Last February, 10TV first reported that four medical examiners had decided to leave the Franklin County Coroner’s office, along with several other employees.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Last year, 10TV detailed the problems at the Franklin County Coroner’s Office, from staff departures to the coroner’s need for additional funding to negotiate autopsies with other counties.
10TV was the first to report last February four pathologists decided to leave the coroner’s office, along with several other employees.
Because of staffing, the county had to pay about $1 million on top of its $7.75 million budget to contract with Hamilton and Montgomery counties to perform the autopsies.
The coroner’s office can now hire enough full-time pathologists to no longer have to send their autopsies to other counties.
“It’s really important because we want families to be here in Franklin County. The time and energy required to transport their loved ones out of the county, the time required to bring them back for a proper burial ceremony. It’s a really important thing that we want to keep here within the county,” explained Franklin County’s new Coroner, Dr. Nathaniel Overmire, who took over in January.
Staff concerns were so great that the district conducted a survey to see how the office could improve morale.
The internal review staff reported that 48% of employees disagreed with the statement, “I am made to feel like I am an important part of this organization,” continuing to say that the leadership style of management is a red flag.
“One of the first things I came here to do was listen,” Overmire said.
There are currently six full-time pathologists, according to Overmire.
During his short time in office, he contacted community leaders, the mayor, county supervisors, police chief, and other members of the Columbus Police Department to make sure there was a good working relationship to help the community.
“I am very excited to take on the role of a better communicator, to be a good leader for this institution and for the staff who work here. Ultimately, the people of Franklin County deserve a facility and an office that produces accurate and timely autopsy reports, Overmire said.
The budget has increased by almost 20% since last year.
With increased staffing needs due to the office’s growing population, a larger budget will likely be needed, Overmire said.