CVS Samaritan Van Program Celebrates 30 Years of Helping Motorists on the Nation's...

Wed Feb 6, 2008 9:30am EST

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

CVS Samaritan Van Program Celebrates 30 Years of Helping Motorists on the
Nation's Highways
- The program, sponsored by CVS/pharmacy, provides free roadside assistance in
9 major markets -

    WOONSOCKET, R.I., Feb. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- If you have ever been stuck on
the side of the road with a flat tire, a dead battery, or other vehicular
emergency, you are probably familiar with the feeling of relief that comes
when help arrives.  For the last 30 years, the CVS Samaritan Van program has
provided that help and relief to more than a million drivers in need of
roadside assistance.
    CVS/pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Caremark, launched its CVS
Samaritan Van program in Rhode Island 30 years ago on February 6, 1978, the
same day that the "Blizzard of '78" struck the Northeast.  The single vehicle
and its driver immediately began to provide assistance to motorists who became
stranded by the sudden storm.
    Thirty years later, a fleet of CVS Samaritan Vans, patrolling highways
around nine major U.S. cities, have traveled more than 10 million "help miles"
and assisted more than a million people.  The distinctive white vans with the
red "CVS/Samaritan" logo have become a familiar site to commuters in Boston,
Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Providence,
and Washington, D.C.
    "By working in cooperation with local transportation departments, metro
traffic centers, law enforcement and other emergency responders, our highly
trained CVS Samaritan Van drivers provide welcome roadside assistance and
support," said Eileen Howard Dunn, Senior Vice President of Corporate
Communications and Community Relations at CVS Caremark.  "By helping to keep
people safe on our nation's highways, the CVS Samaritan Van program is part of
our company's Vision to strive to improve the quality of human life."
    CVS Samaritan Van drivers, who are ASE-certified in motor vehicle repair
and are also licensed EMTs, are capable of making numerous on-site repairs,
administering medical help, or using their communications equipment to summon
police, rescue vehicles or tow trucks.  All repairs, supplies and aid they
provide are free-of-charge.
    Public response to the CVS Samaritan Van program is overwhelming.  More
than 7,000 "thank you" letters and emails are received every year from people
who have been assisted by the program.
    Sample comments from motorists assisted by CVS Samaritan Vans:
    "I just wanted to send you a note to express my sincere gratitude for
helping my husband who was stranded in the middle of the highway.  I was
terrified that he would get hit by another car while sitting there.  I have
seen the CVS vans on the highway in the past so I did a search on the internet
and found the number.  I spoke to Paul who was extremely polite and helpful.
Within 10 minutes Tim Sullivan reached my husband, helped him out and he was
on his way again.  If that wasn't impressive enough, Paul called me back to
update me!  This is quality service that you just don't get anymore and it was
free which I didn't know.   One thing is for sure, I have always used CVS for
my pharmacy needs but now I won't go to another pharmacy for anything ever!"
    "Thank you for being there just when we needed you. Your service is
invaluable to stranded people. Without you, we would have had to wait 45
minutes in rush-hour traffic for assistance, which would have been very
    "Ernest (driver) was a lifesaver. I had a flat tire and my lug wrench kept
slipping on the lug nut. Ernest had the correct tool and I was on my way. He
saved me from calling a tow truck. Thanks!"
    "I was stranded with a flat during rush hour and had been waiting an hour
for my roadside assistance plan to show up. Then John came along and was so
polite. I'll never forget this helpfulness that day. This program is amazing.
Thank you!"
    Over the course of 30 years, the CVS Samaritan Van program has received
numerous awards and recognition, including Traffic Safety Awards form the
National Safety Council and the Massachusetts Safety Council; the Outstanding
Service Award from the American Red Cross; the Innovative Highway Finance
Award for Partnerships from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the
Federal Highway Authority; the Distinguished Contribution Award from the
National Association of Counties; the Governor's Award for Traffic Safety from
the State of New York; and Certificates of Appreciation from the State Police
in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island.
    The CVS Samaritan Van program currently operates in the following
    -- Boston, MA -- Rt. 128 from Rt. 37 to Rt. 2; I-93 from Rt. 128 to I-90
    -- Charlotte, NC -- I-77 from the SC State Line to I-85 & I-85 to Sugar
       Creek Road
    -- Chicago, IL -- I-290/Rt. 53 from Lake Cook Road to I-294 interchange
    -- Cincinnati, OH/Northern Kentucky -- I-275,Winton Rd. to Montgomery Rd.;
       I-71 & I-75 from KY state line to I-275, I-71/75 from OH state line to
       Florence KY, I-471 from OH state line to I-275, & I-275 Kellogg Avenue
       to Dixie Highway
    -- Cleveland, OH -- I-71, Snow Rd. to I-90 E; 25th St. to Marginal Rd.
    -- Detroit, MI --  I-75 Rochester Road to I-94; I-696 from Rt.10 to I-94
    -- Indianapolis, IN -- I-465 to Keystone Avenue & I-70 Keystone Avenue to
    -- Providence, RI -- I-95 from MA state line to Rt. 117; I-195 to MA state
    -- Washington, D.C. - I-395 from I-95 in VA to I-295 in D.C.

    The CVS Samaritan Van program is operated on behalf of CVS/pharmacy by
Samaritania, Inc., located in Franklin, Massachusetts.
    About CVS/pharmacy
    CVS/pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS),
is America's largest retail pharmacy with more than 6,200 retail locations.
CVS/pharmacy is committed to improving the lives of those we serve by making
innovative and high-quality health and pharmacy services safe, affordable and
easy to access, both in its stores and online at General information
about CVS/pharmacy and CVS Caremark is available at, as well as
    CONTACT: Mike DeAngelis

SOURCE  CVS/pharmacy

Mike DeAngelis of CVS/pharmacy, +1-401-770-2645
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