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Home > News Room > Physician education program renamed in honor of Dr. Melvin B. Dyster

Physician education program renamed in honor of Dr. Melvin B. Dyster

Niagara County’s only university-affiliated physician teaching program has been renamed the Dr. Melvin B. Dyster Family Medicine Residency Program to honor the doctor who established it more than 30 years ago.

The announcement was made by Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center President & CEO Joseph A. Ruffolo and Family Medicine Residency Program Director Laurence R. Plumb, MD, during the program’s 2007 graduation ceremony in the city’s Crowne Plaza Hotel.

“This is an honor that is exceedingly well deserved,” Dr. Plumb said.  “As a direct result of Dr. Dyster’s involvement, Memorial Medical Center has graduated more than 110 family practice physicians, many of whom have stayed here to practice.  The impact those physicians have made on the quality of care in the communities they serve has been enormous. Dr. Dyster, through his years of teaching and education, is touching the lives of over 500,000 patients per year.”

A family practice physician, Dr. Dyster joined the Memorial staff in 1954 and served 25 years as chief of its department of family practice. He established what was then called Memorial’s Family Practice Residency Program in 1976 served as its director almost continuously until two years ago. 

He also was instrumental in the establishment of the Hamilton B. Mizer Primary Care Center. The busiest facility of its kind in Niagara Falls, the Mizer Center served more than 15,000 patients in 2006, most of them either elderly or needy.

Dr. Dyster currently serves as director emeritus of the program that will now bear his name.

“Dr. Dyster is one of those rare physicians who embodies the very best of both old time medicine and modern family practice.  He embraces teaching and technology while still taking extra time with his patients and even making the occasional house call,” Ruffolo said.  “Memorial is proud to name this program for him while he is still actively teaching the young physicians who are enrolled in it.”

In addition to his work at Memorial, Dr. Dyster organized and staffed a health clinic for migrant workers in Niagara County and, more than 25 years later, continues to devote his time and energy to that outreach effort.

He also organized and directed the health services clinic at Niagara University for more than two decades, attending to the medical and emotional needs of more than 10,000 students, and was awarded an honorary doctorate degree in 1996 in recognition of his exemplary service.

Dr. Dyster was honored by the Health Association of Niagara County Inc. (HANCI) in 1997 for "going above and beyond in nourishing and supporting the community” and was named Family Doctor of the Year in 1995 by the New York State Academy of Family Physicians.

He is a consultant on the Niagara Falls City Task Force for Bioterrorism Preparedness, a member of the county’s Health Emergency Alert Response Team, the director of the Niagara County Medical Reserve Corps and an adviser to Memorial Medical Center’s Disaster Planning Committee.

Dr. Dyster and his late wife Mary, for whom Memorial’s Mary C. Dyster Women’s Pavilion is named, raised six sons and four daughters.


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