FORT PIERCE FOLKS
Hazel Hoylman never misses an opportunity to talk to people about how
to prevent HIV/AIDS as well as other health issues from diabetes to breast
cancer detection. Here she addresses a group of women at the Harvest
Food and Outreach Center on Orange Avenue in Fort Pierce.
organization received good news and bad news. It will have
to vacate the building since it is to be demolished, but will
have 18 months to find a new home. “This (FPHA facilities)
has been a blessing and miracle,” Hoylman says.
Short education classes are offered continuously to teach
people about the flu, diabetes, breast health, HIV/AIDS,
STDs and the use of condoms.
When the St. Lucie County School Board tackled the issue
of what to teach children about the dangers of sexual activity,
the public hearings were contentious, says Larry Lee, administrator
of the St. Lucie County Health Department and a
colleague of Hoylman’s for eight years.
“I was inspired when I heard Hazel and there weren’t too
many people testifying from the faith community,” Lee says.
“She has played a leading role because she knows how to
get the message out. We have made a lot of progress, but we
at the health department can’t do this by ourselves. She has
devoted herself to fighting HIV/AIDS. You will never find
anyone who is more passionate about her work.”
With what is left of the day Hoylman and her husband
Keith are raising two teenagers still in school. Four of her six
grown children went to college, including a son who is an
Air Force officer. Asked if the younger two are going to college,
she quickly snaps with a smile, “if I have to give them
With 10 people on staff, Hoylman now works 40- to 50-
hour weeks, down from the 60- to 70-hour weeks of the past.
“My family is pretty happy about that. This is my purpose
and this is what God wants me to do. I am a person of faith.
If I need it to come out of my pocket in the name of Christ, I’ll
do it and my husband doesn’t mind,” she says.