National Airport in the van.
After a few months, my son’t rental house burned up, including his beloved van. No problem for Tammy. She worked with the insurance company, van dealer, etc to order another van, and meanwhile she helped him outfit and learn to drive a truck with hand controls . Now he uses both the truck and van for different purposes. He drove the truck 5500 miles this winter on a ski vacation.
Tammy is an exemplary professional. But more than that. Her vast experience with severely injured patients at Walter Reed has prepared her to meet any challenge with confidence.
For our family, she is not only a hero but has also become a friend. When I had to learn to drive the van, she was right there. When I had a dead battery, she was right there with jumper cables. When my son drove the van to bike races, she was there. And when he retired from the Army in NY recently, she was there.I can’t imagine our journey without Tammy. I wonder if Flip and many of the others would have ever been able to drive.
Team Flip wishes Tammy Phipps all the best in her new venture and we will never forget the impact she has had on our family.
Sally K., PT, Physician, Mother
I had the pleasure of experiencing the patience, helpfulness, and always willing to go above and behind attitude of Tammy Phipps in 2010 while my husband was going through Tammy’s Driving Program. She started his driving training by taking the time to show my husband how to use all of the hand control options that were in the training van. After about 10 minutes of getting oriented on how to drive as a double above the knee amputee she had my husband out on the road. The look on my husbands face said it all, she had showed him that he can be independent. That was a huge thing for him.
After the training was completed Tammy took the time to show us how to fill out the paperwork to get our own vehicle outfitted with hand controls and then worked with the Braun dealer to insure things were installed correctly and on time for us.
Her willingness to help us did not stop there. She continues to keep in contact with us making sure we are doing alright and we still have what we need. While in our area just recently she met up with us to show my husband a new hand control that may be useful for him to use.
I have not met a person that not only cares deeply about their job and their clients but goes that extra mile as long as she is needed than Tammy Phipps.
Vickki M., Wife
Tammy brings a unique combination of experience, passion, and determination to serve her patients. She exhausts every resource to ensure that anyone, competent and qualified to drive, finds a safe way to acquire, modify, and independently drive a vehicle. Tammy really cares for her patients, and strives to create the best possible training plan and equipment modifications for each one. She took the time to identify and truly understand my limitations and treated my driving rehabilitation as a individual case to develop a unique combination of adaptations that have maximized my independence, confidence, and freedom. The result of her skill and caring, the confidence and independence that come from driving, has been the single greatest breakthrough/gift of my recovery.
Major Edward “Flip” Klein, U.S. Army, Retired
Ms Phipps helped me navigate the bureaucracy of the VA to obtain the government provided Automobile Allowance for veterans so that I could acquire a vehicle to accommodate my left hand and leg amputations. Without her relentless assistance, I would not have been able to secure the Automobile Allowance.
After losing my legs I wasn’t sure what the future held for me. It was really difficult losing the ability to do so many things that I use to be able to do. Learning to drive with my hands gave me a sense of independence that the injury had taken away from me. I love getting in my truck and hitting the road knowing I can go on any adventure I want. I appreciate the patience that Tammy showed and her true passion for giving others their independence back.
Andrew Smith, US Army, Retired
Getting back on the road was such an important step in my recovery process. Regaining my ability to drive was such a major part towards reclaiming independence. As a quadruple amputee I was no easy task. Patient and knowledgeable, Captain Tammy Phipps made the whole process a breeze; from handling the paperwork to designing a system that would work best for me. Five years later I am driving on a daily bases, using her set up and have not had a single issue!
Taylor Morris, US NAVY RETIRED
My husband stepped on an IED resulting in becoming a quad-amputee. After this life altering injury any piece of independence is monumental. Captain Tammy Phipps saw this much needed gap of driving rehab. She saw this gap and filled it. She gave not only my husband but us as a couple one of the biggest pieces of independence since his injury. We will forever be grateful for her dedication and persistence to go above and beyond, to help others, to find a gap in the system and fill it, to get the job done!
Danielle Morris, Wife
I first met Tammy Phipps at Walter Reed and for once it wasn’t an appointment I was dreading. This was an appointment that would ultimately lead to me gaining a part of my independence back. When we started to drive we went back to basics. We worked on starts and stops, right and left turns, that kind of thing. Then we moved to interstates and highways. It was very nerve racking, but she helped calm me down and kept me focused on the road. It gave me a sense of normalcy. When you drive as a double above knee amputee no one sees your injures they see just another normal guy driving and that was great. She then started to explaining to me what and how to use different grants that the VA gave to wounded, ill, and injured service members. I didn’t understand any of them, but she walked me through them and eventually when I did use them she was on call to help as well. Without Tammy Phipps and her team to help I would not have known where to go and what to do to get my independence back. Tammy and her team are an amazing group of people that go above and beyond to help people.
Adam Devine, USMC Retired
My name is Adam Keys, I was injured in Afghanistan in 2010. My injury left me a triple amputee, missing both legs above the knees and my left hand below the elbow. I was In the hospital, both inpatient and outpatient for 5 years. After over 100 surgeries and many long nights thinking about what was next regarding my life, I was cleared by my medical team to drive. Tammy came in, made sure my now expired license was made good as well as all the paperwork completed that needed to be done. We started driving together on base, then into town, and eventually on the beltway (interstate). Tammy helped me feel comfortable and at ease with my “new” way of driving. If I ever had questions about driving and/or paperwork, she was there to answer those questions. Eventually Tammy hooked me up with a nonprofit that did get me a wheelchair accessible van, that I now call my own! I have re-gained my independence and I thank Tammy Phipps for getting me to where I am today! Thank you Tammy!
Adam, USA Retired
When I was injured, I didn’t think I could drive anymore. Then I met Tammy Phipps. She steered me in the right direction, and with her help I was on the road blaring music, feeling free again. She gave me back something I dearly missed. For that, I am extremely grateful to have had such a wonderful teacher.
Clark, USMC Retired
Tammy has helped me so much, especially dealing with the VA. She talked to the VA and got them to let me trade in my Jeep for a truck, even though I had 2 years left on my hand controls in my Jeep. I can’t thank her enough for what she had done for me and my family. She has help get me to be independent.
Michael Frazier, USMC Retired
Three weeks from being paralyzed from four gunshot wounds while serving in Afghanistan, I had the pleasure of meeting Tammy. People were consistently telling me what I can’t do or what I will never be able to do. Then, there was Tammy, who was there to greet me with a smile and opportunities. She often would tell me, “If I can teach someone with no arms how to drive, teaching someone with no legs is easy.”
Tammy helped me regain my first taste of independence – driving. Giving me the confidence was instrumental months later in driving my wife to the hospital to give birth to our son. For this and many more reason, her angelic actions evolved into being called a member of my family.
At the Driver Rehabilitation Center of Excellence, our mission is to provide you with the highest quality individualized services, so that together we will find the best solution to meet your unique driving and community mobility needs. Our goal is to maximize your independence allowing you to reach your greatest potential.
- Professional network promoting excellence in the field of driver rehabilitationApril 5, 2022 - 3:42 pm
- Membership moves you forward, fuels your passionApril 5, 2022 - 3:40 pm
- The Leader in Wheelchair Vehicles & Mobility SolutionsApril 5, 2022 - 3:39 pm
- NMEDA: Automotive Mobility Done RightApril 5, 2022 - 3:38 pm