(Salt Lake City, UT) – Utah’s chief medical examiner, Dr. Todd Grey, has announced his retirement following a 30-year career at the Office of the Medical Examiner (OME). Dr. Grey’s retirement is effective July 1, 2016.
Dr. Grey first joined the OME in 1986 as an assistant medical examiner and was promoted to chief medical examiner in 1988. During his career, Dr. Grey has performed approximately 8,860 autopsies and another 4,070 external examinations.
“The significance of Dr. Grey’s career in Utah can’t be overstated,” said Utah Department of Health Executive Director Dr. Joe Miner. “He has helped provide answers to thousands of families about what happened to their lost loved ones, has played a critical role in the prosecution of criminals, and has had an immeasurable impact on public health in the state.”
Dr. Grey received his undergraduate degree from Yale University and his medical degree from Dartmouth. His career highlights include: Overseeing the design and construction of the current OME building in 1991, as well as a new building the office will move into later this year; changing state law to give the OME jurisdiction over motor vehicle-related deaths; and expanding the OME staff from two to six pathologists.
Dr. Grey is also widely credited for intitially identifying the epidemic of prescription drug related overdose deaths in Utah.
“Being able to sound the alarm about emerging public health threats has been one of the most important aspects of my career,” said Dr. Grey. “We’re uniquely positioned to identify trends in what is causing deaths – whether it’s suicide, prescription drugs, or communicable diseases – and to then work with our colleagues in public health to help implement programs that will hopefully reverse those trends.”
Dr. Erik Christensen will replace Dr. Grey as the chief medical examiner effective July 1, 2016. Dr. Christensen has worked as an assistant medical examiner in the OME’s office since August 2008. Prior to joining Utah’s OME office Dr. Christensen served as assistant chief medical examiner in Richmond, Virginia and Greenville County, South Carolina. He is board certified in anatomic, clinical, and forensic pathology. Dr. Christensen attended Brigham Young University as an undergraduate and received his medical degree from the University of Virginia.
One of Dr. Christensen’s top priorities as chief medical examiner will be improving turnaround time of OME cases. “Families are directly impacted when we fall behind with our caseload, as are law enforcement agencies, funeral homes and insurance companies,” said Dr. Christensen.
For more information on the OME, visit https://ome.utah.gov.
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Utah Department of Health