For Medical Examiners, Coroners and Law Enforcement
Welcome to the forensic pathology and anthropology services at Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine in Kalamazoo. Our state-of-the-art facility is open and operational. Our goal is to provide forensic pathology and anthropology services to area medical examiners and the law enforcement community.
To send a case to our facility call 844.337.6001 and select extension 118 to provide us with information about the case being sent to us. If you want to speak with the forensic pathologist who is on call, select the extension for that individual. The message at 844.337.6001 will guide you to that individual. Since the pathologists take call for a week at a time, if they do not answer immediately, wait a few minutes and try again. Whether you leave a message about the case coming in or you talk to the forensic pathologist, please make certain the transporter notifies our staff about 30 minutes before arrival by calling 844.337.6001 and selecting extension 112. Our goal is to provide excellent and efficient service to your office. Please notify us of any challenges in referring cases to our department.
When you send a case to us, if you prefer, complete a Pathology Case Referral Form and attach it to an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax it to 844.337.6001.
For law enforcement members visiting our facility, please follow our Directions to the Office of the Medical Examiner and Pathology Department for Law Enforcement
A copy of the report can be requested by completing the Request for Autopsy Report form and either faxing it to the office at 844.337.6001 or emailing it as an attachment to email@example.com. Please allow 60-90 days for completion and distribution of reports.
Funeral Directors and Transporters
When delivering a body for an examination, the transporter should call 844.337.6001, ext. 112. If delivery occurs outside of our normal business hours (8 AM – 5 PM), please call at least 30 minutes before arrival to make certain an attendant will arrive to let you into the facility. If you are picking up a body, you must provide us with an Authorization for Release Form.
Click on these links to access the Authorization for Release Form and Directions to the Office of the Medical Examiner for Funeral Directors.
Cremation Permit Authorizations
Ensure that a death certificate signed by a physician is included with the cremation permit.
If our office is signing the death certificate, please indicate this on the cremation permit request sheet.
Fax cremation permits to 1-844-337-6001.
Cremation permits will be reviewed by the Medical Examiner Monday-Friday at 10 AM and 3 PM.
Cremation permit requests received between 3 PM and 10 AM will be reviewed at 10 AM and faxed back before Noon
Cremation permit requests received between 10 AM and 3 PM will be reviewed at 3 PM and faxed back before 4:30 PM
- The majority of cremation permits are authorized. These will be faxed back to you at the hours listed above.
- If the cremation permit requires additional investigation, you will be notified at the same time as the cremation permits are returned to you.
Avoiding Delays in Cremation Permit Authorizations
You can help us help you by avoiding delays in cremation permit authorizations due to additional investigation requirements by notifying us immediately for DEATHS THAT HAVE NOT BEEN REPORTED TO OUR OFFICE. When reviewing the death certificate, if it has not been reported to our office contact us immediately if you notice a cause or contributory factor including:
- Broken bone/fracture
- A fall or accident
- Intracranial hemorrhage
- Medication overdose or toxicity
- Asphyxia/anoxia/respiratory failure/ cardiac arrest WITHOUT another associated diagnosis
- Asphyxia or Anoxic Encephalopathy due to Stroke or Myocardial Infarct is acceptable
- Asphyxia or Anoxic Encephalopathy or Respiratory Failure or Cardiac Arrest without an underlying cause will not be accepted
There are other diagnoses that cause delay, but the list above covers most situations that trigger additional investigation and a delay in authorization of the cremation by our office. If you are notified the cremation permit request has triggered an investigation, expect up to a 48 hour delay in authorization. In these situations, we typically request medical records. We then wait for the physician’s office or the hospital to produce the records. After they send them to us, we review and determine whether an examination of the body is required. If the additional investigation requires more than 48 hours, you will be notified, however, this should be a very unusual situation.
If you faxed a cremation permit Monday-Friday before 10 AM and you do not hear from our office by 12 noon, or you faxed a cremation permit between 10 AM and 3 PM and you have not heard from us by 4:30 PM, call the main office number (269) 337-6173.
In the near future, we hope to transition to use of EDRS for cremation permit authorizations. We are waiting on the State to implement changes that would allow our office to use this system. Based on conversations with the State, it will be weeks-months before this change can be implemented.
Pathology Case Referral Form