Willed Body Program


The University of Washington's Willed Body Program is a whole-body donation program for donors from Washington State. The gift of your body to the UW School of Medicine is an invaluable contribution to the education of future healthcare providers, enabling them to study and understand the complexity of the human body in a way that is not possible by any other means.

In addition to helping students in the health professions master complex anatomy, your donation will allow medical researchers to develop and maximize important tools to help patients. The University of Washington is one of the foremost medical research institutions in the world, conducting studies that will not only further develop the body of knowledge within the field of medicine, but eventually alleviate human suffering.

We are deeply grateful for your consideration of this extraordinary gift. Donating your body is a significant decision, and we understand there are complex questions that arise when considering it. We have prepared a letter that answers many of the questions potential donors have asked us over the years, and also includes legal and medical reasons that a donation may be declined. In order to fully benefit from the exceptional gift you are providing, it is important that you, your family and the University of Washington have a mutual understanding and agreement about the donor process. This letter is prepared in the spirit of promoting this understanding.

Program information

Contact information

Main Phone Number: 206.543.1860
Email: uwwilledbody@uw.edu
Office Hours: 9am-2pm Monday thru Friday, excluding holidays.
Available by phone 24/7 to report death of a potential donor.

If you are calling during our office hours to report a recent death, please call our main number and one of our staff will assist you.

If you are calling after hours to report a recent death, please call our main number and follow the voice message prompts to reach an after-hours technician.

If you wish to receive information about our program and a donor registration form via mail, or if you would like to speak with one of our staff about the program, please call our main number during business hours or leave a voice message with your contact information. For any other non-urgent questions or to receive information electronically, please use our email address. We respond to emails and phone calls within one business day.

Catrin Pittack, Ph.D.
Willed Body Program Director
Shawn Kamke
Embalmer and Operations Manager
Jessica Lacy
Anatomical Embalmer

Information about COVID and donation

For the safety of our staff, we do not accept donors - registered or unregistered - who are COVID positive at the time of death or who have tested positive within 10 days of death. The only exception is if the decedent tested negative five days after a positive test and was free of COVID symptoms at the time of death. Please call our office at 206.543.1860, if you have any questions regarding this policy.

Annual Memorial and Burial Ceremony

Thanks to the family and friends who joined us in celebrating and honoring the generous donors in our program at our annual memorial service. It was such a pleasure meeting all the family members and friends of our donors. We especially enjoyed hearing all the wonderful stories from you about your loved ones' lives. It's a reminder that they live on in all your hearts.

Please feel free to visit our community plot at Evergreen-Washelli Memorial Park anytime and enjoy a restful time on our memorial bench. Call Evergreen-Washelli business office at 206-362-5200 if you need directions to our plot.

If you are interested in engraving your loved one's name on the UW plaque, contact the Evergreen-Washelli business office for more information. Note that the Willed Body Program does not cover the cost of engraving.

If you missed this year's donor ceremony, you are welcome to join us in the Fall of 2024. Check this page in September for more information.

A special thanks to all who participated in this year’s program! What wonderful gifts you all shared.

Thank you again for joining us.

In Peace,

Catrin Pittack, PhD
Director, Willed Body Program

Shawn Kamke
Program Operations Specialist, Willed Body Program

Jessica Lacy
Anatomical Embalmer, Willed Body Program

Lucas West
Anatomical Embalmer, Willed Body Program

Ceremony Date and Time: Friday, October 13, 2023, 10:00 a.m.
Website: www.uwmedicine.org/willedbody
Email: uwwilledbody@uw.edu
Phone: 206.543.1860 (M-F, 9am-2pm)

For driving directions to the ceremony, please contact the Evergreen-Washelli Funeral Home & Cemetery business office 206.362.5200. Address: 11111 Aurora Avenue N. Seattle, WA 98133.


No. If your loved one chose to be buried in our communal plot at Evergreen Washelli, the actual burial will take place a few days before the ceremony.

Our ceremony is a service intended to express our sincerest gratitude for the donors and their families, but we will not be reading the individual names of donors during the ceremony.

If you would like your loved one's name engraved on the UW plaque, please contact the Evergreen-Washelli business office at 2063625200 for more information. Please note that the Evergreen-Washelli business office does not have the names of individual donors in our program; these records are with the UW Willed Body Program only. Engraving consists of first and last name, year of birth and year of death. Also note that the UW does not cover the cost of engraving.

We welcome any family members and friends but ask you to be mindful of the fact that there is limited space in the chapel.

Yes, light refreshments including coffee, tea, and water will be available.


Yes, plenty and it's free.


The Willed Body Program is a resource for the following Research Programs:

  • Genetic Anatomy: genome sequencing in modern human anatomy
  • Alzheimer's Disease Research Program
  • Prostate Cancer Research Program
  • Cardiovascular Research and Education
  • Neurological Surgery: catheter guidance system to improve patient safety during brain surgery
  • Structural Informatics: spatial and symbolic representations of human structure


1. A Kumar, M Dougherty, GM Findlay, M Geisheker, J Klein, J Lazar, H Machkovech, J Resnick, R Resnick, AI Salter, F Talebi-Liasi, C Arakawa, J Baudin, A Bogaard, R Salesky, Q Zhou, K Smith, JI Clark, J Shendure, MS Horwitz. (2014) Genome Sequencing of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis in Conjunction with Medical School Human Anatomy PLOS One 9(9): e106744; doi:10.1371/journal.pone.010674 

​ 2. CL Fligner, JI Clark, JM Clark, LW Larson & JE Poole (2018) Surgical Anatomy for the Implanting Physician. in Surgical Implantation of Cardiac Rhythm Devices, 1st Edition by JE Poole & LW Larson. Elsevier. Philadelphia PA.”

UW School of Medicine international ranking

UW Anatomy was ranked tenth in the world, and fourth in the USA (behind Harvard, Vanderbilt and Utah) by the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR). CWUR reviewed academic programs in 26,000 educational institutions in sixty countries. The Willed Body Program is essential for the success of Anatomical research and education at the University of Washington.

Headstone honoring individuals who have donated their remains to Medical Education and Science
Welcome sign at the Willed Body Program annual memorial service
Table covered in flowers with a candle on each side at the annual memorial service

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