Sep 20, 2022 - News

Polk County and Iowa consider sharing morgue space

Illustration of a vintage anatomical drawing of the brain in fragmented pieces.
Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Morgue space and forensic pathologists could share resources under ongoing discussions between Polk County and Iowa's state medical examiners, county administrator John Norris tells Axios.

Why it matters: It could help both governments create more efficiency among staff and reduce future expenses linked with updating or building new exam areas.

State of play: Polk County Medical Examiner facilities at Broadlawns Medical Center are crowded.

  • The county launched a nearly $40,000 study last year to examine relocation possibilities.
  • Polk officials recently learned that the state is interested in expanding its examination area, Norris said.
  • That's led to the ongoing discussions with the state, whose offices are located in Ankeny.

Plus: Polk County has been unable to recruit a new assistant medical examiner since promoting Josh Akers to the office's top spot in May of 2020.

  • Sharing some staff could add more pathology coverage to both offices.

Of note: Officials from the state medical examiner's office did not respond to our request for comment.

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