Health and well-being company Humana has announced a partnership with inspiring marathon pioneer Kathrine Switzer. Switzer has served as an icon of optimism, equality and healthy living since 1967, when she became the first woman to run the Boston Marathon as a registered entrant. Fifty years later, on 17 April 2017, Switzer again ran the Boston Marathon aged 70.
To officially launch the partnership, Switzer will serve as Humana’s health and well-being ambassador by participating in the National Senior Games this June in Birmingham, Alabama.
“I embraced an optimistic mind-set when I defied stereotypes and became the first woman to officially compete in the Boston Marathon,” said Kathrine Switzer. “Fifty years later, it’s become even more apparent how powerful optimism is, as well as its ability to help people as they age. Just as women have continued to overcome gender stereotypes over the last 50 years, I believe that in the next 50, seniors will continue to defy stereotypes and rise above society’s expectations.
“That’s why partnering with Humana was a natural fit for me. We both want to inspire seniors to achieve their best health, so they can experience all that life has to offer.”
As a health and well-being company, Humana champions and encourages seniors to ‘age with optimism’. Through commissioned studies from the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and its own quantitative survey data, Humana has examined the intersection between popular culture’s view of ageing Americans and their health.
That work revealed that one attribute is important when it comes to the health of seniors: optimism. Specifically, seniors who rate themselves as very optimistic about ageing tend to be the most active physically, socially and in their communities. They also report fewer unhealthy days.
“The National Senior Games celebrates not only optimism but the belief that age truly is just a number,” said Humana Chief Consumer Officer Jody Bilney. “Our partnership with Kathrine Switzer is rooted in our confidence of people’s ability to achieve amazing things as they age. We’re honoured to be working with someone who shares our belief in the power of championing active aging for the many great things ahead.”
In addition to her role at the National Senior Games, Switzer’s partnership with Humana will extend into the brand’s other initiatives focused on lifting up seniors, encouraging an optimistic mind-set and helping them to break barriers.
Throughout 2017, Humana and Kathrine Switzer will also work together to identify additional ways to instil optimism and ‘advance the understanding that great things are ahead when your health is ready for them’.
Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, Humana is a leading health and well-being company f’ocused on making it easy for people to achieve their best health with clinical excellence through coordinated care.’ The company’s strategy integrates care delivery, the member experience, and clinical and consumer insights to encourage engagement, behaviour change, proactive clinical outreach and wellness for the millions of people served across the country.