The medical examiner’s position in Livingston County will 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. Livingston County’s Board of Commissioners recently approved a resolution approving the creation of a pooled medical examiner investigator position for the Medical Examiner Department. By pooling the position, the intention is to spread the work over more people and increase efficiency. It will also allow the county to keep the cost low and provide the service level required to maintain adequate coverage.

The pay remains the same since only one person is working on-call at a time, though now with a larger pool of medical examiners to draw from. (JM/DK)