Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office gets full accreditation back

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CHICAGO -- The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office has come a long way in three years -- from close to 30 serious deficiencies, bodies piling up at the morgue and long delays -- to new accreditation from the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME).

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle called this a good day, as she joined Chief Cook County Medical Examiner Dr. Stephen Cina to mark the progress that came through overhaul and reform -- necessary changes in the wake of a scandal over bodies piling up back in 2012 that put Cook County in international headlines.

Accreditation from the association recognizes that this office meets or exceeds national standards in operations, staffing and procedures.

The county invested in staffing and a $1.4 million cooler to replace 30-year-old infrastructure.

Preckwinkle says the changes were funded at a level $5 million less than expected for a NAME-accredited office.  She says the office is now deserving of the public trust.

This accreditation is one that must be reviewed and renewed every year.