Max Gomez, Longtime TV Medical Reporter, Dies at 72

Max Gomez, an award-winning medical and science journalist who delivered knowledgeable reviews for greater than 40 years on TV stations in New York and Philadelphia, most just lately in the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, died on Sept. 2 at his dwelling in Manhattan. He was 72.

His accomplice, Amy Levin, mentioned the trigger was head and neck most cancers, with which he had been 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 cell anemia and, when he himself contracted them, Lyme illness and the MRSA an infection. One of his reviews on Alzheimer’s illness targeted on his father, a doctor, who was swindled as his reminiscence deserted him.

Dr. Gomez had been chief medical correspondent at WCBS, Channel 2, in New York City since 2007 and made his final 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 best was to care deeply and combine that with being able to explain complex things so well that regular folks could understand them,” Dan Forman, a former managing editor of the Channel 2 information division, mentioned by telephone. “And he would activate it by helping viewers find the help they needed.”

Dr. Gomez received seven native Emmy Awards in New York and two in Philadelphia, and a few of his work was seen nationally, on the CBS News program “48 Hours” and on NBC News. He was additionally a semifinalist in NASA’s journalist-in-space program, which was suspended indefinitely after the shuttle Challenger exploded in 1986, and a co-author of three books, amongst them “Cells Are the New Cure: The Cutting-Edge Medical Breakthroughs That Are Transforming Our Health” (2017, with Dr. Robin L. Smith).

He was a daily presence on Channel 2 from the start of the pandemic, when there have been only a few identified Covid circumstances within the United States. For two years, as he handled most cancers, he defined the medical points dealing with viewers; confirmed how the coronavirus mutates; and sorted by way of an infection information and research.

He was not a medical physician — he had a doctorate in neuroscience — and he and the stations the place he labored had been typically criticized for referring to him as Dr. Max Gomez. “Max doesn’t tell people he’s an M.D., nor do we,” Paula Walker, then an assistant information director at Channel 4, instructed The Philadelphia Inquirer in 1991. “In our estimation, he’s probably more informed than the average health reporter.”

Maximo Marcelino Gomez III was born on Aug. 9, 1951, in Havana and moved to Miami together with his household three years later. His father was an obstetrician and gynecologist; his mom, Concepción (Nespral) Gomez, labored for Cubana Airlines, Cuba’s nationwide service, and later for Avianca, the most important airline in Colombia.

After graduating from Princeton University in 1973 with a bachelor’s diploma in geosciences, Dr. Gomez earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in 1978. He then grew to become a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellow at Rockefeller University in Manhattan.

While finding out there, he selected to not pursue a profession in analysis or academia, however relatively to search for work within the media that will make use of his scientific background.

“When I first decided to go after television, it was because I thought that if I didn’t, 20 years from now I’d be saying, ‘What if?’” he instructed The Philadelphia Daily News in 1985.

He added: “Why television? Well, if I said money and ego aren’t part of it, then I’d be lying to you or to myself.”

He contacted Mark Monsky, the information director of Channel 5’s “10 O’Clock News,” who gave him a one-month tryout in July 1980 that become a four-year keep. While there, Dr. Gomez was one of many first tv reporters to give attention to the AIDS disaster, in keeping with Ms. Levin, who was then a producer at the station.

Dr. Gomez moved to KYW in late 1984 and stayed there for six years. While there, he obtained an award from United Press International for his documentary on AIDS. He later obtained an award from New York City’s health division for his protection of the 9/11 assaults whereas he was working for Channel 4.

“Fear and anxiety levels were out of control in the city, but we were spending the first 20 minutes of every broadcast scaring the living daylights out of people,” he said in an interview in 2016 for the newsletter of CaringKind, an nonprofit Alzheimer’s caregiving group, “and then, as my news director said, at the end of the show, I had 90 seconds to talk them off the ledge.”

He moved to Channel 2 in 1994 and returned to Channel 4 in 1997 the place, after almost a decade, he was let go when the station minimize prices. He got here again to Channel 2 in 2007.

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

In the 1985 Philadelphia Daily News interview, Dr. Gomez mentioned that he considered his position critically: Being on tv, he mentioned, gave him credibility and a serious accountability.

“I feel I owe it to people to be their first filter,” he mentioned. “So if I’m talking about a health cure, I want to know where has this information been published. I present the best product I can. I know that it’s scientifically accurate.”

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