The medical examiner’s position in Livingston County may soon be drawn from a larger candidate pool.

The Office of the Medical Examiner is mandated under state statute to investigate certain types of death, with the authority to order an autopsy to determine or confirm the cause and manner of death. Currently the county has a team of examiners providing the service using an on-call rotation to provide 24/7 coverage. They are led by Dr. Joyce L. DeJong, who chairs the Pathology Department at Western Michigan University and served for 15 years as head of Pathology at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing.

But officials say there has been decreased interest when it comes to working as many shifts as the four-member team has in the past, while some are nearing retirement. By pooling the position, it’s hoped they can spread the work over more people and increase efficiency. It would also allow the county to continue to keep the cost low and provide the service level required to maintain adequate coverage.

During Monday night’s General Government & Health and Human Services Committee meeting, officials said the pay remains the same since only one person is working on-call at a time; there is just the need for a larger pool of medical examiners to draw from. The request will go before the full Livingston County Board of Commissioners at a future meeting. (JM/JK)