Committing to Our Communities On and Beyond Independence Day

The six regional member organizations of TRICARE’s US Family Health Plan program, which collectively serve 150,000 military family members and retirees nationwide, understand the importance of community stewardship.

CHRISTUS Health, the member organization serving US Family Health Plan members in Texas and Louisiana, is no exception, having long participated in community immersion events in the region and served as a longtime sponsor of Houston’s massive annual Independence Day celebration.

Freedom Over Texas has become a cornerstone event for the City of Houston since the inaugural festival was held in 1986.  The event draws tens of thousands of attendees and features delicious food, live entertainment from premium acts – country musician Chris Young is this year’s headliner – and fireworks to close out the festivities.

This year, CHRISTUS Health US Family Health Plan is sponsoring the festival’s Military Village, at which will be displayed numerous military vehicles, including helicopters and tanks.  Guest chefs will also be on hand in the tent to prepare nutritious meals for festivalgoers.

“CHRISTUS Health US Family Health Plan is honored to partner with the City of Houston to recognize the men and women who have served our country and afforded us the freedom we all enjoy today.  We are pleased to be able to give back to them by serving them as they enjoy Independence Day at the City of Houston’s Freedom Over Texas event,” said Anita Leal, executive director CHRISTUS Health US Family Health Plan.

Serving the military community is a year-round commitment, and CHRISTUS Health US Family Health Plan representatives maintain a constant presence throughout the region, maintaining community involvement and participating in events for military families and retirees.  In addition, CHRISTUS participates in the military Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) programs at various military bases and locations in the region, including a recent military ball at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base outside Houston and more than a dozen MWR events for Fort Polk, a U.S. Army base near Leesville, Louisiana.

Recently, CHRISTUS Health US Family Health Plan received approval to open a new office near Fort Polk.  Plan representatives will be able to expand their current work with the community – they already participate in weekly “Newcomers Meetings” to welcome the 80 to 150 newly assigned base residents who arrive each week.

“We are honored to partner with Fort Polk’s MWR programs to host community events for the service men and women and their family members who reside on and around Fort Polk.  We are pleased to be able to give back to them as we partner with base officials to provide fun and entertainment to the community.  The CHRISTUS Health US Family Health Plan program offers the TRICARE Prime managed care option for eligible beneficiaries at Fort Polk and in the surrounding area.  We provide great health care, with impressively high member satisfaction,” Leal added.

This year, Independence Day provides an especially poignant opportunity to honor military families.  CHRISTUS Health US Family Health Plan participated in Fort Polk’s annual Freedom Fest celebration, which drew more than 9,000 revelers on June 30.

On July 14th, the base will also honor a large force returning from duty – nearly 1,500 service members – at a welcome back parade.  US Family Health Plan will again be on hand, sponsoring a parade float to welcome back the troops.

“Our work is about honoring those who help preserve our freedom.  It’s not just about the party or festival or fun at the events we’re participating in – it’s our actions in supporting our members and this community that mean the most,” said Jerry Lara, US Family Health Plan Sales Manager for CHRISTUS Health.

For more information on how the US Family Health Plan is providing great health to military families and retirees around the country, please continue to explore our website.