Thursday, 4:30 PM
Medical examiner reopens facility in Worcester; expected to ease backlog in Boston
By Globe Staff
The state medical examiner reopened its facility in Worcester today after it had been closed for almost three years, ending the need for bodies from Central Massachusetts to be taken to Boston for autopsy.
The facility at the University of Massachusetts Medical School is expected to help alleviate overcrowding at the medical examiner’s headquarters that sparked controversy last month. Corpses were being stacked three high on shelves and gurneys and being stored in a refrigerated truck intended for bodies of disaster victims. The Worcester office, which closed in September 2004 because of budget cuts, will be staffed six days a week and every other Sunday.
"This means that a family member in Worcester County will no longer have to wait with the body of a loved one for several hours – or sometimes days – for the state to come out from Boston to take possession and begin an autopsy," Senator Edward M. Augustus Jr., a Democrat who represents Worcester, said in a statement.
The facility, which opens on Monday, received $400,000 in renovations and new equipment, including a storage cooler, autopsy table, and forensic tools. The staff will include two pathologists, two mortuary technicians, and an administrator.