September 29, 2022

WSU to oversee operations of Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office

Officials from Wayne State University and Wayne County have finalized an agreement to partner in the operation of the county’s Office of the Medical Examiner.

The agreement, announced by Wael Sakr, M.D., dean of the WSU School of Medicine on Sept. 29, takes effect Oct. 1 for a renewable five-year period.

The university, Dean Sakr said, through the School of Medicine, the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, the College of Nursing and the School of Social Work, will provide state-of-the-art forensics services and social services support. The agreement will allow the university to leverage data and findings to enhance knowledge and plans to improve public health standards for the residents of Wayne County and beyond.

“The Medical Examiner’s office provides a critical service to the families of Wayne County, and we will provide that service with the highest professional standards, and the utmost compassion and dignity and respect that the residents of our community deserve and expect,” Dean Sakr said. “The agreement requires a number of improvements, both in terms of staffing and facilities, to allow that respectful service to be provided.”

“This is good news for Wayne County,” said Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans. “Wayne State University has a great reputation, but equally as important is that this is an institution with longstanding ties to our community. They care about the people they serve in Wayne County because to them this is personal, and that’s so important for a relationship like this to work.”

With the agreement, the School of Medicine is launching an aggressive program of retention and recruitment of forensic pathologists and associated professionals, and initiating an application for a Forensic Pathology fellowship program.

Dean Sakr said the agreement also will provide avenues to expand educational opportunities and to strengthen efforts to address health disparities and improve the overall health of the region.

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