This week is #MuseumWeek2016. Today, museums around the world are taking a special look at the #PeopleMW who have helped make their museum special.
Visitors usually ask “Who is Rose Melnick?” The short answer is that she is the mother of Dr. John C. Melnick, who named his medical history museum in her honor.
The longer answer is that she her maiden name was Patek. She married Arsney Melnick and they lived in Youngstown, OH. Rose was the mother of five children. John was born in 1928. He completed much of his education in the Youngstown area, attending public school, Youngstown College (now Youngstown State University), and Case Western Reserve University. He completed a three-year residency in Radiology at the Youngstown Hospital Association, South Unit and was hired there as staff radiologist in 1963. He always said that it was his mother who encouraged him to pursue medicine as a profession and he was grateful for her unwavering support.
Dr. Melnick wrote eight medical research articles during his career. In 1965 his discovery and paper on a rare bone disorder was significant. The disorder is now called Melnick-Needles Syndrome. He published another paper discussing some of the long-term effects of the syndrome in 1982.
In 1974, he was elected President of the Mahoning County Medical Society. In 1981, he was named Doctor of the Year for his discovery of the link between the incidence of cancer and radiation treatment of the thymus gland.
His interest in medical history led him to write several articles on local medical history in 1972. These articles led to his self-published book A History of Medicine in Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley. He was also on the Board of Directors for the Mahoning Valley Historical Society and a member of the Western Reserve Historical Society.
The other great interest in Dr. Melnick’s life was Mill Creek Park. He wrote a book about the history of the park, called The Green Cathedral, which was published in 1976. He was active on the Citizen’s Committee. He established the John C. Melnick, M.D. Mill Creek Park Museum at Fellows Riverside Gardens and funded the observation tower there, which he named in honor of his father.
Dr. Melnick dreamed of opening a museum that would cultivate an interest in medical history in the Mahoning Valley. The Rose Melnick Medical Museum took shape in the 1990s and finally opened on the campus of Youngstown State University in 2000. The archival finding aid of his professional and medical history papers is available here.
Dr. Melnick died on January 15, 2008 after an extended illness.