USD Sanford School of Medicine hosts Donor Memorial Service

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Families of donors to the Body Donor Program at the USD Sanford School of Medicine will celebrate and honor the special gift their loved ones gave to the study of medicine during a special ceremony on the USD campus on Friday, Sept. 18.

The Sanford School of Medicine’s fifth Donor Memorial Service will be at the atrium of the new Andrew E. Lee Medical and Science Building from 3:30 to 5 p.m. This event is open to the public.

"We started the service to acknowledge our appreciation to the donors and their families," event coordinator Carleen McNeely said. "It is important for donors’ families to know what a wonderful gift body donation is and to know that their loved one was treated with respect."

The ceremony will include testimonials from students and faculty members of the human gross anatomy course at the medical school. Every year, more than 100 students from the medical, physician’s assistant, and occupational and physical therapy programs learn in great detail the wonders of the human body through four months of careful dissection in the school’s gross anatomy laboratory.

"Many family members say that they didn't know that it meant so much," said Jane Gavin, director of medical anatomical laboratories. "And for our students, the service offers a sense of closure. There is both an emotional and educational impact."