Press Release

October 4, 2018

OHCA Contact: Jo Stainsby - (405) 522-7474; Katelynn Burns - (405) 522-7266

NextGen Under 30 award recognizes two OHCA employees

Oklahoma City - Two Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) employees were recently named NextGen Under 30 award recipients.       

NextGen Under 30 recognizes and encourages the next generation of innovative, creative, and inspiring individuals. Winners are selected based upon their participation in and contribution to their communities. 

More than 1,000 Oklahomans applied this year and fewer than 300 were selected.   

“We are very proud of Kelly and Laura for winning these impressive awards and are glad to have them on our team at OHCA,” said OHCA CEO Becky Pasternik-Ikard.

Kelly Hughes received an award in the Media, Public Relations, Marketing & Advertising category. Hughes joined OHCA in 2018 and serves the agency as a Communications Coordinator. In her role at OHCA, she supports the agency's branding, serves stakeholders through project management, and is a communications consultant, copywriter and editor.

Laura Wilcox received an award in the Policy and Public Services category. Wilcox joined OHCA in February 2017 as the Graphic Design Coordinator. In her role at OHCA, she oversees the SoonerCare brand and works to improve public health outcomes statewide through the production of print and digital media.

Winners attended a luncheon at the Oklahoma State Capitol on Monday, Oct. 1, and will also be honored at an awards ceremony in Norman on Friday, Nov. 2.


The Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) administers two health programs for the state. The first is SoonerCare, Oklahoma’s Medicaid program. SoonerCare works to improve the health of qualified Oklahomans by ensuring that medically necessary benefits and services are available. Qualifying Oklahomans include certain low-income children, seniors, the disabled, those being treated for breast or cervical cancer and those seeking family planning services. The second program OHCA operates is Insure Oklahoma, which assists qualifying adults and small business employees in obtaining health care coverage for themselves and their families. Currently, there are 821,781 Oklahomans enrolled in OHCA’s programs.   The agency contracts with a network of 48,486 providers. For more information, visit or