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Nation's Only Health Museum Makes 'You' Sole Focus of New Exhibit Gallery
Date:5/30/2008

The Health Museum in Houston Premieres "You: The Exhibit" Using Cutting-Edge Science and Medical Technology

HOUSTON, May 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Imagine seeing yourself in 30 years, changing your physical features in an instant, visualizing the effects of lifestyle choices, or experiencing life in a city around the world without ever leaving Houston. Now, it's possible. On June 7, 2008, The John P. McGovern Museum of Health & Medical Science, also known as The Health Museum, will premiere You: The Exhibit, its first new permanent exhibition since the museum's opening in 1996. You: The Exhibit is the exploration into the who, what, when, where and how of "You." But the journey all began with a single idea about what humans -- of all ages and backgrounds -- want to know most about themselves, and presenting that information in a way that would be both educational and entertaining.

In late 2006, The Health Museum announced the addition of Phil Lindsey as Vice President, Exhibits. Lindsey -- a nationally renowned science and entertainment exhibits expert and veteran of such institutions as Disney, Legoland and The Franklin Institute -- was brought to the table in the early stages of an aggressive strategic plan to renovate and expand its health science content. The Museum, located in Houston's Museum District, is the only Museum that is a member of the internationally renowned Texas Medical Center and has developed a rapidly growing audience through the general public over the years.

Lindsey's team completed significant audience research to build mission-relevant content and interactive experiences into the exhibit. You: The Exhibit was designed to challenge and invite visitors to experience what makes them who they are and "what" they are. When asked to describe the experience, Lindsey said, "With The Health Museum being the only science center in the country with a focus on health, it was important that this exhibit be one-of-a-kind as well, and the sophisticated media nature of You: The Exhibit has allowed us to create something completely original. It encourages group interaction and participation in each of the various stations."

Admission to the new gallery will be included in the Museum's general admission and free to its members. With more than a dozen different interactive stations to explore, three of the most compelling iconic experiences are the Body Scanner (see your internal organs in real time through special effects technology), the Age-O-Matic (age yourself right before your eyes, see how you will look in 20 or 30 years and the physical changes that take place as a result of habits like smoking, sun exposure and overeating), and Feature Change (allows you to see yourself as a different gender and ethnicity).

The exhibit also was designed to include anonymous visitor information as a permanent part of the exhibit. As visitors take part in various stations and enter their information, such as age, gender, and various physical features, the data will be added into the exhibit's existing statistics. Ultimately, the demographic information will change with each visitor experience. Visually, the graphics, layout and footprint of this unique gallery were designed to immerse visitors of all ages in "The World of Tomorrow"--- reminiscent of the 1939 World's Fair.

"This exhibit was conceptualized to boldly illustrate how lifestyle choices such as diet and where you choose to live can affect you physically, socially and psychologically," Museum President and CEO, Jon Iszard, said, "but it also engages museum visitors to take part in intriguing and entertaining activities like changing your physical features or experiencing how people would react to you as a movie star!"

The Museum sought out a host of technology partners to help build the most complex elements. Major donors that invested in the new gallery include the Brown Foundation, Inc., Wortham Foundation, Inc., Diagnostic Clinic of Houston Medical Foundation, Compass Bank Wealth Management Group, John S. Dunn Research Foundation, MetLife Foundation and the Ellwood Foundation. All architectural design was provided by Houston's Ray + Hollington (RHA) and Linbeck Construction served as the general contract management team.

For more information on You: The Exhibit, visit the Museum's Web site at http://www.thehealthmuseum.org or email youtheexhibit@thehealthmuseum.org.

ABOUT THE HEALTH MUSEUM

The John P. McGovern Museum of Health & Medical Science, also known as The Health Museum, is a member institution of the world-renowned Texas Medical Center and is located in the heart of Houston's Museum District at 1515 Hermann Drive Houston, TX 77004. General Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for children ages 3-17 and senior adults. Museum members and children two years of age and under receive free general admission. Museum hours this summer are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, with extended hours until 7 p.m. on Thursday. Group discount rates are available by calling 713-521-1515, ext. 237. School field trip information is available at 713-521-1515, ext. 121. For information about the Museum or its programs, please call 713-521-1515 or visit http://www.thehealthmuseum.org.

The John P. McGovern Museum of Health and Medical Science is an interactive and entertaining science experience for all ages that promotes understanding and appreciation of the human body, mind and spirit and inspires a lifelong commitment to health and wellness.


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SOURCE The Health Museum
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