Bill Mayer was driving, alone in his car, while listening to the radio when the proverbial light bulb went off. “There’s no television or radio network that gears itself toward seniors,” thought Mayer, a retired executive who was already part of the rapidly expanding demographic.
Mayer’s revelation was the foundation for a radio program that lasted seven years on WCTC-AM before the New Brunswick, N.J.-based station switched from a talk-oriented format to music. But Mayer and his rekindled program, Active Adults, have found a new home on the Lawrenceville campus of Rider University on 107.7 The Bronc, where it began broadcasting on Sunday, October 2. The interactive, 90-minute show, which runs from 10 to 11:30 a.m. every Sunday with the support of the nonprofit New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute (NJHCQI) of West Trenton, promises all the answers about health, healthy living and a healthier lifestyle, according to Mayer, who added that Active Adults is not just for seniors.
“Right away, in support of Breast Cancer Month, we’re going to discuss an issue that affects women and men of all ages,’ said Mayer, who mentioned an appearance on the show by a man once diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer in order to let listeners know the illness is not the exclusive domain of women. “Our mission is the same as that of the Institute: We strive to reduce medical errors and improve the quality of life for every man, woman and child.”
Active Adults, which can also be heard online at 1077TheBronc.com, will bring listeners information from leading physicians, nurses, researchers and elected officials from New Jersey and beyond. While one segment might focus on information on actual treatment, listeners will also learn about the business behind the business, such as health-care reform and other pertinent legislation.
On November 13, listeners of Active Adults will be able to speak to in-studio guest Poonam Alaigh, the commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, who was appointed by Gov. Chris Christie in January. A former executive medical director for Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, Dr. Alaigh has a multifaceted background in health care administration, clinical practice, pharmaceutical medicine, health care policy and academia.
She also is a founding member of the South Asian Total Healthcare Initiative, which was created in 2009 to develop a research-based data resource on South Asian health, to improve the delivery of culturally competent care, and to address health disparities and empower the South Asian community.
The appearance of guests like Dr. Alaigh sets Active Adults apart, according to David L. Knowlton, president and CEO of NJHCQI, who says that Mayer’s skill for engaging guests brings the show to life every Sunday.
“We are very excited about this venture, said Knowlton. “Bill Mayer is well known to the 50-plus population in New Jersey, so he was the perfect person to host our show about current health-care quality issues for seniors, as well as others.”
Lawrence Township Mayor Michael Powers is an enthusiastic supporter of Active Adults, calling the show a tremendous resource for his community.
“I’m a huge proponent of partnerships like this. The senior population in Lawrence Township is growing, and I am also focused on the generation coming up,” Powers said. “We need to be able to combat issues like childhood obesity, so Active Adults is a wonderful opportunity to get these messages out,”
While 107.7 The Bronc is a college radio station, general manager John Mozes says that Active Adults is an extension of his staff’s commitment to serving everyone within their range.
“Our students have chosen to embrace everyone with the music and programs we’ve selected. We’ve got an oldies format on the weekend that’s become quite a hit, for example,” Mozes said. “But things like cancer and heart disease transcend all age groups. Health care is at the forefront of people’s minds, so I think we’ve forged a wonderful partnership that will benefit the entire area.”