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IU School of Medicine-Northwest announces 2013 International Human Cadaver Prosection Program


GARY, Ind. — The International Human Cadaver Prosection Program, a unique medical program at the Indiana University School of Medicine-Northwest on the Indiana University Northwest campus in Gary, Ind., will take place July 30 to Aug. 1.

This hands-on and innovative medical program is the only one in the country that allows non-physician and non-medical student participants the opportunity to become active volunteers in the IUSM-NW gross anatomy laboratory.

Fifty-four individuals have been selected to participate in the 2013 summer prosection program. They will gain detailed knowledge of human anatomy, medical imaging and wound suturing, as well as a greater understanding of tissue histology, embryology, prosthetics, orthotics and orthopedics medical specialties.

The participants will prepare the body donors for the Fall 2013 gross anatomy class by removing the donors’ skin and body fat to expose organs, muscles and other anatomical structures.

This is the 14th year for the program, which is under the direction of Ernest Talarico, Ph.D., IUSM-NW associate director of medical education and associate professor of human gross anatomy and embryology. Participants will come from around the United States, as well as from Argentina, Nigeria, Spain and Vietnam.

Sixty-nine percent of this year’s participants are students from various educational levels and fields of study, the majority being undergraduate students.

All student participants will work under close direction and guidance with IUSM-NW faculty, as well as with 17 professional participants.

“The professional participants bring substantial medical knowledge and expertise to the table, which will create an enriching learning experience for all, and will ultimately benefit all gross anatomy students,” Talarico said.

2013 International Human Cadaver Prosection Program Team:

Northwest Indiana participants:

  • Emily Alberti, Lake Shore Bone & Joint Institute Physician’s Assistant, of Chesterton
  • Lauren Avans, Purdue University Calumet pre-physical therapy student, of Hebron
  • Maraya Baumanis, IUSM-NW medical student, of Crown Point
  • Danielle Bly, IU Northwest biology/pre-podiatric medicine student, of Crown Point
  • Aaron Ciesielski, Midwestern University biomedical sciences student, of Portage
  • Melissa Cooper, Lake Shore Bone & Joint Specialists, of Merrillville/Munster
  • Natalie Dec, IU Northwest biology student, of Schererville
  • Jessica Gaddy, Purdue University North Central pre-medicine student, of Michigan City
  • Justin Golday, Senior, Purdue University North Central pre-medicine/biology student, of Chesterton
  • Rodolfo Herrera, IU Northwest Environmental Health & Safety Specialist, of Hammond
  • Theodore Hiemstra, Purdue University Calumet biology/pre-physician’s assistant student, of St. John
  • Kathleen Kleefisch, Purdue University Calumet assistant professor, School of Nursing, of Lowell
  • Stephen Koveck, IU Northwest chemistry/pre-dental medicine student, of Valparaiso
  • Peter Lakich, Ivy Tech Community College instructor life sciences, of Crown Point
  • Anthony Levenda, M.D., Lake Shore Bone & Joint Institute orthopedic surgeon, of Chesterton
  • Gursimran Kehal, IU Bloomington biology/pre-medicine student, of Valparaiso
  • Elias Macis, IU Northwest biology/pre-medicine student, of Lowell
  • Emily Mastej, Purdue University Calumet mathematics/pre-medicine student, of Highland
  • Randalynn McColly-Fleener, Hollins University biology/pre-medicine student, of Munster
  • Michael McGee, M.D., Methodist Hospitals, director, emergency medical services
  • Jessica Monjaras, Purdue University-West Lafayette genetics/pre-medicine student, of Munster
  • Dylan Moore, IU Northwest genetics/pre-medicine student, of  Valparaiso
  • Nancy O’Keefe, IUSM-NW visiting lecturer of anatomy, of Schererville
  • Kyle Parker, IUSM-NW medical student, of Munster
  • Stefanie Rigg, Purdue University North Central biology/pre-medicine student, of Valparaiso
  • Anna Salyer, IU Northwest exercise science/pre-physical therapy student, of LaPorte
  • Natalie Sanders, Lake Shore Bone & Joint Institute physician’s assistant, of Chesterton
  • Christopher Sicinski, IU Northwest chemistry/pre-dental medicine student, of Munster
  • Bruce Thoma, M.D., Lake Shore Bone & Joint Institute orthopedic surgeon, of Chesterton
  • Brittany Winn, Trine University forensic sciences/pre-medicine student, of Kouts
  • Jenna Wozniak, St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame biology/pre-medicine student, of Schererville

Greater Indiana

  • Lee Johnson, UAP Bone & Joint Center operating room technician, of Terre Haute
  • Nicholas Panting, IU South Bend biology/pre-medicine student, of Granger


  • Rosario Echeguren, Nova Southeastern University biology/pre-medicine student, of Fort Lauderdale
  • Haley Nation, Nova Southeastern University biology/pre-medicine student, of Fort Lauderdale
  • Bansi Savla, Nova Southeastern University biology/pre-medicine student, of Oldsmar


  • Prasanna Marathe, NOVA Southeastern University biology/pre-medicine student, of Barrington
  • Emily Wingert, biology/pre-physician’s assistant student, of Bonfield


  • Guinevere Granite, Ph.D., University of Maryland Anatomy Board, School of Medicine, of Greenbelt


  • Christopher Taylor, Wayne State University School of Medicine medical student, of Sturgis


  • Kimberly Copley, Wright State University-Dayton nursing student, of Kettering
  • Andrew Meyers, University of Cincinnati biomechanical engineering student, of Cincinnati
  • Rick Rocco Jr., Rocco Prosthetics & Orthotic Center owner, of Cincinnati
  • Kritsin Weisenberger, Wright State University-Dayton anatomy student, of  Beavercreek
  • Thomas Wilson, Rocco Prosthetics & Orthotic Center orthotic technician, of Cincinnati


  • Jose L. Mas, Ivy Tech Community College professor of anatomy and physiology, originally of Argentina
  • Nora Mas, Lake Shore Bone & Joint Institute physical therapist, originally of Argentina


  • Okechukwu Valentine Nwogbo, M.D., IUSM-NW post-doctoral fellow, originally from Nigeria


  • Pablo Muñoz Gómez, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid medical student, of San Sebastian de los Reyes, Madrid
  • Diego Barbieri Merlo, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid medical student, of Madrid
  • Alberto Millán-Longo, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid medical student, of Madrid
  • Claudia Millán-Longo, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid medical student, of Madrid
  • David Fernández Ruiz, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid medical student, of Madrid


  • Co Nguyen, Senior, Nova Southeastern University biology/pre-medicine student, of Gainesville, Fla.; originally from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

First patient

The IHCPP program is anchored in teaching gratitude, respect and professionalism; all prosection participants, in addition to learning basic anatomy, will be encouraged to celebrate human dignity.

In accordance with the “Talarico Protocol for Human Gross Anatomy,” (Clinical Anatomy Journal) donors in the laboratory are treated with the same dignity and consideration that living patients would expect to receive from their physician.

Prosectors are reminded that the donors have essentially become “first patients” for them and for the fall medical students who will follow. This means that donors should be referred to by their own names.

Additionally, as part of the “Talarico Protocol,” summer prosectors are given the opportunity to correspond with families of the donors. The fall semester medical students are also given the opportunity, in some instances, to meet the families of their donors. It is an experience, Talarico explains, that can have a fundamental impact on their future interaction with patients.     

“The relationship and bond that is developed between the medical students and the donors’ families is unique,” Talarico said. “To the best of my knowledge, this approach to medical education is not practiced at any other school in the nation.”

Global community event

The IHCPP is a global effort, with more than 20 sponsors and contributors. This year, the following hospital systems in Lake and Porter County are program sponsors: Community Healthcare System, Methodist Hospitals and Porter Health System.

Without the generous support of this year’s sponsors and contributors, the 2013 prosection program would not be a success:

Program sponsors:

  • Rick Rocco Jr., owner, Rocco Prosthetics & Orthotic Center, of Cincinnati
  • Gregory Sarkisian, Sarkisian & Fleming, of Portage, Ind.
  • Zimmer Inc., of Warsaw, Ind.
  • Gino Joseph, MORTECH Manufacturing, of Azusa, Calif.
  • Imaging Services, Methodist Hospitals South Lake Campus, of Merrillville, Ind.
  • Indiana University School of Medicine-Northwest, of Gary, Ind.

Program contributors:

  • Rick Rocco Jr., and Thomas Wilson, Rocco Prosthetics & Orthotic Center, of Cincinnati
  • Andrew Meyers, University of Cincinnati, of Cincinnati
  • Anthony Levenda, M.D., Lake Shore Bone & Joint Specialists, of Chesterton, Ind.
  • Michael McGee, M.D., director, Emergency Medical Services, Methodist Hospitals
  • Joseph Schwartz, M.D., Bone & Joint Specialists, of Merrillville, Ind.
  • Donald Fesko, CEO, Community Hospital, of Munster, Ind.
  • Jonathan Nalli, CEO, Porter Regional Hospital, Porter Health System, of Valparaiso, Ind.
  • David Wilkinson, president, Strack & Van Til, LLC, of Highland, Ind.
  • James Purcell, of Munster, Ind.
  • Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants, of Countryside, Ill.
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • IU Northwest Bookstore, of Gary, Ind.
  • Ethicon Inc., of San Angelo, Texas
  • Mark Jaffe, DPM, Nova Southeastern University, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
  • Radiologic Sciences, IU Northwest, Gary, Ind.
  • Crown Trophy, of Merrillville, Ind.
  • Schererville Florist & Gift Shop, of Schererville, Ind.