ROMNEY NAMES NYC DEPUTY MEDICAL EXAMINER AS NEW MASS CHIEF
Governor Mitt Romney today named New York City's First Deputy Medical Examiner Dr. Mark Flomenbaum as the Bay State's Chief Medical Examiner, taking another step in professionalizing and upgrading the office.
"The appointment of Dr. Flomenbaum caps a significant turnaround at an agency that was in need of new leadership, a clear direction and more resources," said Romney. "With Dr. Flomenbaum on board, I am confident that we will continue to make good progress on our goal of having a first-rate medical examiner's office."
For the last six years, Dr. Flomenbaum has worked as New York City's First Deputy Medical Examiner. On the morning of September 11, 2001, he was the pathologist-in-charge after the city's chief medical examiner was injured while responding to the World Trade Center attacks. Dr. Flomenbaum coordinated the triage and forensic processing for New York City on that day. He was also the coordinator of triage and forensic processing for American Airlines Flight 587, which crashed in Queens on November 12, 2001.
Prior to being named First Deputy, Dr. Flomenbaum worked as a New York City medical examiner beginning in 1991. He has performed over 1,800 autopsies and testified in more than 180 trials. He also taught and co-directed the office's forensic pathology fellowship training program and directed the forensic medicine program at the New York University School of Medicine.
"Dr. Flomenbaum has proven himself under the most demanding circumstances," said Edward A. Flynn, Secretary of Public Safety. "He is the best choice to lead the Chief Medical Examiner's office during this period of rebuilding and restoring the public trust."
Recognizing that the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner had been chronically underfunded, Romney worked with the Legislature to increase the office's budget by $2.7 million in Fiscal Year 2005 to $7.1 million, a 60 percent increase over the prior year.
He also revitalized the Medicolegal Investigation Commission, charging them with recommending a new Chief Medical Examiner. The 16-member panel, chaired by Secretary Flynn, contracted with a professional search firm to recruit eligible candidates.
One of the key recommendations of the search firm was to increase the salary in order to attract a pool of qualified medical doctors for the job. Dr. Flomenbaum will be paid $250,000 a year, which is comparable to the salaries of Chief Medical Examiners nationwide. For example, the Chief Medical Examiners for the Sarasota District in Florida, the Fort Myers District in Florida and the Harris County, Florida District in Texas annually earn $270,000, $285,000 and $256,000 respectively.
"As prosecutors, we depend on the Medical Examiner's office for reliable and accurate autopsy and test results," said Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley, who is president of the Massachusetts District Attorneys' Association. "Dr. Flomenbaum's considerable leadership and management skills, combined with the medical expertise of the pathologists currently in the office, will ensure that the Medical Examiner's Office achieves the highest professional standards."
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is charged with determining the cause and manner of deaths that occur under suspicious circumstances in the Bay State. The agency provides services to District Attorneys, the Attorney General, the courts, federal, state and local law enforcement investigators, funeral homes, hospitals, medical schools and the families of decedents.
"Thanks to the state's commitment to significantly improve the services of the Chief Medical Examiner's Office, the basic components of a world-class agency already exist," said Dr. Flomenbaum. "I am honored to have been chosen by Governor Romney to participate in this exciting transformation of the office."
Dr. Flomenbaum received his undergraduate degree from Hamilton College and his Ph.D. in neuroscience from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where he also received his medical degree. He is certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners and also by the American Board of Pathology in forensic pathology and anatomic pathology.