Jessamine County Coroner

Value of Learning

As your coroner, I am profoundly concerned about the overall well-being of each person in our community.  Naturally, my job is to take care of the medicolegal aspects of incidents resulting in death; but my concerns go much further.  Insuring that the circumstances of each unnatural death are investigated and resolved as accurately as possible is paramount; but being there to answer the questions that the family often has about those circumstances with empathy and understanding is just as important to me. 

Generally, I try to base my articles on diseases, accidents or circumstances which often result in death.  The bottom line is that if people are better informed and educated, they may make changes in their lifestyle and choices which just might result in their living longer and healthier lives.   

Young people are dear to all of us, and our desire should always be to steer them in a direction that helps them escape the pitfalls and mistakes made by others.  I believe that a good education can not only help prevent young people from making disastrous mistakes, such as using drugs, but is also one of the most important things they can pursue, to help secure a rewarding and productive future. 

Whenever young people ask me questions like how I became a coroner, can anyone do it, and does it require a lot of education, I’m always ready and happy to explain.  My answer as an elected official is that sadly,  the state of Kentucky does not require any special education or qualifications to become a coroner, other than a high school graduate or GED.  However, I always explain that my education has greatly enhanced my ability to perform the job of coroner.  This often leads to a discussion with them about the importance of obtaining a good education.  I explain that as a coroner, it is extremely important to be able to understand how a healthy body functions and the processes of disease.  Had I not studied anatomy, physiology, microbiology, chemistry and physics , I would have been ill prepared  to recognize signs of disease, and to understand laboratory and autopsy reports as well as medical records. Being better able to accurately explain the results of an autopsy or toxicology to the families who want answers about their loved one’s death, is greatly enhanced through my scientific and medical education.  Had I not earned my degree, I would not have been able to obtain the medical experience, which I use every day as a coroner.

 Of course there are many good jobs to be found which don’t require an advanced education, but finding one is becoming increasingly more difficult.  I understand that not every young person, for whatever reason, is able to take the path of education, but for those who can, and have the desire, I encourage them to take advantage of every opportunity they can to fulfill their dream.  If college isn’t your thing, then consider a trade school.  Do something great for yourself!

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