Human Body Donation Committee

The Human Body Donation Committee of the AAA seeks to advance the mission of the association by promoting ethical whole body donation for education and research. The Committee advocates for body donor best interests; develops and contributes to best practices; informs policymakers on regulatory efforts; interfaces with the media on topics related to the public interest; and supports legal and ethical program operations and activities for educators, researchers, body donors, and our greater community.    

Fulfill all responsibilities and committee activities with an overriding objective of meeting the Association’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategies, goals, and priorities.

 

Responsibilities

  • Increase awareness of and respect for issues important to human body donors and the body donation process.
  • Advocate for (or against) legislation and regulations that impact human body donors and donor program institutions, in the best interest of the donors.
  • Promote best practices and develop guidelines that support education and research while protecting the best interests of human body donors and their families before, during and after donation.
  • Advocate for diversity and inclusion in body donor populations.
  • Maintain resources and act as an interface for information on body donation and education in body donation research.

Qualifications

  • Be an active member of AAA in good standing.
  • Prior experience with body donation programs and/or mortuary science, preferred.
  • Familiarity with laws and regulations associated with human body donation, preferred. 

Roster

Chair

NameCompanyThru Date
Joy BaltaPoint Loma Nazarene University3/31/2025

Members

NameCompanyThru Date
Christopher FerrignoRush University3/31/2024
Laura FraserUniversity of Alabama - Birmingham3/31/2026
Laura JohnsonUniversity of Texas Health - San Antonio3/31/2026
Travis McCumberUniversity of Nebraska Medical Center3/31/2026
Callum RossUniversity of Chicago3/31/2024
Kat SandersHull York Medical School3/31/2025
Brandi SchmittUniversity of California3/31/2026
Heather SmithMidwestern University3/31/2024
Jian YangUniversity of Hong Kong3/31/2026

Schedule

The Committee shall hold video conferences as needed and meet during the Annual Meeting.

Reporting

The Committee Chair makes a report to the Board at least once a year.

Composition

  • 11 members, including 1 chair.
  • Members serve for 3 years; the chair serves for 2 years in this capacity.
  • The committee shall consist of a diverse group of individuals, which can include body donation program personnel, faculty with experience working with donors in teaching, research and clinical training along with end users, students, bioethicists, and others with professional interests in body donation. 

Application Process

  • Applications for committee members are solicited annually through a Call for Volunteers.
  • Nominee applications are reviewed and scored by the committee chair- and members; scores, prior experience with body donation, demographics, needs of the committee, and comments from the reviews are taken into consideration when choosing new members.
  • New committee nominees are chosen, and then sent forward for review and selection by the Nominating Committee; who then forwards the recommendations to the full board.
  • The new committee nominees are approved by the full Board of Directors.
  • After Board approval, notifications are sent out to the new committee members. Feedback on the process is given if requested by applicant who are not selected.