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Idaho State University seeks anatomical gifts for health professions education

August 26, 2019

POCATELLO – Ever consider donating your body to science?

Not only can anatomical gift donation help defray burial costs, it’s a wonderful  opportunity to help educate the next generation of health professionals in Idaho, according to Jeff Meldrum, co-director of the anatomical donation program at Idaho State University.

The program is administered through the Department of Biological Sciences and is essential to the accreditation of Idaho State’s allied health professions curricula, including physical therapy and the Idaho Dental Education Program.

 “The cadaver experience affords an unequaled opportunity for our health professions students and continuing education for working health professionals. Not only are they able to identify and master the structure of the human body, they can study variations in texture, shape, and the positional relationships of organs and tissues—valuable lessons that transcend a textbook,” said Meldrum.

Whole-body donation is not something on most peoples’ minds, but it’s something Meldrum encourages people to consider when planning an estate.

 “The human body is the most precious source of knowledge in all of medical science. Nothing equals it when providing health professions students with a foundation of experience and understanding that will serve them throughout their careers,” he said.

The university may retain the donation for up to four years before returning the cremated remains to family members, if requested.

Donors must be over age 18 and suitability of the donation will be determined at time of death. The university will arrange the transportation of donations within a 250-mile radius of Pocatello, including the Boise and Nampa regions. The program operates in collaboration with Downard Funeral Home of Pocatello.

 For more information and an application, visit https://www.isu.edu/biology/anatomical-donations/, call 208-282-4150 or email Jackie Coffin at coffjacq@isu.edu.

Idaho State University, a Carnegie-classified doctoral high research activity university and teaching institution founded in 1901, attracts students from around the world to its Idaho campuses. At the main campus in Pocatello, and at locations in Meridian, Idaho Falls and Twin Falls, ISU has nine Colleges, a Graduate School and a Division of Health Sciences that together offer more than 250 certificate and degree programs. More than 12,000 students attend ISU. Idaho State University is the state's designated lead institution in health professions.