This blog was written by Superior HealthPlan Sr. Manager, Marketing and Communications, Michael Cation. Superior HealthPlan is a long-time corporate partner of United Way for Greater Austin and a pillar of our community. Together with our partners like Superior, we’re building a better Austin for families like Katy and Futur.
Katy Moreno is a certified nursing assistant, a community health worker, and just weeks away from finishing coursework to become a phlebotomist. Three years ago, those achievements seemed unreachable, as she became a mother at the age of 16.
As her son, Futur, faced early health complications, his wellbeing was at the top of her priority list.
Katy and Futur accessed support through Medicaid and Superior HealthPlan, an Austin-based managed care organization that serves members in all 254 Texas counties. As a young, single mother in Austin, Katy had access to a range of services from Superior – including through its Start Smart for Your Baby program – that set her and Futur up to be successful.
“Futur struggled to eat in the first few months,” Katy explained. “He had some issues with gaining weight and required multiple hospital visits and medication. Without Superior’s support, I think I would have had some anxiety and Futur might have had some even bigger health issues.”
After addressing Futur’s healthcare needs, Katy’s focus turned to herself – how to support her young family moving forward.
Like many before her, Katy enrolled in a GED and job training program through American Youthworks, an organization supported by United Way for Greater Austin. Its Youthbuild program provided her access to free childcare through its partnership with Child, Inc., case management for her and her son, and job training that put her on a path to fulfilling her dream of working in healthcare.
“I was able to earn a paycheck from American Youthworks while earning my certifications,” Katy said. “They give you everything you need and remove barriers so you don’t have an excuse to finish school and start your career.”
Her hard work paid off as she earned a full-time job with American Youthworks, putting her experience to good use by helping students in similar situations.
Since then, Katy has navigated through the many challenges caused by the pandemic, securing two jobs in healthcare, all while taking coursework to become a phlebotomist. She says pairing that training with being a nursing assistant should pave the way for a long-term career in healthcare. Most recently, she’s been working at a COVID-19 testing site in Austin.
As for her son, Futur – now 3 years old – she said he is thriving.
“Futur is doing really well. He’s talking nonstop and learning and growing just like he should be. We’re both happy and are excited about our future together.”
Superior HealthPlan employees donate each year to support United Way for Greater Austin in fighting poverty. Learn more about our partnership here. American YouthWorks is supported by United Way for Greater Austin’s Community Investment Grants. Learn more about those strategic local investments in our community here.