November 19, 2012
Riya V. Anandwala

SLU Honors Body Donors

ST. LOUIS - About 1500 family members and friends of people who donated their bodies to Saint Louis University School of Medicine, honored and paid tribute to them at the Gift Body Memorial Service on Friday, Nov. 16 at the Saint Francis Xavier College Church.

First-year medical students offer calla lily flowers to
the donors.

The event, which began at 12:30 p.m., was also attended by the SLU School of Medicine faculty and students. At the service, more than a 100 SLU students participated in prayers, reflections and music, all dedicated to the donors and their families.

"This service gives our students an opportunity to think about what the individuals have done in donating their body, and how that will help them learn and become a better physician," said Margaret Cooper, Ph.D., professor of anatomy and associate director of the Gift Body Donor program. "It is something very special for students and the families."

Every year, people donate their bodies to SLU School of Medicine's Gift Body Program through the Center for Anatomical Science and Education. The School of Medicine uses the bodies as an educational resource for training medical students, allied health students and residents.

First-year medical student Tyler Zahrli, who was an undergraduate theology major at SLU, took a theological approach in his reflection at the service. "This piece was really for the family members," said Zahrli. "Since we are the only connection to their loved ones, it was an opportunity for them to see what we will be getting out of this program academically as well as personally."

To find out more about Saint Louis University's Gift Body Program, call (314) 977-8027.

Established in 1836, Saint Louis University School of Medicine has the distinction of awarding the first medical degree west of the Mississippi River. The school educates physicians and biomedical scientists, conducts medical research, and provides health care on a local, national and international level. Research at the school seeks new cures and treatments in five key areas: cancer, liver disease, heart/lung disease, aging and brain disease, and infectious disease.

Higher purpose. Greater good.
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