Health and Social Services

NYTHA provides financial assistance for health benefits and social services to backstretch workers through B.E.S.T. (Backstretch Employee Service Team). B.E.S.T. offers the following services to backstretch workers:

On-Site Primary Care Clinics

A year-round clinic at Belmont and six-month seasonal clinic at Saratoga provide comprehensive primary, preventive and urgent health care free of charge to all backstretch workers. Bilingual doctors and staff also coordinate auxiliary services, including cancer screenings, mammograms and immunizations. Health education presentations, on such subjects as nutrition and hygiene, are also part of clinical services.

Health Benefits

BEST facilitates enrollment into the NYS Health Exchange (of the Affordable Care Act -ACA) by providing all worker with ready access to NYS trained navigators and certified assistant counselors. BEST provides all workers with up to $150 per month, which is applied towards the cost of their health insurance premium.

Backstretch workers who are ineligible for the ACA will be entitled to received free primary care and subsidies from BEST for medical specialists, prescription medication, physical therapy and more. Most acute care medications are provided for free at BEST’s Belmont Clinic. Other free supplies for health enhancement are available at BEST including, podiatry approved work shoes for diabetics, and sunglasses for those with eye disorders. All backstretch workers are eligible for free term life insurance.

Counseling Services

Originally established to respond to alcohol and substance abuse, B.E.S.T. now provides comprehensive therapeutic counseling and crisis intervention for individuals and groups. Sessions are facilitated by licensed bilingual counselors, including a part-time psychiatrist. They address anger management, domestic violence, family and mental health issues, in addition to alcohol, drug and other addictions. Included within B.E.S.T.'s resources is a supervised substance-free and peer-supportive dormitory.

Other Services

Bilingual Community Health Outreach Workers on B.E.S.T.'s staff ensure comprehensive case management for each backstretch workers. They go to the barns and clinics to enroll workers in B.E.S.T.'s benefits plan, explain their coverage, make their offsite medical appointments and link them to other community resources. Staff provides transportation to medical appointments and entitlement program agencies, such as Social Security, where they help workers with translations and paperwork.

In addition, B.E.S.T.'s professional bilingual staff helps arrange assistance, advice and training on financial, vocational, educational and legal matters (including entitlement programs and immigration issues).

To access the B.E.S.T. web site, please click on the following link:

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