Elon University Launches Anatomical Gift Program

A new anatomical gift program will serve as a valuable resource for Elon University students in the School of Health Sciences, as well as in undergraduate science courses, as they learn about the human body and train to become PAs.

The program, headed by Dianne Person, will provide members of the local community and others who are interested the opportunity to consider anatomical donation as a contribution to educating the next generation of health care providers. Person said the program will provide an ethical, moral, and self-sufficient future for anatomy education at Elon.

“Donors who give their consent will benefit by providing a gift that will leave a lasting impression upon the education and careers of students in health care education and biological health sciences at Elon University,” said Person.

A key component of health care education is the opportunity to dissect and study the human body. Clinical anatomy courses for Elon’s Physician Assistant Studies master’s program and Doctor of Physical Therapy program, along with undergraduate biology courses, all rely upon human bodies, obtained primarily through private donation, to help deliver this invaluable knowledge and experience.

Janet Cope, professor of physical therapy education, has taught anatomy for more than 20 years and has seen firsthand the impact that human donors can have on students.

“In essence, the human donor is the first patient for our students and an invaluable teacher,” said Cope, an anthropologist and clinical anatomist. “With these gifts, donors contribute to the education of future health care providers, many of whom will practice in our local community.”

Any competent person at least 18 years of age can arrange to donate his or her body to Elon for use after death for educational purposes, provided they meet particular criteria for donation. For more information about the anatomical gift program, visit the program’s website or call 336-278-6564.