Texas A&M donates land to Brazos County for new medical examiner’s office

KBTX News 3 at Ten(Recurring)
Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 10:10 PM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) -The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents met Thursday to approve donating 2.5 acres of land to Brazos County for a new medical examiner’s facility.

The parcel of land is located on the south portion of the Texas A&M University’s Health Science Center campus near the RELLIS Campus.

Last month Brazos County Commissioners approved the allocation of $24 million from the American Rescue Plan Act to build the new facility.

The proposed 16,000-square-foot facility would be the latest industry to join the rapidly growing Bio Corridor and could draw even more businesses and industries to the area.

County leaders have long desired a medical examiner’s office locally to help improve death investigations and to alleviate the burden put on law enforcement and families having to send deceased to facilities in Houston and Austin for autopsies and other death-related testing and services.

“This area has gone too long without a medical examiner’s office, many of those cases need to go to Austin or Houston,” said Texas A&M Health Science Center Chief Operating Officer Greg Hartman.

In addition, the partnership between Texas A&M and Brazos County would also create opportunities for new degree programs and career options for students while meeting the needs of the county and helping alleviate a shortage in medical examiners and forensic pathologists being seen across the county.

“We realize there are medical research needs, we have the medical school that aligns with the communities interest to create a medical examiners office and so we got with the county who is going to build the facility on Texas A&M land that we’re donating to them and then we will run the program, the medical examiner program along with the county with their funding of that so it’s really a great collaboration to meet a really critical community need,” Hartman said.

City and County leaders say the collaboration with Texas A&M is one of the keys to success for the proposed facility and will be beneficial to the entire community.

“Texas A&M and being able to actually teach all the skills of a doctor who will be a medical examiner that is what Texas A&M interest is and that’s fairly new in my opinion innovative way to make use of a medical examiner’s office,” said Brazos County Judge Duane Peters. “I don’t know of any other university that has coordinated with counties in the creation of a medical examiner’s office to teach out of there.”

County leaders and supporters also say the new medical examiner’s office is centrally located to offer forensic services to surrounding counties that also have to travel to Austin or Houston for services while attracting related businesses to an already booming area.

“This is exciting because it’s an opportunity for us to become a regional center for something new,” said Brazos County Precinct 1 Commissioner Steve Aldrich. “They could do toxicology they can do that type of stuff if we could I think that might make us more attractive as a location for somebody to come here that could add that to what we’re doing in biomedical.”

KBTX News 3 at Six(Recurring)