Raising the bar

Former Life Care Centers of America President and CEO Tom Winston speaks with fellow University of Tennessee law students in this still from a university video.
Former Life Care Centers of America President and CEO Tom Winston speaks with fellow University of Tennessee law students in this still from a university video.

Over the weekend, Facebook was filled with the posts of proud parents sharing photos of their children graduating from college.

It may have been the other way around in the Winston family. Saturday, grandfather and former Life Care Centers of America President and CEO Tom Winston earned his law degree from the University of Tennessee at the age of 73.

“I decided to go to law school because I was bored with retirement,” said Winston, whose LinkedIn profile pegs him at the helm of Cleveland, TN-based Life Care Centers from 1987 to 1988.

Winston worked at Legal Aid of East Tennessee between his first and second years of law school and with Elder Law of East Tennessee during his final year.

Now that he has graduated, he plans to practice law in Chattanooga, TN, with a longtime friend. His career in senior living, long-term care and hospital care will come into play as he specializes in elder law, with particular emphasis on nursing home abuse, and healthcare law, with an emphasis on hospital-doctor contracts and compliance. Winston also plans to focus on family law, including bullying, divorce and paternity actions; employment law, with an emphasis on workplace harassment and discrimination; and mediation, both civil and family.

“Seniors bring a tremendous amount of knowledge, experiences, maturity and commitment to the table,” he said. “I hope our society will soon recognize that assigning an age, whether 50, 60, 65 or 67, as the end of our usefulness is really quite foolish.”

Winston's law degree comes almost 50 years after he earned a Master of Health Administration degree from Washington University in St. Louis. He also holds an undergraduate degree from Memphis State University.

This time, his wife of 52 years, Sue, along with their three children and five grandchildren, watched him walk across the stage to pick up his diploma.

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In Focus

May 15

Raising the bar

Knoxville, TN

Former Life Care Centers of America President and CEO Tom Winston has earned a law degree from the University of Tennessee at age 73.

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