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4 pathologists resign from Franklin County Coroner's Office

The coroner's office said no complaints have been filed by employees against the leader of the office, Dr. Anahi Ortiz.

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ohio — Significant staffing changes are happening at the Franklin County Coroner's Office.

Four pathologists from the office have recently resigned, including two who have left in the last month alone.

The coroner's office can employ up to eight pathologists. 

Pathologists are the staff members who perform the autopsies.

The coroner's office said no complaints have been filed by employees against the leader of the office, Dr. Anahi Ortiz.

In a statement, Dr. Ortiz explained the resignations:

"We have found that the Franklin County Coroner's office apparently is not immune from the Great Resignation. Recently, four of our deputy coroners/pathologists announced their intent to resign from their positions, with work/life balance issues at the heart of their decisions. Two have already left the office and the other two will remain on staff until April.  

As we begin the process to replace these staff members, the work of the coroner’s office will continue to be promptly and professionally handled. Local forensic pathologists have stepped up and are filling in on a temporary basis. We also intend to activate the intergovernmental agreements we have with Hamilton and Montgomery Counties, both of which will receive cases as needed.  In addition, we have hired a recruiter to help in our search for permanent replacements.

The pandemic has shone a light on what matters most to people – health, family and friends. Individuals in all types of professions are seeking to lower their stress levels with lighter workloads, easier commutes and work-from-home options, all to create a better quality of life. I cannot fault my employees (two of whom commuted over four hours each day) who hope to work in smaller offices with fewer cases, from home and/or closer to home. I wish them the best.”

The coroner's office said they have hired two pathologists who will start in the fall.

In a statement to 10TV, County Administrator Kenneth Wilson said Franklin County Commissioners have "consistently supported" financial resources to provide necessary compensation and benefits for pathologists. 

According to Wilson, the county also authorized a contract with a specialized professional services recruitment firm, and has been funding an operational review of the coroner's office. 

"The work of the coroner’s office is vital to our community’s public health and public safety. We’re proud of the new state-of-the-art Franklin County Forensic Science Center, but it is also essential that that office be fully staffed with qualified team members," said Wilson, adding the county will continue to work closely with the coroner to "ensure proper staffing levels." 

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