Dr. Satoro Izutsu honored with Honolulu Forever Young award

Dr. Satoro Izutsu
Dr. Satoro Izutsu

By Tracy Gladden - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Doctor Satoro Izutsu has made his mark on the way the elderly are cared for in Hawaii.

He is a recipient of the "Forever Young Award", which honors leaders in Honolulu who give back while living their lives to the fullest.

Still working 11 hour days, you would never guess Dr. Satoro Izutsu is 80 years young.

"Whenever I meet my colleagues, they'll say 'are you still working? And I'll say 'yes,' and 'why' is the question and I'll jokingly say 'well, I have nothing else to do.'

Raised on a small plantation camp on Kauai, he was the youngest of seven, all are still close.

He's come a long way to his current post as Senior Associate Dean of the John A. Burns School of Medicine.

He received his masters from Columbia University and worked on his PhD at Case Western Reserve University.

"The personnel director for the state of Hawaii had in her mind to really look for those of us who were going for graduate degrees to come back to Hawaii because we had just achieved statehood."

But before he returned, he joined the Peace Corps.

"They sent me to Yugoslavia, and I started the first occupational therapy training program in Yugoslavia."

For 20 years, he has been the Associate Dean of the School of Medicine.

He says in his current post, age has it's advantages.

"One of the things that is a positive about being 80 and older I think is that your intuitions become more accurate about people about things."

He uses this skill when interviewing all incoming medical students.

"They are really the cream of the crop in terms of being able to become physicians and really serve people."

"Basically people are similar but I think we have to respect their differences and each one brings a different issue to the setting wether it's education or work."

He spent his lifetime changing societies view of aging.

Letting young students know the importance of caring for mind, body and spirit, when working in long-term care. He even offers advice to those who are in his own age bracket.

"You've contributed, that all the things that people have helped you achieve up to now, how do you then use that knowledge and start repaying."

He says giving back and finding a hobby keeps him forever young.

For the past 26 years he's participated in weekly tea ceremonies in Honolulu.