Memorial service to honor body donors

(Des Moines, IA) – A memorial service will be held on Friday, May 20, 2005, to honor the 101 individuals who donated their bodies for scientific investigation to Des Moines University during the 2004-05 academic year. The non-denominational service will be held at 1:30 p.m. at the Merle Hay Funeral Home, 4400 Merle Hay Road, Des Moines.


Guest speakers include Governor Terry, E. Branstad, president and C.E.O. of Des Moines University, Reverend Terry Rasmussen of Saint Cecilia Catholic Church in Ames. University speakers will include Kendall Reed, D.O., dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine and James Mahoney, D.P.M, assistant professor, College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery. Student speakers include Bradley Locke, DO ’08, Erin Lindstrom, DPM ’08, Gio Gamboa Villanueva, DPT ’07, Amber Pretasky, PA ’06, and Ray-Bernard Portier, DO ’07 and U.S. Naval Reserve representative.


“Each year we have the opportunity to honor and remember the individuals who made the ultimate gift to medicine,” says Donald Matz, Ph.D., chair of DMU’s anatomy department and director of the body donor program. “There is no substitute for the human body in the study of medicine – our donors are helping tomorrow’s physicians become better health care providers.”


The body donor program at DMU is vital to medical investigation and education. A thorough understanding of human anatomy provides the framework for studying organs and body systems.

When a body is donated to DMU’s Body Donor Program, the University pays a portion of the transportation costs within Iowa and also provides for an annual memorial service and interment. Of those being honored at this year’s service, 71 are being returned to family members for private burial and 30 are being interred at Merle Hay Mausoleum. DMU has been providing annual memorial services for more than 30 years. For more information about the Body Donor Program at DMU, call 515-271-1481.

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