BROOKLYN – NY – January 5, 2021, Brooklyn, NY – After transitioning to the role of co-president last spring, Independence Care System (ICS) founder and former president Rick Surpin has now retired from the organization, as Co-president Regina Martinez-Estela ascends to the role of president. Mr. Surpin will remain on the ICS board and will serve the organization in an advisory role.

The founder of three affiliated non-profit organizations dedicated to transforming the quality of care provided to adults with physical disabilities and frail older adults, as well as the quality of direct-care workforce jobs, Mr. Surpin received the Business Enterprise Trust Award for Social Responsibility for “courage, integrity and social vision in business.” He was recognized as an “Outstanding Social Entrepreneur” by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, and honored by the Medicare Rights Center for his visionary leadership in healthcare.

Ms. Martinez-Estela has held top leadership roles at ICS since 2002. She is an accomplished healthcare executive with more than 30 years of experience in disability-expert care and experience in the full range of healthcare operations, compliance, and program development. Before joining ICS she served as Director of Legislation for the Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association (now United Spinal Association), where she focused on policy initiatives to promote veterans’ health care, long-term care, Medicare, Medicaid, housing, and disability rights. Her expertise led to her appointment as a Commissioner of the New York City Human Rights Commission, where she continues to advocate on behalf of people with disabilities, immigrants, people of color, LGBTQ New Yorkers and others facing discrimination.

“There is no one who is better suited than Regina to lead ICS in its next stage of development,” Mr. Surpin said. “We have worked together almost from the beginning. We share many of the same values and commitment to helping members live healthy, independent, and socially connected lives to the fullest extent as possible. I know she will be very successful.”

Independence Care System was founded in 2000 to serve New Yorkers with disabilities including spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, cerebral palsy and other conditions that limit mobility and require a high level of disability expertise to help these individuals remain healthy and live independently, in the community.


Contact: Regina Weiss – / 917.715.8789