Northwell Opens Clinic to Treat Belmont Park Backstretch Workers


Coady photo

In collaboration with Northwell Health, the New York Racing Association and the Backstretch Employee Service Team, a new health clinic will open for Belmont Park workers, it was announced Wednesday.

The $200,000, 1,000-square-foot health clinic will provide a continuum of care and offer wellness programs for the thousands of backstretch workers at Belmont Park. The free program is part of Northwell's commitment to providing equitable care to all New Yorkers.

“Clinics like this one are important because they allow quick access to care, before health issues become health care emergencies,” said Michael Dowling, president and CEO of Northwell Health. “This community dedicated to the sport of Thoroughbred racing deserves a commitment to wellness–and Northwell Health is happy to provide it. That's our passion.”

Northwell provided coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing for Belmont workers beginning in 2020 and provided COVID-19 vaccines in 2021. Now, Northwell will offer clinic hours three days a week with the opportunity for specialty services as needed. The clinic features two exam rooms and lab services for point of care testing.

“This important partnership will increase access to high quality health care for the backstretch community at Belmont Park,” said David O'Rourke, President and CEO of NYRA “Northwell Health has already made a significant impact through their COVID-19 testing and vaccination efforts here at Belmont, and we thank them for their dedicated service to the men and women working every day to support thoroughbred racing in New York State.”

“Northwell came to the rescue of the backstretch workers during the pandemic and now BEST is thrilled to collaborate again with Northwell to provide the hard working backstretch workers of Belmont and Aqueduct with on-going, first-class, primary and preventative care,” said Paul Ruchames, executive director of BEST. “BEST is also deeply grateful for the steadfast and generous support from the New York Racing Association and the New York Thoroughbred Horseman`s Association, without which none of the great achievements of the past 20 months and beyond, would be possible.”

Through Northwell's ongoing efforts, more than 90% of backstretch workers are vaccinated, well above the New York State average.

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