Medical Examiner Homepage

Commissioner Andrew Haggerty Chief Medical Examiner
Mario A Rascon, MD.


Irene Santiago
Chief of Operations

Contact Information

4505 Alberta Avenue
El Paso, Texas 79905
Phone (915) 532-1447
Fax: (915) 532-6630
Contact us

Accreditation


The National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME) Accreditation Program has the explicit purpose of improving the quality of the forensic/medicolegal investigation of death. Accreditation is an endorsement by NAME that the office provides an adequate environment in which a forensic pathologist may practice the profession, and provides reasonable assurances that the system well serves its jurisdiction

Administration

The administrative staff at the OME:

Provide vision and leadership, directing strategizing, planning, organizing, reviewing, designing, and evaluating of the overall operations of the OME

Develops policies and procedures

Interprets plans, specifications, standards, and regulatory codes.

Serve as liaison with County staff in appropriate support departments

Coordinate with emergency and crisis management personnel in the development of catastrophic response plans

Is responsible for making financial recommendations on capital purchases, annual budget and expense allocations

Develops project management strategies, timelines, and budgets to meet the goal of achieving and maintaining accreditation from the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME)

Represents the department in Commissioners Court and makes presentations and recommendations to the Court

Develops programs and initiatives to expand community outreach and knowledge of OME operations and statutory requirements

Establishes and maintains effective public relations in a complex environment involving technical and non-technical personnel

Provides forensic photography services within the autopsy suite

Responds to subpoenas and requests for information

Prepares death certificates

Prepares cremation authorizations

Transcribes autopsy reports

Our administrative staff is comprised of: Chief of Operations, Forensic Photographer, Administrative Assistant Senior, two (2) Office Specialist – Intermediate, and a transcriptionist. Our office hours are Monday to Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Investigations

Medical Examiner Investigators conduct medicolegal death investigations in El Paso County. This includes the performance of scene investigations, collection of evidence, and development of decedents’ medical/social histories to assist the forensic pathologist (medical examiner) in determining the cause and manner of death.

Our staff consists of a Chief Investigator, a Deputy Chief Investigator, and seven (7) investigators. Investigators work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Currently, our Chief investigator and one of our investigators are Registry Diplomates of the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI). Our Deputy Chief Investigator is a Board-Certified Fellow of the ABMDI.

Morgue

The morgue attendants assist the forensic pathologist in performing autopsies, as well as in processing decedents, providing intake/release services, inventorying, performing radiographs as indicated, and maintaining facilities and equipment.

Our morgue staff consists of a Morgue Manager, a Morgue Supervisor, and two (2) morgue attendants.

Pathology

The Medical Examiner is a physician that performs autopsies to determine cause and manner of death and who works closely with investigators within the department and law enforcement officers who obtain information related to the person's demise.

The determination of the cause of death can be straight-forward or may be more complicated, requiring the assistance of toxicology tests, laboratory reports, hospital records, microscopic examination of tissues, and other studies. In addition to their work in the autopsy room, the forensic pathologist offers expert courtroom testimony. Our office is staffed by two (2) Deputy Medical Examiners and our Chief Medical Examiner.

All of our medical examiners are fully licensed in the State of Texas and board certified in anatomic and forensic pathology by the American Board of Pathology (ABP). Our Chief Medical Examiner is also board certified in anatomic and forensic pathology by the National Board of Physicians and Surgeons (NBPAS), is a Registry Diplomate of the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI), a Fellow of the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME), a Fellow of the College of American Pathologists (CAP), and a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS).