The NEOMED Community Mourns

The NEOMED community mourns the death of Dr. Zouhair Yassine, a founding faculty member of the Department of Anatomy who remained a current member of the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology until his recent passing at age 91.

As an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Yassine was an innovator who introduced the advanced treatment of fractures and total joint replacement. He was one of the founders of the Crystal Clinic, where he served as president of Orthopedic Surgeons.

Dr. Yassine taught at NEOMED (then called NEOUCOM) for more than 20 years. He was as well known for his generosity as he was for his pioneering spirit. He established the Dr. Zouhair Yassine Medical Scholarship, and the Gross Anatomy Laboratory was named in his honor. 

Dr. Yassine received numerous honors at NEOMED including an Honorary Doctor of Science degree, Honorary Professor of Anatomy and Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, the Dean's Award for excellence in teaching, and Clinical Teacher of the Year.

Faculty, staff and students remember Dr. Yassine’s contribution to the academic and personal well-being of NEOMED’s community, and his conviction that doctors had to be part of the social fabric of their community.  

In the first semester of medical school, he would invite much of the class to dinner, asking them to perform or share their passions outside of medicine.  He always led by example, starting the evening with a ballroom dance performance with his wife, Carol.  For years, he organized and paid for ballroom dancing lessons for first-year students, as he considered this a life skill for physicians.  The lessons were taught in NEOUCOM’s cafeteria on Saturday mornings ― early in the term only, so as to not interfere with exam study.

Dr. Yassine was born in Beirut, Lebanon. He graduated from the French Medical School in Beirut and came to the United States in 1951 to specialize in orthopedic surgery.

Dr. Yassine is survived by his wife of 66 years, Carol; daughter Leila Vespoli (Anthony); grandchildren Daniella Vespoli, J.D. (Allison Vespoli) and Carolyn Vespoli, M.D.; nieces and nephews; and many dear friends.

A service was held yesterday, Feb. 24, 2020, at Billow Fairlawn Chapel in Akron, where his family received friends.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Dr. Zouhair Yassine Medical Scholarship, c/o NEOMED, 4209 St. Rt. 44, Rootstown, Ohio 44272 or the Carol Yassine Nursing Scholarship, c/o Dept. of Development, University of Akron, Akron, Ohio 44325-2603.

We extend our fond memories, appreciation for Dr. Yassine’s great legacy at NEOMED, and prayers to his family.



John T. Langell

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