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Twenty-five centenarians honored by US Family Health

Turning 100 isn’t easy, but good healthcare helps

Six centenarians were honored Monday by US Family Health Plans. Photo credit: Jan Purtell

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Joining US Family Health Plans doesn't guarantee reaching 100 years old, however, one centenarian credited the military healthcare program for his recent 103rd birthday.

David Edwards, a retired Navy commander and West Seattle resident referenced the healthcare program when asked the secret to living over 100 years.

"US Family Health, of course," Edwards said.

Edwards, and five of 25 centenarians who belong to US Family Health Plans were honored in a Veterans Day ceremony Monday in Seattle.

"This is the first time we've done this," said John Ellis of US Family Health Plans. "We were surprised when we looked it up -- we have 25 members who are 99 or older."

Ellis and his staff organized a luncheon at their Pacific Medical clinic on Beacon Hill to honor their members for their longevity.

Dr. Rick Ludwig, CEO of Pacific Medical and director of US Family Health Plans in the Northwest, told the crowd it has been his organization's "great opportunity" to take care of their health. "Thank you for trusting us with your healthcare all these years," Ludwig added.

US Family Health has operated in Washington state since 1981. The primary physicians of the six attending Monday's ceremony were also in attendance.

Besides the positive impact US Family Health has had on these centenarians, how else does Ludwig credit their ability to survive a century?

"It's really no secret," Ludwig said. He credited exercise, maintaining a good weight, not smoking, limiting alcohol intake, eating mostly a plant-based diet, and life connections such as positive spiritual, community and family interactions.

The centenarians asked the same question; also credited a positive outlook and not taking things too seriously.

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