Media Opportunity: UNM Anatomical Donor Memorial Service scheduled for April 25

Health care students organize for 16th consecutive year

The University of New Mexico School of Medicine is hosting a memorial service to honor this year’s anatomical donors and their families for their invaluable contribution to education in the healthcare professions on April 25.  This non-denominational service, which begins at 10 a.m., will enable occupational therapy, physical therapy, physician assistant, and medical students to join donors’ loved ones in celebrating their lives, while providing an opportunity for families to say goodbye. The service will include UNM medical student poetry readings, donor family speeches, music from students and the HSC Orchestra and more. An informal reception and dove release will follow the service at noon, enabling family members to share memories, and students and faculty to express their gratitude.

The event takes place at Aquinas Newman Center, UNM Main Campus, 1815 Las Lomas Rd. NE. Approximately 200 donor families and friends, and UNM students and faculty.

"Donating one’s body is a very noble and selfless act," says Stephanie Briones, a first year medical student. "Their gifts give us the opportunity to learn in a way that would not otherwise be possible. We also want to recognize the sacrifices of the families. When their loved one died, they didn’t get to say goodbye in the traditional way and we want those family members to know that their sacrifice is honored by our service and dedication to our community to better the lives of others." 

"It was an incredibly educational, rewarding and emotional experience," adds Amanda Gallagher, UNM physician assistant student. "I think it is the only way to learn and appreciate the human body. I didn't expect to become so attached to my donor. By the end of the lab I found myself feeling very protective of our donor. You learn so much about them and are left with so many questions. Why did they have knee surgery? Did they know they had gallstones? You know this person inside and out, yet not at all.  I feel very fortunate that someone gave me this opportunity. I will forever be appreciative of my donor."

Please call to confirm your attendance. Media contact: Furhana Afrid, HSC Communications, 505/925-2418; cell 505/934-6392.

Categories: School of Medicine

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