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Cuyahoga County Heroin Initiative


Cuyahoga County Charter Provision § 5.03 Medical Examiner: Powers, Duties and Qualifications

All powers now or hereafter vested in or imposed upon county coroners by general law shall be exercised by the Medical Examiner. The Medical Examiner shall also have such powers and duties as shall be established by ordinance that are not inconsistent with those provided by general law for county coroners. The Medical Examiner shall be a licensed physician, shall have specialized training in forensic medicine and pathology, and shall have final authority as to determinations concerning medical matters within his or her responsibility. The Medical Examiner may appoint deputies to the Medical Examiner, who shall be designated Deputy Medical Examiners and one of whom may be designated the Chief Deputy Medical Examiner.


(Effective April 5, 2021)


Appointments should be made before arrival, Security will have a daily list.


Auto-screening temperature for entry.
Anyone registering a fever (38 deg. C or 100.4 F) will be denied entry.

Anyone exhibiting other symptoms (shortness of breath, dry cough, chills, etc.)
may be denied entry. 

Masks MUST BE WORN while moving throughout the building. 
Please make use of protective sheets to open doors, etc., practice social distancing, observe posted signs.


Must comply with ALL of the above plus…

Must have their own PPE to gain entry


Sections 313.11 and 313.12 Revised Code of State of Ohio

"...any person (who) dies as a result of CRIMINAL or other VIOLENT means, or by CASUALTY, or by SUICIDE, or SUDDENLY when in apparent health, or in any SUSPICIOUS or UNUSUAL manner..."

Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Named as Member of Ohio State Coroners Association’s Board of Directors

Medical Examiner Releases 2014 Heroin-Related Death Statistics


County Executive Budish announces he will retain Thomas Gilson as county's medical examinerRead more...

Regional Forensic Science Laboratory to Offer No Charge Testing for Cuyahoga Law and Justice Agencies in 2015.  Read more...

  News & Information
New York Times Magazine Logo  The New York Times Magazine shadowed the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office to gain insight on how medicolegal death investigation works, and the challenges the death investigation system faces. Read the article here.
red and blue logo that says Fox 8 FOX 8 Reporter Adrienne DiPiazza spent time at the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office to discuss the nationwide shortage of forensic pathologists, and how that might impact our future. View the story.
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Do you have an interest in learning about forensic science? The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office is now accepting applications for its inaugural Citizens Academy. Read the details here.
man speaking at podium Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Gilson delivered a presentation on the opioid crisis at the Cleveland Clinic's Opioids: A Crisis Still Facing Our Entire Region Conference. The complete presentation can be viewed here.

On March 25, 2017, Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Gilson testified at the Senate Hearing: Stopping the Shipment of Synthetic Opioids: Oversight of U.S. Strategy to Combat Illicit Drugs. The full testimony can be viewed here...

CBS Evening News Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Gilson provides an update on opioid overdoses in the Cleveland area on the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley. Read more…
Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas P. Gilson, along with the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office, for being selected to receive the 2016 August Vollmer Excellence in Forensic Science award. The August Vollmer Excellence in Forensic Science award, presented by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), honors agencies/individuals for their contributions to forensic science and law enforcement. Read more...
Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation  - The Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation is a prevention, education and resource organization.
  SPEA Suicide Prevention Education Alliance - Our mission is to prevent suicide by teaching young people to recognize the warning signs of suicide and to seek professional help for themselves and others.
  Forensic Science Week  August 11th - 17th
In recognition of the important role that proper forensic science plays in the investigation of crimes throughout the nation, from exonerating the innocent to identifying the guilty, the listed organizations would like to recognize the scientific and technical professionals that serve our communities in this vital role.

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is April 26, 2014 - 10AM to 2PM

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.

A 2012 U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy report showed that more than 70 percent of people who first misuse prescription drugs get them from their friends or relatives, or simply take them without asking. Abuse of prescription opiates also leads directly to the increase in illicit drug abuse of heroin.

Find a drop site near you at:

Or use one of the many drop boxes year round at local police stations:


CCMEO 2014 Presentation at AAFSCCMEO sends a delegation of medical and scientific staff to Seattle, WA for the 66th Annual Academy of Forensic Science from February 17-22, 2014.  The team will make seven separate presentations in the fields of pediatric pathology, toxicology, pediatric toxicology and trace evidence.

  The Heroin Epidemic -- Our Community’s Action Plan - On Nov. 21, 2013, many of Northern Ohio’s leading institutions gathered for a daylong summit in an effort to find solutions to the region’s heroin epidemic. A Community Action Plan was formulated over the course of several planning meetings and finalized during the summit.

Opiate Collaborative Heroin Initiative  The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office is a public service agency responsible for the investigation of violent, suspicious and sudden and unexpected deaths, such as overdose deaths, including those due to opiates and heroin.
This initiative is a collaborative effort to deploy collection containers to local police departments to collect unused prescription drugs that might otherwise fall into the wrong hands.
Hospice of the Western Reserve's
Elisabeth Severance Prentiss Bereavement Center, a community-based grief support program, provides services throughout Northern Ohio.
  Cornerstone of Hope is dedicated to providing support, education, and hope for the grieving.
  Touch DNA
Learn more about the Cuyahoga County's Touch DNA process


Paternity Testing 
The Cuyahoga County Coroner's Office is now offering Paternity Testing.
  Amber Alert 
The CECOMS Center serves as the coordination point for the Northeast Ohio AMBER Alert system.
Organ and Tissue Donation
Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program
Safe Kids - Greater Cleveland
Dedicated to the prevention of unintentional childhood injuries - Connect. Empower. Restore.  That’s our simple plan to help tackle some of the complex issues our world faces.  We believe that as we eliminate barriers to resources we can empower individuals to engage lasting and meaningful life change that restores them to the community in healthy and productive ways.