Contact: Don Clippinger at 847.477.3551
Winners Federation Completes Strategic Plan

12/19/2005 - The Winners Federation recently ratified a Strategic Plan that emphasizes its commitment to the health and safety of all racetrack workers. The national organization, composed of health and racing-industry professionals committed to improving the health and safety of racetrack workers, also adopted a new motto, “Healthy Workers for Healthy Horses.” “We believe most fervently that healthy workers contribute not only to healthy horses but also a healthy racing industry,” said Winners Federation President Peggy Goetsch. “It is not reasonable that a horse can perform at its best when the persons taking care of it are in any way sick, injured, or incapacitated. Nor is it logical that an industry can be healthy when its workers are not. Experiences in other industries confirm our conclusions.” As approved by the organization’s Board of Directors, the goals of the Winners Federation are: • To advocate for the health, safety, and well-being of racing industry workers; • To serve as a clearinghouse and repository of information related to the health, safety, and well-being of racing industry workers; • To collaborate with racing industry associations and agencies related to health and human services; • To facilitate cooperation among health and human services programs and providers within the industry; and • To conduct or support research that leads to the improvement of the health, safety, and quality of life for workers in the horse racing industry. The Strategic Plan, adopted in late November, grew out of two days of intensive meetings in Arlington Heights in October. Those discussions led the organization to broaden its mandate beyond its original focus, which was drug and alcohol programs. “When the Winners Federation was formed in 1994, a focus on drug and alcohol programs was appropriate. But over the succeeding decade, we have come to the conclusion that our approach must be holistic in addressing the health and welfare of workers,” said Goetsch, who is executive director of the Racing Industry Charitable Foundation in Illinois. “We also believe that it is imperative to apply the scientific skills of our membership to address health issues within the horse racing industry. Thus, in the coming months we will be offering proposals for scientific surveillance of health issues in the horse racing industry.”

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