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.
Main Phone Number: 206.543.1860
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
Embalmer and Operations Manager
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 ceremony and burial service
Thanks to all of 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 being able to host the ceremony after the two-year hiatus caused by the pandemic and we hope to return to a regular schedule of one ceremony in late September/early October every fall. We enjoyed hearing all the wonderful stories from you about your loved one's 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 2023. Check this page in September for more information.
A special thanks to all who participated in this years program! What wonderful gifts you all shared.
Thank you again for joining us.
Catrin Pittack, PhD
Director, Willed Body Program
Program Operations Specialist, Willed Body Program
Anatomical Embalmer, Willed Body Program
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.