Bristol Eliminating Substance Use Together (BEST) is a Drug-Free Community Coalition that began in the early 1990s as the Bristol Youth Prevention Council. In the twenty-five years since, the Coalition’s name may have changed, but its focus on reducing youth substance abuse has remained constant.
Our Mission is to work toward unifying the community to promote wellness in our culture through increasing education, implementing strategies and enforcing policy to prevent substance abuse by youth and those who impact their development.
Our Vision is to develop a culture of awareness and sustained action that will promote positive youth development and a healthier community.
BEST plans to use a comprehensive approach to achieve its goals. In order to make an impactful and lasting difference, the entire community–parents, teachers, youth, police, health care providers, faith communities, business and civic leaders and others–have to be involved and working together. Once this is accomplished, specific prevention initiatives and programs can then be planned.
If you would like a more detailed look into the types of strategies that coalitions like BEST use to promote drug-free communities, check out these links.
President & CEO of the Central CT Chambers of CommerceVisit Website
Marco Palmeri, M.P.H., R.S.
Director of Health Bristol-Burlington Health District & designee Catherine Plourde, BSN, RNVisit Website
Bristol Central High School Student
Dr. Catherine Carbone
Superintendent of Bristol Schools & designee Chris Cassin, Supervisor of Athletics Physical Education & Health of Bristol SchoolsVisit Website
Pastor Todd Williams
Bridge Community ChurchVisit Website
Susan Walkama, LCSW
President and CEO of Wheeler Clinic and designee Lisbeth Barreto of Wheeler ClinicVisit Website
Bristol Parent and Resident
President & CEO of BBGC, and designee D’Andre Esposito, West Street Unit Director at BBCGVisit Website
Scholarship & Program Officer, Main Street Community FoundationVisit Website
Acting Chief Brian Gould
Bristol Police Department or designee, Lt. Mark MorelloVisit Website
Rotary Club of BristolVisit Website
Meet BEST Co-Chair, Samantha Rajotte. Samantha is the Scholarship & Program Officer at Main Street Community Foundation, which enhances the quality of life for both present and future generations in the communities of Bristol, Burlington, Plainville, Plymouth, Southington and Wolcott. Samantha assists with Foundation grant-making, specifically the Foundation’s scholarship program, as well as communications efforts. She joined BEST as a Sector Representative in 2017 and was nominated to Co-Chair in 2019. Sam has contributed her time on the Coalition’s Media Sub Committee and Event Planning Sub Committee. This year, Sam formed the By Laws Committee, ensuring the Coalition has a set of guiding set of principals and values. Sam’s passion for youth substance use prevention is contagious. Her role on the Coalition is vital as she leads the community in the uphill battle of prevention. She is a respected contributor to the City of Bristol Drug Free Communities Coalition, BEST.