LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - The Texas Tech Health Sciences Center has
decided that forensic work doesn't mesh with the school's overall
mission, meaning about 80 South Plains counties will have to find a
new medical examiner by fall 2009.
Lubbock County Judge Tom Head said he was surprised last week
when HSC President John Baldwin told him Tech was ending its
contract to operate the Lubbock County Medical Examiner's Office.
Officials received a certified letter dated August 5 informing
them of the decision.
The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reported the end of the contract
also affects Amarillo, Plainview, Big Spring and Lubbock, who
received forensic services including autopsies performed by four
forensic pathologists at the Lubbock County Medical Examiner's
Dr. Steven Berk, dean of the Tech medical school, said that a
large patient load, an ambitious research program and other goals
meant that the medical examiner's office was no longer a good fit.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)