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Cadaver Dissection at Phillipsburg High School to Be Led by St. Luke's Orthopedic Team
May 01, 2019

The St. Luke’s Orthopedic Care team, led by Nicholas Avallone, MD, and athletic trainer Chris Servian, will lead a dissection of a human cadaver for Phillipsburg High School students.

Fifty-five students, many of whom are interested in health care careers, will take part in the full-day lab on Friday, May 3, to examine the anatomy of the upper extremity from shoulder to fingers and see how nerves, muscles, tendons, blood vessels and bones interact with each other for proper function.

Nicholas Avallone, MD

Nicholas Avallone, MD

“Upper extremity injuries are quite common in all age groups so understanding the anatomy of this region is the first step towards comprehending the multitude of problems that can occur and ultimately how to treat them,” said Dr. Avallone, an award-winning orthopedic surgeon who serves as the team physician for Phillipsburg High School. “I’m certain that this experience will be memorable for the students and faculty and that it will spark the interest of the surgical specialists, health care providers and scientists of tomorrow.”

In addition to the small group of student scientists who will directly participate in the dissection, all students and staff will have the opportunity to view the dissection via video.

“Phillipsburg School District is excited to partner with St. Luke’s to offer this event for students who are competitive and serious about careers in medicine and medical science,” says Dr. Greg Troxell, superintendent of Phillipsburg High School. “This kind of participation in surgical theater is exactly what medical school students are doing and we’re able to offer it here at the high school level.”

At least half of the students participating in the dissection are taking advanced anatomy and physiology courses and have already dissected a pig heart, sheep kidney/brain, and a cow eye this year. Most of these sophomores, juniors and seniors are interested in pursuing careers in health care or working in biomedical engineering, veterinary science or physical and occupational therapy.

“This is an amazing opportunity for our students, especially those planning to go to college to major in the biomedical field,” explains Teresa Perlowski, biology, anatomy and physiology teacher. “It allows our students to work side-by-side with experts in the medical community to gain real world experience and help them navigate their chosen career paths once they leave high school.”

The goal of the cadaver dissection is to make the learning experience as interactive and hands-on as possible while giving students a chance to ask questions about different aspects of orthopedic surgery.

“I try to not only convey to these students the intricacies and complexities of the shoulder, elbow and arm, but I also emphasize how treating these areas can and does make a difference in patients’ lives,” says Dr. Avallone. “By giving patients great care, we can help them improve their function, relieve their pain and get back to the things they love to do.”

Where: Phillipsburg High School


7-9am - Specimen preparation 

9-10:30am – Shoulder 

11-12:30am – Elbow

1-2:30pm – Wrist/Hand

News media to report to the main office where they will be escorted to the event.

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 About St. Luke’s

Founded in 1872, St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) is a fully integrated, regional, non-profit network of more than 15,000 employees providing services at 10 hospitals and over 320 outpatient sites.  With annual net revenue greater than $2 billion, the Network’s service area includes 10 counties: Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Montgomery, Monroe and Schuylkill counties in Pennsylvania and Warren and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey.  Dedicated to advancing medical education, St. Luke’s is the preeminent teaching hospital in central-eastern Pennsylvania.  In partnership with Temple University, St. Luke’s created the Lehigh Valley’s first and only regional medical school campus.  It also operates the nation’s longest continuously operating School of Nursing, established in 1884, and 28 fully accredited graduate medical educational programs with 226 residents and fellows.  St. Luke’s is the only Lehigh Valley-based health care system with Medicare’s five- and four-star ratings (the highest) for quality, efficiency and patient satisfaction.  St. Luke’s is both a Leapfrog Group and Healthgrades Top Hospital and a Newsweek World’s Best Hospital.  In 2019, three of IBM Watson Health’s 100 Top Hospitals were St. Luke’s hospitals.  St. Luke’s University Hospital has earned the 100 Top Major Teaching Hospital designation from IBM Watson Health seven times total and five years in a row. St. Luke’s has also been cited by IBM Watson Health as a 50 Top Cardiovascular Program.  Utilizing the Epic electronic medical record (EMR) system for both inpatient and outpatient services, the Network is a multi-year recipient of the Most Wired award recognizing the breadth of the SLUHN’s information technology applications such as telehealth, online scheduling and online pricing information.  St. Luke’s is also recognized as one of the state’s lowest cost providers.