In the Winston-Salem Journal’s SPARK Magazine
August 17, 2018
By Emily B. Harris
We’re proud to announce the winners of the second annual 7 Over Seventy awards — Lynn Eisenberg, Mildred Griffin, Paul Fulton Jr., Bill Hazzard, Billie Marie Matthews, Don McMillan and John Woodmansee. Sponsored by Wake Forest Baptist Health Sticht Center for Healthy Aging and Alzheimer’s Prevention, Senior Services, SPARK magazine, and the Winston-Salem Journal, these awards honor outstanding members of our community who have made it a better place by generously giving their time and efforts to help others. This year’s honorees include dynamic physicians, educators and business people, each with a unique history of accomplishments. Together, they share a common thread: an emphasis on the importance of giving back to the community.
“You’ve already lived longer than you expected to, so appreciation and gratitude are what it’s all about.” – Dr. Bill Hazzard
An advocate for the aging, Bill Hazzard stresses the importance of helping the elderly. Dr. William “Bill” Hazzard is in Winston-Salem because of the Sticht Center for Healthy Aging and Alzheimer’s Prevention at WFU, which he helped create. Hazzard, who is a pioneer in geriatric medicine and gerontology, says every day is about learning.
“From my experience, I’d say find something you love and share it with others you love and respect,” he says.
Hazzard had similar centers at the University of Washington and Johns Hopkins. “I came to Wake Forest in 1985,” he says, explaining that he’d figured out a better way to run the program based on what he had learned in Seattle and Baltimore. “I took a full year to decide what I would do at Wake Forest.” He made 13 trips in that year, always to negotiate so he would have resources. It was the third time Hazzard would create an aging center but this one, he says, had not been tried anywhere else at that point.
“Not only do we have this nice building, but getting the commitment of the building and getting the buy-in through time (it took 15 years) and so I think we’re ready for it here. But it could go away very quickly if we don’t keep feeding it and keep winning grants and support of the community. It’s very frail,” he warns.
The frailty may stem from ageism. “People don’t care for older people,” he says. “They don’t like to pay for the care for older people and yet we’ve got this huge number of older people who are filling up our population in this age wave and we need to do it.”
The center is not Hazzard’s only passion.
“Songs are on my mind 24 hours a day, literally,” he says. He has sung with The Sherwoods of Cornell, a triple-quartet of college friends, for 60 years. He also walked on and played varsity soccer at Cornell, despite never playing as a child.
Hazzard, who has two sons, two daughters and 11 grandchildren, enjoys family time, birds and music.
“If you are healthy and active, stay that way,” he says, his tone clinical and sincere. “There’s nothing magical about 70 or even 80 as long as you are healthy enough to enjoy it. I’ve gotten interested in the concept of new-old age. And new-old age is about not only giving back but continuing to do so for the rest of your life. You’ve already lived longer than you expected to, so appreciation and gratitude is what it’s all about. There’s no reason to stop.”
To see the entire article, click on the following link: https://www.journalnow.com/spark/over-seventy/article_1704d8c6-a236-11e8-b6b5-a7cd5f70a611.html