Longtime Marshall University benefactors gift medical museum to school

Monday, Nov. 6, 2017
Contact: Leah C. Payne, Director, Public Affairs, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, 304-691-1713
                Sheanna Spence, Asst. Director, Alumni Affairs and Community Relations, 304-691-1639

Longtime Marshall University benefactors gift medical museum to school

HUNTINGTON, W.Va.— Drs. Joseph and Omayma Touma, longtime Marshall University supporters and physicians who have served the Huntington community for close to 50 years, have given the contents of the Touma Museum of Medicine to the Marshall University Foundation and the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.

The gift contains more than 2800 pieces and is housed in a 4,000-square-foot museum located at 314 9th Street in Huntington. It houses the Toumas' personal collection, which includes galleries covering various areas of medicine such as ophthalmology, microscopy, cardiovascular, anesthesia, surgery, obstetrics-gynecology, pharmacy and others. The collection also includes historic dental; ear, nose and throat; and general practice examination rooms.  It has a medical library, a totally restored 1926 model T Ford “doctor’s coupe” and a restored 1910 Studebaker “doctor’s” buggy.  

“The Touma family is such an important part of our community, and in particular has been instrumental in development of our medical school,” said Dr. Joseph I. Shapiro, dean of the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.  “This gift is a permanent educational resource, not only for our medical students, but for other health care students like nursing and pharmacy. Moreover, the entire community will continue to benefit from this outstanding collection of medical pieces. We are so grateful that Marshall has been entrusted with the care of this superb collection.”

Dr. Joseph Touma, a retired ear, nose and throat physician and his wife, Dr. Omayma Touma, a retired pediatrician and former medical director of the Cabell Huntington Health Department, have collected medical artifacts for many years.  

“I started collecting historic medical instruments and devices more than forty years ago with the goal to preserve the glorious history of medicine,” said Dr. Joseph Touma.  “Omayma and I are honored and pleased to place this collection in the hands of Marshall University and the School of Medicine to preserve it for future generations and open it to the public and researchers all over the United States and beyond.”

Edward Dzierzak, who recently retired as director of Marshall’s Health Science Library, has been named curator of the museum.

The facility is available for private rental. For more information on the Touma Museum, please call the School of Medicine at 304-691-1700.


Date Posted: Monday, November 6, 2017