Press Release

TexanPlus Champions Competition Begins Online Voting

Southeast Texas Community Will Choose Grand Champion; Designated Charity Wins $25,000

Company Release - 7/31/2017 8:30 AM ET

HOUSTON and BEAUMONT–PORT ARTHUR, Texas, July 31, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- TexanPlus®, part of WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG), announced Monday the five finalists in the annual TexanPlus Champions competition and the beginning of online voting to determine the 2017 Grand Champion. TexanPlus, a leading local Medicare Advantage health plan, created the competition to honor individuals who help older adults in the Houston/Beaumont area live healthier and happier lives.

All of the finalists and their stories are featured on Community members can read about them and vote daily for a Grand Champion through Sept. 18.

The Champion with the most votes will be named the 2017 TexanPlus Grand Champion. He or she will be honored at a Houston AstrosTM game on Sept. 22 during a special pregame ceremony. The winner will present a $25,000 donation to his or her chosen charitable organization at that time.

"We are proud of the extraordinary work being done in Southeast Texas by this year's TexanPlus Champions," said Erin Page, president of TexanPlus. "Each of our finalists deserves recognition and will be honored at a Houston Astros game during the week of July 31. The public can get involved by reading the Champions' personal stories on our website and voting for one Grand Champion."

On Monday, July 31, Ken Burdick, CEO of WellCare, will kick off a week-long celebration of the TexanPlus Champions at Minute Maid Park by throwing out the first pitch at the Houston Astros game. Each night of the week, a different Champion will be honored at a Houston Astros game.

TexanPlus Champions are members of the local community who are examples of how one person can make a difference in the lives of older adults. The competition is a way to recognize people who share TexanPlus' goals of improving quality of life and maximizing access to services for seniors and people with Medicare.

Meet the Five TexanPlus Champions:

  • Elena Dinkin - When Elena Dinkin began working at the YMCA eight years ago, she thought she had found something to keep her busy and active now that her two daughters were grown. She immediately realized the job was more of a calling and quickly became the YMCA's Active Older Adult (AOA) director. She has a real gift for listening to the needs of the AOA members and creating or identifying a solution. Clearly, working at the YMCA is not a job to Elena, it is a way of life.
  • Jan Hughes - The term "volunteer" doesn't do Jan Hughes justice. She is one of the most dedicated and passionate volunteers at Interfaith Ministries. Jan says her concern for the welfare of seniors and their pets developed as she cared for her parents who have now passed away. She saw first-hand how challenging tasks as simple as preparing a meal could be for someone who is elderly and homebound. A three-year volunteer veteran, Jan is now proactive in identifying ways to better serve homebound seniors through her work with Interfaith Ministries.
  • Stephen Coycault - A proud Air Force veteran, Stephen Coycault has been impacting the lives of Precinct2gether seniors for over 20 years. He partners with like-minded groups to advocate for seniors and provide opportunities to keep them engaged in their communities. As the TRIAD director for Harris County Precinct 2, Stephen educates seniors on how to stay aware and avoid being taken advantage of through fraud and abuse.
  • Connie Dickinson – At almost 101 years old, Connie Dickinson spends her days volunteering with the Golden Triangle RSVP at Baptist Hospital of Southeast Texas. Connie is essential to hospital visitors and is well-known throughout the facility. Connie has been a volunteer at the hospital for 25 plus years and has over 12,000 volunteer hours. She volunteers 2 to 3 days a week still driving her car there and home. Giving back to her community and helping others keeps Connie motivated to continue volunteering.
  • Jarriett Flagg - As a child, Jarriett saw a great example and leader in his mother, Hazel Flagg. He volunteered at the Anderson Memorial Church of God in Christ food pantry for more than 27 years alongside his mother, who was the coordinator there until she became ill in 2009. At that time, Jarriett assumed responsibility for the Target Hunger food pantry as the coordinator and lead volunteer. In 25 years, Jarriett has missed only 15 days. This alone shows his extreme dedication to the food pantry and his church.

Go to to read the Champions' full stories and watch their videos.

Voting is open now through Sept. 18.  Each voter has the opportunity to vote once per day for the TexanPlus Grand Champion. Go out and vote!

About TexanPlus:
TexanPlus, part of WellCare Health Plans Inc., specializes in Medicare Advantage plans. The goal of our plans is to help our members stay active, live healthy and be independent.

For more information about TexanPlus, please visit our website at

About WellCare Health Plans, Inc.
Headquartered in Tampa, Fla., WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) focuses exclusively on providing government-sponsored managed care services, primarily through Medicaid, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, to families, children, seniors and individuals with complex medical needs. WellCare serves approximately 4.1 million members nationwide as of March 31, 2017. For more information about WellCare, please visit the company's website at or view the company's videos at


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SOURCE WellCare Health Plans, Inc.