Contact us

Phone: 503-494-8302
Fax: 503-418-0588

Download the consent and enrollment form

Tamara Ostervoss
Director, Body Donation Program

Adam Lane
Program Assistant, Body Donation Program

Chris Shelton
Program Assistant, Body Donation Program

Email us

Body Donation Program
Oregon Health & Science University
3181 S.W. Sam Jackson Park Road, L341
Portland, Oregon 97239-3098

About the program

The primary mission of our program is to support anatomy education to medical, dental and other allied health students. Minimal research is supported by our program at this time. Anatomy education is the foundation of a student's medical knowledge and is one of their primary courses during their first year of medical school. Students are not knowledgeable enough at this stage to recognize or diagnose diseases or conditions. Donors can also aid in continuing education opportunities for practicing residents, physicians and surgeons to learn new surgical approaches and device deployment.

Every year between 150 and 250 altruistic citizens of Oregon and the greater Pacific Northwest donate their bodies to the OHSU Body Donation Program. In compliance with federal and state law, the donors and their families do not receive monetary compensation for their gift. The average donor profile is 72 years of age and includes roughly equal numbers of women and men.

Honoring their first patient: 2018 Service of Gratitude | 2019 Service of Gratitude

Many more students of anatomy enjoy the privilege of human dissection than in the past. Among the programs that are gifted by the use of donor materials include students of medicine, dentistry, nursing, physician assistant, naturopathic medicine, chiropractic medicine, physical and occupational therapy and radiation therapy.

Once entered into our program, donors are embalmed or frozen, stored, distributed, tracked, and retrieved if assigned to a non-OHSU academic institution. Studies are usually completed within two years. After that time, the process of cremation and return of the cremains (cremated remains) to the donor family is undertaken.