d-mars.com News Provider – This year marks the 20th anniversary of a unique city, state and national treasure, The Health Museum, John P. McGovern Museum of Health & Medical Science (THM). This museum offers visitors an immersive experience that is reflective of 21st century medical research and technology. A member of the world famous Texas Medical Center and located in the heart of the city’s rich and varied Museum District, THM is where every visitor learns to foster a healthier ‘you’, through fun and inspiring experiences.
THM currently serves more than 180,000 visitors annually, providing content that is accessible and relevant to a wide range of public audiences. Since THM’s grand opening in 1996, they have seen more than 2.5 million visitors and counting. THM is the most visited health museum of its kind in the country. It is also one of the top public attractions in the Houston area.
The Health Museum: History
As a result of the successful 1962 “Victory Over Polio” campaign, sponsored by the Harris County Medical Society and the Junior Chamber of Commerce, a citizen’s committee consisting of George Morse, Oveta Culp Hobby, Morgan Davis, and Gail Whitcomb recommended that permanent health exhibits be constructed for public display. With funds raised through public contributions to the polio immunization program, along with contributions from physicians and a grant from Houston Endowment Inc., the Harris County Medical Society initiated plans to construct public health education exhibits.
Over the next 21 years, museum patrons enjoyed exhibits and outreach programs within an exhibit hall of another museum. Building a separate institution dedicated to health education had been a dream of the museum’s founders for many years. Following a successful $9.5 million capital campaign, the historic John P. McGovern Building was built in the heart of Houston’s Museum District. Doors opened on March 16, 1996.
The Health Museum continues to shape new directions for visitor experiences that are one-of-a-kind, highly educational, and behavior changing.
The Health Museum: Leadership
THM’s Board of Directors and Board of Advisors guide the vision, mission, and strategic planning for THM. The group of dedicated individuals hold their leadership role with THM as very important, giving their time and great insight on how THM can fulfill its mission to foster wonder and curiosity about health, medical science, and the human body.
Brian S. Parsley, Chair
Robert Wolin, JD, Vice Chair
Michael S. Clements, Treasurer
Donald R. Collins, Jr., M.D., Secretary
Denton A. Cooley, M.D., Member Emeritus
Sue Trammell Whitfield, Member Emeritus
The Health Museum President & CEO: Melanie Johnson, Ed.D.
Dr. Melanie Johnson is an exceptional visionary and change agent for education-focused entities. Dr. Johnson is the first African-American to hold a senior position in the history of The Museum District in Houston. She previously served as the Director of Education for NASA’s Space Center Houston, where she managed a staff of up to 50 educators, counselors, and exhibit staff since her arrival in 2008. She is a strong fiscal and programmatic leader who oversees net assets of more than $24 million by developing effective programs with researched-based methodologies. Dr. Johnson’s effectiveness was recognized by the largest association for museums when she was awarded the esteemed Nancy Hanks Award for Professional Excellence out of 5,000 annual museum participants representing 50 countries, including the Smithsonian. She was interviewed for an upcoming episode of the Travel Channel’s “Mysteries at the Museum,” as she presented facts about the Faith 7 Mercury capsule. She was featured on Radio Disney’s “Backyard” segment and Forbes Magazine. She was selected for the Center for Houston’s Leadership Think Tank (2014). Further, she is the 2015 recipient of the Pierre and Marie Curie Award for Humanities and the Ivy League Charitable Education Foundation Award for one of the City of Houston’s Best Educators.
She has been employed as a senior executive for various types of educational institutions. Prior to arriving at Space Center Houston, Dr. Johnson held the position as Director of Faculty Development for the Art Institute of Houston. In this position, she trained faculty from various disciplines to employ best practices in teaching and to implement strategies to help first year college students to persist in college enrollment.
As head of the Department for Developmental Education at Galveston College, Dr. Johnson’s leadership was the catalyst that launched the department into a synchronized division that was fully funded and staffed with the college’s first ever, developmental education learning community under the Title V – Hispanic-Serving Institutions Grant. She served on the President’s Task Force for Wage Equality, developed the college’s first Associate for Arts in Teaching (AAT) degree program in conjunction with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and organized the gulf coast region’s first Developmental Education Conference.
Her education credentials include a Bachelor’s degree in International Business/French from Auburn University (Auburn, Alabama), followed by a Masters of Hospitality Management (MHM), and a Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction (Ed. D.). Hence, she has served in a leadership capacity for informal education, pre-K thru high school, post-secondary and remedial education, and she has impacted thousands of lives in the state of Texas.
d-mars.com congratulates The Health Museum on its 20th Anniversary as a dynamic community resource. This health institution has many more successful years to come. For more information on The Health Museum, please visit them on the web at www.thehealthmuseum.org.