Geriatrics Pioneer to be Honored with National Award

April 22, 2016

The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) will honor William R. Hazzard, M.D., gerontology and geriatric medicine, with the prestigious Nascher/Manning Award at its Annual Scientific Meeting, to be held May 19-21 in Long Beach, California.

AGS is recognizing Hazzard as a pioneer in geriatric medicine in the United States who has constantly advocated for public and private funding, which forms the bedrock of support for geriatrics training, research, and superior care of aging adults.

In 1986, having initiated geriatric programs at the University of Washington and Johns Hopkins, Hazzard was recruited to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center as chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine. “The unique opportunity to build a program of excellence around a focus on aging and the care of older adults was irresistible,” Hazzard said. “The commitment to build the J. Paul Sticht Center on Aging & Rehabilitation on the campus of Wake Forest Baptist was the item that sealed the deal.”

Hazzard’s arrival launched the academic geriatric program in what he describes as “a 30-year, continuing campaign to successfully insinuate aging and geriatrics into the very DNA of Wake Forest Baptist and the community we serve.”

“I appreciate the recognition that the receipt of the Nascher/Manning Award brings to our continuing campaign on behalf of the approaching wave of aging Americans,” Hazzard said.

“I have met dozens of gerontologists and geriatricians who have told me that Dr. Hazzard is the reason they had a desire to study aging or decided to become a physician specializing in the care of older adults,” said Jeff D. Williamson, M.D., interim chair, internal medicine at Wake Forest Baptist. “His ability to inspire others has truly changed the face of health care for the elderly in the United States and around the world.”

In recognizing Hazzard’s lifetime of contributions to the study of aging, AGS President Steven R. Counsell, M.D., said “he remains an ardent champion for its current and future potential as someone who not only mentored the AGS but also countless researchers, health care professionals and advocates across American eldercare.”

A nationally recognized expert in the study of aging, Hazzard has authored many publications, articles and textbooks aimed at improving the quality of life for older adults. Now, thirty years after his arrival, aging research at Wake Forest Baptist has grown to include more than 70 federally funded investigator-initiated grants and nine research training awards.

Media Relations

Joe McCloskey:, 336-716-1273

Eryn Johnson:, 336-713-8228