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So many choices at Fox Run

Long-time doctor finds new outlets

Created date

November 26th, 2013
An empty dirt road

Bon Hiscoe has had a long and successful career in medicine, and at 90 years of age, he is still contributing to his field. Bon attended medical school at Columbia University. It was during his studies that he met his late wife Helen, who was teaching at Vassar College at the time. The couple married and later moved to Coal Mountain, W. Va., where Bon completed his residency. My office was up 15 miles of dirt road, and I had 15 Hatfield families in my practice, Bon says, referring to the famous West Virginia family. It was a real culture shock.

Unique life experience spawns successful book

Among other things, Bon says he still made house calls at that time and delivered 60 babies in one year. Helen wasn t working during the Hiscoe family s time in West Virginia, so she helped out in Bon s medical office. He says she kept a diary of their experiences, which she later used to write a book calledAppalachian Passage, published in 1992. The book provides an up-close look at life in the rural coal town where the Hiscoes spent their early married days. This was a real company town, and it was an interesting time in labor relations, Bon says. In 1957, Bon and Helen moved from West Virginia to East Lansing, Mich., where they furthered their careers and raised four children. A couple of years ago, the couple moved toFox Run, an Erickson Living community in Novi, Mich. Bon has shared his late wife s book with his friends and neighbors at Fox Run. He gave a talk about the book, which he says was of interest to a number of people. And, he says he donated a few copies of the book to the community s on-site library. It has been very popular here, which has been very gratifying for me, Bon says.

Sharing knowledge

When the Hiscoes relocated to Michigan in the 1950s, Helen, a zoologist, taught science at Michigan State University. Bon worked in clinical medicine in East Lansing for several years, and in 1979, he went into health care administration as the director of an HMO. When Bon retired from his full-time position with the HMO, he didn t leave the medical field altogether. He worked half-time as the dean of the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University. After that, he became the part-time medical director of a Medicare HMO and worked part-time as a medical examiner. Now retired, he continues to serve on the board of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and does some administrative consulting for the Health Department in Lansing. Even after more than 70 years in the field, Bon still takes opportunities to learn new things about medicine and science. I was at a dinner with retired doctors in East Lansing, Bon says. They get together every so often, and I went up with a friend. We got to see the cyclotron [laboratory for nuclear physics].

Looking forward to volunteering

Bon was planning to wind down his work on the board at the end of 2013 in order to take more time to relax and enjoy leisure activities at Fox Run. One of the things he likes about living at Fox Run is the wide range of clubs, committees, and special events available to residents. There are other people to do things with here, and that makes a difference, Bon says. I like the size here; you have choices. Currently, Bon is part of a Fox Run committee that organizes educational events for the community. He also helps out in the projection room in Fox Run s Performing Arts Center and Theater, where residents enjoy movies, live performances, and lectures. Now that he is finally planning to fully retire, Bon says he hopes to get more involved in volunteer activities with his Fox Run neighbors.

Surrounded by friends

When Helen passed away, Bon says living among supportive friends and neighbors provided solace during a difficult time. Socialization is one of things older people need, he says. Even just going and exercising and going to dinner with friends are helpful. To keep physically fit, Bon walks several times a week on the picturesque trails on Fox Run s wooded campus. In the winter months, he takes advantage of the community s on-site fitness and aquatics center. Two of Bon s daughters live in Michigan, so he visits often with them. He has two grandchildren and two great grandkids, with a third on the way. He says his family is happy he lives in a supportive community with lots of amenities. In fact, he says, They think they may [move] here too.