$5,000 fee waived for healing service
The Cleveland health education museum will open its doors to faith healer Dr. Issam Nemeh on July 10, creating an unusual venue for a purported miracle healing service.
HealthSpace Cleveland waived the customary $5,000 rental fee for Nemeh, said Patricia Horvath, the executive director.
“We decided not to charge them because a number of board members are supporters of Dr. Nemeh’s work,” Horvath said.
“We see spiritual health in the holistic view of overall health,” she said.
Nemeh, a doctor from Bay Village, has attracted a large following in recent months at healing services at suburban Cleveland churches.
The services sometimes last through the night. Demand for his touch is so great that Nemeh is also known to see patients at all hours in private practice. Nemeh’s spiritual healing services are free, but he charges patients $250 to perform an unconventional type of acupuncture at his office in Rocky River.
The Plain Dealer reported earlier this month that Nemeh’s method of acupuncture requires only a five-day training course and uses a device not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for clinical safety or effectiveness. The paper also reported that Nemeh had sued after being kicked out of a medical residency program at Fairview Hospital. The paper also reported that even though Nemeh claimed he worked as an anesthesiologist at Richmond General Hospital for several years, officials at the hospital said Nemeh worked there for only four months.
Nemeh and his wife, Cathy, who lays hands on the sick with her husband, have declined to be interviewed.
Dr. Ted Castele, chairman emeritus of the health museum, is among those whose stories of being helped by Nemeh were featured on WEWS Channel 5. Nemeh’s popularity surged on a series of televised reports claiming miracle cures under his hands.
Castele, a former medical reporter for the station, said his frozen shoulder regained mobility after Nemeh prayed for him. “Whether physical therapy caught on or it was faith healing, that’s up to each individual to decide for themselves,” Castele said in an interview.
Several museum trustees contacted Wednesday said they did not know of the arrangement for the healing service. The event is scheduled from 7 a.m. until 1 a.m. at the museum on Euclid Avenue at East 89th Street, Horvath said.
“That’s a little surprising,” said Dr. Nathan Berger of Case Western Reserve University. “I suppose I would like to have heard we’re doing that . . . and consider how it would appear for the health museum.”
Grace Drake, a museum trustee and former state senator, said she had no problem with Nemeh using the museum.
“He has had some good results, and people have testified to that,” she said. “I’m sure most people are quite ill who do this, and God bless them.”