Sunday, September 24, 2023

Max Gomez, Longtime TV Clinical Reporter, Dies at 72


Max Gomez, an award-winning clinical and science journalist who delivered knowledgeable experiences for greater than 40 years on TV stations in New York and Philadelphia, maximum not too long ago all through the Covid-19 pandemic, died on Sept. 2 at his house in Long island. He used to be 72.

His spouse, Amy Levin, mentioned the purpose used to be head and neck most cancers, with which he were identified 4 years in the past.

Billed as “Dr. Max,” he introduced an easygoing gravitas to reporting on topics like vaccinations, knee replacements, prostate most cancers, colonoscopies, sickle mobile anemia and, when he himself shriveled them, Lyme illness and the MRSA an infection. Certainly one of his experiences on Alzheimer’s illness all in favour of his father, a health care provider, who used to be swindled as his reminiscence deserted him.

Dr. Gomez were leader clinical correspondent at WCBS, Channel 2, in New York Town since 2007 and made his closing look there in March 2022. He additionally labored at WNBC, Channel 4, and WNEW, Channel 5 (now WNYW), in addition to KYW, Channel 3, in Philadelphia.

“What he did easiest used to be to care deeply and mix that with being ready to provide an explanation for complicated issues so smartly that common other folks may just perceive them,” Dan Forman, a former managing editor of the Channel 2 information division, mentioned via telephone. “And he would turn on it via serving to audience to find the assist they wanted.”

Dr. Gomez received seven native Emmy Awards in New York and two in Philadelphia, and a few of his paintings used to be noticed nationally, at the CBS Information program “48 Hours” and on NBC Information. He used to be additionally a semifinalist in NASA’s journalist-in-space program, which used to be suspended indefinitely after the commute Challenger exploded in 1986, and a co-author of 3 books, amongst them “Cells Are the New Treatment: The Slicing-Edge Clinical Breakthroughs That Are Remodeling Our Well being” (2017, with Dr. Robin L. Smith).

He used to be a typical presence on Channel 2 from the beginning of the pandemic, when there have been only a few identified Covid circumstances in america. For 2 years, as he handled most cancers, he defined the clinical problems dealing with audience; confirmed how the coronavirus mutates; and looked after via an infection information and research.

He used to be no longer a clinical physician — he had a doctorate in neuroscience — and he and the stations the place he labored have been every now and then criticized for relating to him as Dr. Max Gomez. “Max doesn’t inform other people he’s an M.D., nor will we,” Paula Walker, then an assistant information director at Channel 4, instructed The Philadelphia Inquirer in 1991. “In our estimation, he’s most probably extra knowledgeable than the common well being reporter.”

Maximo Marcelino Gomez III used to be born on Aug. 9, 1951, in Havana and moved to Miami together with his circle of relatives 3 years later. His father used to be an obstetrician and gynecologist; his mom, Concepción (Nespral) Gomez, labored for Cubana Airways, Cuba’s nationwide service, and later for Avianca, the biggest airline in Colombia.

After graduating from Princeton College in 1973 with a bachelor’s stage in geosciences, Dr. Gomez earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the Wake Wooded area College Faculty of Medication in 1978. He then was a Nationwide Institutes of Well being postdoctoral fellow at Rockefeller College in Long island.

Whilst finding out there, he selected to not pursue a profession in analysis or academia, however relatively to search for paintings within the media that may employ his medical background.

“Once I first made up our minds to head after tv, it used to be as a result of I assumed that if I didn’t, twenty years from now I’d be announcing, ‘What if?’” he instructed The Philadelphia Day-to-day Information in 1985.

He added: “Why tv? Neatly, if I mentioned cash and ego aren’t a part of it, then I’d be mendacity to you or to myself.”

He contacted Mark Monsky, the scoop director of Channel 5’s “10 O’Clock Information,” who gave him a one-month tryout in July 1980 that changed into a four-year keep. Whilst there, Dr. Gomez used to be some of the first tv journalists to concentrate on the AIDS disaster, in step with Ms. Levin, who used to be then a manufacturer on the station.

Dr. Gomez moved to KYW in past due 1984 and stayed there for 6 years. Whilst there, he won an award from United Press Global for his documentary on AIDS. He later won an award from New York Town’s well being division for his protection of the 9/11 assaults whilst he used to be running for Channel 4.

“Concern and anxiousness ranges have been out of keep watch over within the town, however we have been spending the primary 20 mins of each and every broadcast scaring the dwelling daylights out of other people,” he mentioned in an interview in 2016 for the e-newsletter of CaringKind, an nonprofit Alzheimer’s caregiving group, “after which, as my information director mentioned, on the finish of the display, I had 90 seconds to speak them off the ledge.”

He moved to Channel 2 in 1994 and returned to Channel 4 in 1997 the place, after just about a decade, he used to be let pass when the station reduce prices. He got here again to Channel 2 in 2007.

Along with Ms. Levin, Dr. Gomez is survived via a daughter, Katie Gomez; a son, Max IV; and a brother, George. His marriage to SuElyn Charnesky led to divorce.

Within the 1985 Philadelphia Day-to-day Information interview, Dr. Gomez mentioned that he considered his function significantly: Being on tv, he mentioned, gave him credibility and a significant duty.

“I think I owe it to other people to be their first clear out,” he mentioned. “So if I’m speaking a couple of well being remedy, I wish to know the place has this knowledge been printed. I provide the most productive product I will be able to. I do know that it’s scientifically correct.”


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