Seneca Falls: The Anatomy Department at New York Chiropractic College recently held its annual memorial service to honor the nobility and generosity of those who gave of themselves to improve the human condition through healthcare education and research.
Memorial services emphasizing respect for the donors and their families are a long standing tradition dating back as far as 100 years in Taiwan and 400 years in Japan. In Thailand, the donors are awarded the title “Great Teacher.” NYCC’s annual ceremony, open to the entire campus community, continues this tradition in honor of the Great Teachers who have contributed so much to anatomy education at the College.
NYCC President, Frank Nicchi, DC, MS (NYCC ’78) spoke about how the work the students do in the lab teaches them about anatomy, and of the lessons learned on the human experience. “Students come to understand the bravery of the donor and their family and friends who supported their decision. They learn to respect the donor’s incredible selflessness and generosity in providing the ultimate gift.”
In her comments, Christina Ippolito, DC, MS (NYCC ’12, ‘14), an instructor in the Basic Science Department, noted the wonderful opportunity afforded to NYCC students and to those from area nursing schools and EMT classes who are able to avail themselves of the anatomy facilities at the College. It provides “a depth of understanding like no other,” she explained, “We celebrate their lives. Remember them; their spirit of selfless giving, and pay it forward.”
Seth Wytrwal (third trimester chiropractic student) expressed his gratitude for this amazing opportunity. “Above the door to the anatomy lab is a plaque with the words: ‘The Dead Teach the Living.’ All the books in the world can’t match what we do in the lab,” he said, adding that not all schools have access to such a facility. He thanked the donors and their families for making it possible.
A number of very talented students paid their respects through musical and artistic performances. Kelly Cormack sang Dani & Lizzy’s “Dancing in the Sky” accompanied by Jordan Estrada on guitar. Brent Carlini sang Josh Groban’s “To Where You Are” and “The Rose” by Amanda McBroom while accompanying himself on the piano. Joshua Helm recited “The Greatest Teachers” a poem by Josh North. Cara Czechowski played Jay Unger’s “Ashokan Farewell” on her violin. Christopher Harte performed an acapella piece by Boyz II Men entitled “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday.” Finally, accompanied by Jordan Estrada on guitar, Nadege Hoeper sang Harlod Arden and E.Y. Harbug’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Richard Winters led a responsive verse. Lisa Bloom, DC, (NYCC ’90) assistant dean of chiropractic, provided musical selections at the opening and closing of the service.
Sandra Hartwell, DC, MS, (NYCC ‘96, ’13) an assistant professor in the Basic Sciences Department and one of the organizers of the event, said “It’s truly an honor to be so involved with the organization of the Anatomy Department Memorial Service. It is my way of personally giving back.” For Michael Zumpano, PhD, DC, (NYCC ‘06) director of both the Anatomy Department director and of the school’s Anatomical Gift Program, the memorial service is a very important day that allows him to offer thanks and gratitude for the opportunity to work side by side with the donors. “After 20 years, each donor continues to teach me the wonders of the human body. Their most precious gift touches students and faculty on a daily basis, but to be able to share that gift in communion with others is an overwhelming and positive feeling.”
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