SilverSneakers® by Tivity Health®, the nation’s leading community fitness program for older Americans, announced today the national winner of its 17th annual SilverSneakers Member of the Year Award, previously the Swanson Inspiration Award. This year’s recipient is Metairie, Louisiana resident Margaret Masters, who, at 98-years-old, is recognized for her positive impact on the lives of others through health, physical activity, and community, either virtually or in the gym.
Margaret has been a loyal SilverSneakers member for 10 years, regularly attending SilverSneakers Dance, SilverSneakers Stability and yoga classes through her local Humana Neighborhood Center and is a Humana Medicare Advantage member. Her love of movement and dancing earned her the nickname “Dancing Queen” from her classmates. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Margaret has stayed active through SilverSneakers virtual classes.
On August 29, life for Margaret and millions of others changed drastically when Hurricane Ida made landfall on the Louisiana coast. Margaret’s home was damaged, but she was safe as she rode out the storm at a neighbor’s house. Days later, her fitness instructor and SilverSneakers Instructor of the Year finalist, Deana Lejarza resumed Zoom classes powered by a generator to help her members stay virtually connected and healthy. Some members evacuated to neighboring states, but everyone was appreciative to virtually connect again with their SilverSneakers friends.
“Margaret Masters represents a great group of Member of the Year nominees that inspire and motivate others to improve their health through their SilverSneakers community of fitness and friends, and we are proud to honor her as SilverSneakers’ Member of the Year,” said Richard Ashworth, president and CEO of Tivity Health. “Margaret has shown such tremendous strength and dedication to maintaining good health in the midst of what continues to be a challenging year. She inspires her fellow SilverSneakers members to do the same and is a shining example of staying fit at any age through physical activity and social engagement.”
“Humana member Margaret Masters doesn’t let anything slow her down or stop her dancing,” said George Renaudin, SVP, Medicare Markets, Economics, and Provider Experience for Humana. “As soon as SilverSneakers classes were available online in 2020, Margaret signed up, mastered Zoom and rekindled friendships with her fellow classmates. She’s a true ‘Dancing Queen’ and inspiration when it comes to staying active and having a healthy outlook on life.”
Since the pandemic, many SilverSneakers members have transitioned to virtual classes offered live and on-demand to help them connect and keep active while also staying safe. SilverSneakers currently offers more than 3,000 live virtual classes each week in addition to access to 16,000 in-person fitness locations nationwide. SilverSneakers members have logged more than 1 million SilverSneakers Live visits this year.
“Humana member Margaret is deeply committed to a healthy, active lifestyle regardless of age,” said Theresa Andrews, Associate Vice President for Humana’s Neighborhood Centers. “Although we miss seeing her and the rest of the SilverSneakers classes in person, we are thrilled by how many of our New Orleans-area Neighborhood Center regulars are keeping up with their fitness routines online. SilverSneakers Instructor of the Year finalist Deana Lejarza’s Zoom classes are filled with Metairie Center regulars like Margaret, and we couldn’t be prouder of them.”
Margaret will be honored alongside nine other SilverSneakers members who were selected as finalists for the award. A public online vote determined the national winner. Read more about the SilverSneakers Member of the Year winner and finalists: SilverSneakers.com/MOYAward.
Currently, more than 17 million Americans are eligible for SilverSneakers at no additional cost through Medicare Advantage, group retiree, and Medicare Supplement plans. SilverSneakers encourages members to participate in health and fitness programs through a wide variety of offerings that include strength training, aerobic workouts, and flexibility exercises designed specifically for a Medicare-eligible population. SilverSneakers members have free access to classes for all fitness levels led by SilverSneakers instructors, as well as opportunities to engage socially to help achieve optimal health.
SilverSneakers®, by Tivity Health®, is the nation’s leading community fitness program for Medicare eligible Americans. The program was founded in 1992 and is available to more than 17 million Americans through many Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare Supplement carriers, and group retiree plans. For more information, to check eligibility or to enroll in the program or sign up for a SilverSneakers newsletter, go to silversneakers.com.