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Melnik Medical Museum Reopens | News, Sports, Jobs

YOUNGSTOWN — After nine years of existence as a museum without a physical building, the Melnick Museum of Medicine reopened Wednesday with a new location on the Youngstown State University campus in Kushwa Hall.

The museum was welcomed at a reception opened by Curator Kathy Nespo, with speeches including YSU President Jim Tressel.

Tressel said the exhibit is a great way for people to learn and understand the complex history of medicine and how it got to its current state.

In 2013, the museum was located in Melnik Hall before YSU decided to use the site for the YSU Foundation and WYSU-FM radio station.

This left Nespor at a loss, but she has worked diligently to keep the museum’s historic medical equipment on display despite space limitations.

“It was difficult to figure out how we could continue to use our medical collection, but we adapted by doing things we hadn’t thought of doing before,” said Nespor.

One of those methods involved creating a “suitcase program”. In this program, a small relic is placed in a toolbox on wheels and taken to an elementary school classroom so that children can spin the object around and learn what he was like as a doctor in the early 1900s.

With the help of various local partners, the museum offers more than 280 programs, events, and presentations throughout Mahoning and Trumbull counties, including the Mahoning Valley Historical Society, Youngstown Industrial and Labor History Center, and the Sutliff Museum of Ohio. It reinvented itself. Oh! Children’s Museum and Mill Creek Park.

Nespor said the new location is beneficial because it places the museum more centrally on campus and more accessible to students.

“The old building was the one that students would drive past, and there was no class there so there was no reason to go in,” said Nespor, who hoped the new location would help increase traffic throughout the museum. There is

Melnick Medical Museum exhibits include the Emerson Iron Lung. According to Nespaul, the exhibit features his 1952 pyrite pulmonary respirator. When the iron lung was invented in 1927, it was considered the cutting edge of life support technology in the first half of the 20th century.

A coffin-like ventilator works by applying pressure inside the machine to allow the patient to breathe in and out.

“Visitors have always been fascinated by this machine. It was best known for polio epidemics,” said Nespor. “People who reach a certain age remember their parents being scared of being the same age.”

Nurses, in iron lung machines, tended to polio-stricken and usually paralyzed patients. This meant that nurses had to learn how to manage the patient’s bodily functions and give liquids along with small meals while the patient was lying down.

The museum has a replica of an iron lung built by YSU Carpenter Andy Phillips, where visitors can lie inside and get a sample of what the machine might have been like.

The reception featured the presentation of a newly developed 2D panel exhibit called “Youngstown Classes, Housing and Health” created by Becky Jasinski, a YSU graduate student pursuing a master’s degree. rice field.

Throughout the summer, Jasinski combed through public library research, archives, and other resources to put together exhibits. He investigates the working and living conditions of immigrants and African Americans coming to Youngstown to understand how class-based housing discrimination affected health outcomes for these groups.

The Office Recreation exhibit recreates a clinic and dental office from the 1890s to the 1930s. Includes commonly used tools such as an early version condenser bowl, electric light and drill.

“This is a great visual element to show people how much the dental and medical fields have changed over time,” said Nespor.

Other exhibits showcase early radiology, featuring an X-ray machine built by Dr. Erhard Weltman in Germany in 1929. This machine was powered by a large generator in a cabinet that produced high voltage electricity. After fleeing Nazi Germany in 1937, Wertmann brought his machine by boat to Youngstown. While here, he started practicing at the Home Savings and Loans building.

Other exhibits share the history of polio and lessons learned about the Sabin oral vaccine. This shows how Youngstown became the first city to implement his mass polio vaccination program in 1961, and in just two days with the vaccine he vaccinated more than 130,000 people. I was.

During the transition to the new building, Nespor took the time to do more research to help rewrite all the information displayed alongside the museum’s exhibits.

The museum is open to the public on Tuesdays from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, admission is free, and tours are available by appointment.

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