Lifetime of Giving
Growing up on a farm in Mason, Ohio, during the Great Depression, C. Nelson Melampy, MD, now 87, learned two valuable life lessons early on: the value of a dollar and the importance of helping others.
"Living on a farm, we used what we grew and we lived within our means. If you didn't have the money for it, you didn't get it," Melampy recalls. "Farmers helped their neighbors through the rough times."
Dr. Melampy carried those values with him throughout his life. After surviving the depression, he proudly served his country during World War II and again in the Korean War. Dr. Melampy finished his medical degree between tours of duty and, when his military service was complete, he dedicated his life to improving health care for children.
“When I got started in medicine in the 1950s, surgery was different. They were not able to accomplish what they can today,” Dr. Melampy says. “I wanted to improve care for the kids, help them through the rough spots.”
A pioneer in pediatric anesthesiology, Dr. Melampy founded the anesthesiology department at Cincinnati Children’s in 1968. The department now has an internationally recognized team of 128 clinical staff members with more than 45,000 patient encounters last year.
His most recent gift to Cincinnati Children’s was a charitable rollover from his IRA.
“Right now everyone is tightening their belt. But if everyone would just give a little bit, whatever they can, it really helps,” Dr. Melampy says. “With a gift from an IRA, you can give a little and it’s not taxed. The government encourages it, so I took advantage of it.”
Today, Dr. Melampy is retired, living comfortably with his wife, Dorothy. Still helping others, Dr. Melampy often answers medical questions from his neighbors about their grandchildren’s illnesses. He even accompanies them to the hospital or our new Liberty Campus if they’re particularly nervous about a procedure.
Dr. Melampy believes that helping others is just “the right thing to do” and he encourages others to help their neighbors in any way they can, especially when times are tough.
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