NEW YORK and TAMPA, Fla., March 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- WellCare of New York, a subsidiary of WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG), announced today that it awarded its annual CommUnity Hero Award to Maritza Owens, founder and CEO of Harvest Home farmers markets, in recognition of her efforts to bring nutritional foods to low-income and underserved communities in New York City.
Owens opened her first farmers market in the South Bronx in 1993 after realizing the nutritional challenges faced by low-income mothers in the city. Harvest Home now operates 20 markets dedicated to increasing access to local, farm-fresh produce in underserved communities.
"Maritza exemplifies a CommUnity Hero – she saw a pressing community need and she created a solution to meet that need," said Maria Auciello, a community advocacy supervisor for WellCare. "Her farmers markets help ensure that children and families have access to nutritious food that is locally sourced, which can lead to improved health and stronger local economies."
WellCare's CommUnity Hero Awards recognize unsung community heroes who are dedicated to improving their communities through health care, community action and advocacy.
"Thank you for honoring me with this award," Owens said. "The CommUnity Hero award means a great deal to me because it is validation that our work is having the impact I sought."
"WellCare understands the importance of community organizations like Maritza's, which provide crucial services needed to support the social safety net upon which so many of our members rely," said John J. Burke, state president, WellCare of New York. "We are pleased to honor her for taking action to make a meaningful difference."
As of Dec. 31, 2015, WellCare serves approximately 115,000 Medicaid members, 46,000 Medicare Advantage members, 50,000 Medicare Prescription Drug Plan members and 7,500 Managed Long Term Care members in New York.
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 3.8 million members nationwide as of Dec. 31, 2015. For more information about WellCare, please visit the company's website at www.wellcare.com or view the company's videos at https://www.youtube.com/user/WellCareHealthPlan.
SOURCE WellCare Health Plans, Inc.