Class: 1957Inducted: 2021
Melvyn B. Ruskin was raised in Bradley Beach and graduated from APHS in 1957, Rutgers University in 1961 and the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1964, where he served on the Law Review and as Chair of the Moot Court Competition.
After several years prosecuting homicide cases in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Mel founded the law firm of Ruskin Moscou & Faltischek, P.C. on Long Island, New York and shepherded its growth to over 70 attorneys practicing in a wide range of areas. Mel practiced predominately in the areas of corporate law, health law and representing clients under investigation for alleged commercial and business related crimes. He is past President of the Nassau County Criminal Courts Bar Association and past Chair of the Nassau County Bar Association Health Law Committee.
Mel has been general counsel to Long Island Jewish Medical Center, special counsel to North Shore University Medical Center and special corporate counsel to the Nassau Health Care Corporation in its’ acquisition of the Nassau County Medical Center and the issuance of $260 million of Health System Revenue Bonds. He was a board member and Chairman of the Audit Committee of the New York State Health Foundation, which is charged with the responsibility to distribute a $300 million fund to expand access to healthcare for the uninsured, create new health programs and provide education benefiting public health.
Mel has lectured and written extensively on a wide variety of topics including mergers and acquisitions, the use of technology by healthcare institutions to enhance profitability, state and federal regulation, cybersecurity, and HIPAA privacy and implementation. He has been a member of the National Health Lawyers Association and was a founding member of the Managed Care Legal Section of The IPA Association of America.
Mel has been a board member of the Nassau Citizens Budget Committee and Chair of the Long Island Division of the Jewish National Fund. He was New York Zone Chair for JNF’s Government Relations activities, Chair of Long Island UJA-Federation and a recipient of its Man of the Year Award. He has been a board member of the Holocaust Memorial & Educational Center of Nassau County and was designated as “Man of the Year” for The Diabetes Research Institute and for Project Outreach, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility.
None of Mel’s accomplishments could have happened without his having married Lea Freedman in 1967. Although they did not know each other in high school, as Lea entered APHS just after Mel graduated, circumstances brought them together and they have been happily married for nearly 53 years. Lea was a 1961 APHS graduate, a Nassau County Judge, and is a prior inductee into the APHS Hall of Fame. Lea and Mel have two children, Matt and Rachel, who is married to Mike Schor, and three fabulous grandchildren, Talia, Arielle and Noah.
Mel noted that it is a great honor to be joining his wife Lea as a member of the APHS Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame.
His favorite saying: “The cemeteries are filled with indispensable people”