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Caring for the people who care for the horses

OUR MISSION

BEST is a nonprofit organization that is devoted to resolving the health and social needs of the several thousand barn area ("backstretch") workers of the Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga racetracks by providing on-site counseling and primary healthcare services, access to health insurance, and case management assistance.​

34 Years of Service

OUR VALUES

Quality of care

BEST is committed to providing

backstretch workers with the highest standard of care and medical expertise, empowering them to live healthy and well.

Respect

Honesty

Community

BEST makes the individualized needs of the backstretch workers our top priority, always taking their wishes, rights, and traditions into consideration.

BEST performs our work with the highest regard for personal dignity and professional ethics.

BEST facilitates connections 
among backstretch workers and the community at large, fostering a sense of belonging and
shared experience.

MEET OUR PEOPLE

Leadership
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Nancy L.Underwood - MA
 

Executive Director

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Frank Caruso

Controller

The Team

Belmont

Danielle Alvarez// Care Services Director

Francisco Barrera // Outreach Advocate

Paola Cardenas // Office Manager

Stella Cardenas // Outreach Coordinator and Case Manager

Stephanie Garthwaite, LMHC, MSW// Substance Abuse Counselor

Gladys Llerena // Health Benefits Coordinator

Juana Maria, MSW, CASAC // Substance Abuse Counselor

Leyda Medrano // Administrative Assistant

Vivian Muniz // Benefits Director

Saratoga

Judy Beck, LCSW-R // Clinical Social Worker

Jeselle Brandebourger // Client Care Manager

Robert Dufort // Transportation

Karol Rubiano // Office Assistant

Josephine Serravento // Dental & Vision Benefits Coordinator

Sheriza Serravento // Assistant Director

Roger Sousa // Volunteer Coordinator

Board of Directors

Officers

Iris Roberts | Co-Chair  

Associate General Counsel, NYRA

Aron Yagoda | Co-Chair

Owner/NYTHA Board Member

Dan Summers | Vice Chair

Senior Director of Administration

Najja Thompson | Secretary

Executive Director, NYTB

Jimmy Ferraro | Treasurer

Horse Trainer

Members

Christopher Cipolla | Member

General Manager, Horse Racing

DraftKings Inc.

Zachary Richards | Member

Area Leader of Marketing, Fry Cook & Cashier | Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers

Edward J. Messina, Ph.D | Member

Owner/Breeder

Nicole Rudolph-Katz | Member

SVP, Corporate Risk Solutions 

Chad Brown | Member

Horse Trainer

Leah Gyarmati | Member

Horse Trainer

Lauren Evans | Member

We Need Your Support Today!

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