November 16, 2023

Wayne County and Wayne State University deliver for residents at Medical Examiner’s Office

The collaboration between Wayne County and Wayne State University’s School of Medicine is yielding positive results at the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office.

September marked the one-year anniversary of the partnership between two long-established institutions committed to working together to turn around the office.

Key Operational Improvements include:

• The turnaround time for cremation permits has decreased from 95 days to less than six days, with a recent three-month average of less than 24 business hours.

• The turnaround time for a death certificate has decreased from 45 days to an average of 33 days.

• The response time for an investigator to arrive on scene has decreased from two hours to an average of 20 minutes.

“The team we currently have in place is laser-focused on operational excellence,” said Wayne County Executive, Warren C. Evans. “We both understand that when it comes to the public and grieving families, continuous improvement, with measurable results, is the overarching goal.”

“We continue to build on our shared vision and translate the alliance into tangible improvements to optimize the services for the residents of Wayne County. These significant improvements are testimonials of the commitment and effectiveness of our partnership,” said Wael Sakr, M.D., dean of the Wayne State University School of Medicine.

The team continues to strive for excellence in other areas, including the addition of social workers from the university’s School of Social Work. Since August of this year, they’ve helped more than 300 grieving families locate needed resources. Another area of notable improvement is the engagement with key stakeholders who regularly interact with the MEO, including funeral homes.

“As a former critic of the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office, I’m pleased with the progress. The attention that’s being placed on processes and procedures, turnaround time and customer service is key, and we look forward to continuing to work with the team in place,” said Stephen Kemp, president, and chief executive officer of Kemp Funeral Home.

“Our team is moving in the right direction and the collaboration between the two committed partners is working. We’re pleased with the progress thus far but understand more remains to be done. We’re confident that leveraging Wayne State’s knowledge and experience will render further success,” said Wayne County Director of Health, Human and Veterans Services, and Health Director Abdul El-Sayed, M.D., D.Phil.

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