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Goshen, N.Y. - Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus participated in a ceremonial groundbreaking on Thursday to mark the start of construction on the County’s new Medical Examiner’s Office.
Neuhaus was joined at the event by Deputy County Executive Harry Porr, Chairwomen of the Legislature Katie Bonelli, Health Commissioner Dr. Alicia Pointer, Medical Examiner Dr. Jennifer Roman, and Department of Public Works Commissioner Erik Denega. Legislators Barry Cheney, Joe Minuta, Paul Ruszkiewicz, Kathy Stegenga, Janet Sutherland and Pete Tuohy also attended the event.
“The new Medical Examiner’s Office is necessary for our growing County and will provide comfort and compassion for grieving loved ones during a very difficult time,” Neuhaus said. “It will allow Medical Examiner Dr. Jennifer Roman and her staff to conduct their work in a cutting-edge facility designed to best serve our community. I appreciate the hard work of our construction team and the bipartisan support of the County Legislature to develop this new building.”
The state-of-the-art, 18,175-square-foot facility will be located adjacent to the Emergency Services Center on 22 Wells Farm Road, is set to be completed in the fall of 2024. The new Medical Examiner’s Office will include a dignified public entrance and waiting area, a family viewing room, an autopsy room, and an isolation autopsy room.
The project will cost $24 million, which will be funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The County received $74,770,002 in ARPA funds through a $1.9 trillion stimulus package Congress passed in March 2021 to assist counties in their recovery from the economic and public health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Medical Examiner’s Office plays a critical role in investigating deaths, but they do much more,” Dr. Pointer said. “Some of their functions include collection of data related to the opioid epidemic, child fatality review and prevention, and preparation for mass casualty events. This new facility will allow the Medical Examiner’s Office to continue to do their work with professionalism and respect as they face new challenges and increased responsibilities.”
The Orange County Medical Examiner’s Office investigates sudden, unexpected, and unnatural fatalities in Orange County to ensure the accurate cause and manner of death certification. In 2022, the Medical Examiner’s Office investigated 1,081 deaths and conducted 514 autopsy and external examinations.