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Our Office History | Print |

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In 1965, Fulton County became the first county in Georgia to abolish the office of Coroner, and established in its place the appointed office of Medical Examiner.

In Fulton County, the Medical Examiner must be a physician with special training in pathology, because the performance of autopsies and other postmortem examinations is an important part of the death investigation process. The first Fulton County Medical Examiner was Harold Thompson (Tom) Dillon, MD. The Medical Examiners Office was located in the Steiner Building which still stands (and is now used for other purposes) across the street from the Emergency Care Center at Grady Hospital. The Dillon Special Services Building at the new FCMEC on Pryor Street was dedicated to Dr. Dillon for being a pioneer in the development of a medical examiner system in Fulton County. In the Dillon Building, examinations are performed on deceased individuals who were dead for long periods of time before being found, including the examination of bones and skeletal remains.

Dr. Dillon died in 1970 and was succeeded by Robert R. Stivers, MD, who had worked with Dr. Dillon. Doctor Stivers served until 1988, and was intimately involved with the design and ultimate construction of the Medical Examiners Building at 50 Coca Cola Place, which opened in 1974 and housed the medical examiner office until its move to the new FCMEC in April 12, 1999. The Stivers Scientific Building was named in honor of Dr. Stivers for his key role in establishing a free-standing medical examiner building and developing a modern death investigation system. The Stivers Building houses the autopsy and postmortem examinations room, and x-ray room, the forensic photography and technical support staff, the tissue processing laboratory, the area where deceased bodies are held for examination and transport to the funeral home, an enclosed viewing area where students and law enforcement officers may observe postmortem examinations without entering the autopsy room, and a surgical suite for procurement of tissues for transplantation, if the family wishes to permit organ or tissue donation.

In 1988, Saleh A. Zaki, MD, PhD became the third Chief Medical Examiner. He had worked with Dr. Stivers for more nearly 15 years. After becoming Chief Medical Examiner, he was instrumental in the planning, designing, and ultimate construction of the new FCMEC on Pryor Street. The Saleh Zaki Administration Building was so-named to honor Dr. Zaki for his dedication and successful efforts. The Zaki Building houses the administrative, medical professional, administrative support, and investigative divisions of the Medical Examiner's Office. It also includes a library, a classroom with advance audio visual capability, two conference rooms, a media and emergency management room, records processing and storage, and areas in which to support and interact with families who have lost loved ones.

The building of the new Fulton County Medical Examiner Center is a landmark event for several reasons. First, the facility includes adequate space and equipment to conduct professional death investigations. Second, the facility has been designed to provide a work area that is safe and poses minimal health risks to employees (death investigation and postmortem examinations can be dangerous because of the risk of disease transmission such as HIV and tuberculosis). Third, space exist to expand educational activities and to improve services to families and the community, Fourth, construction of the facility exemplifies the resurgence of the Mechanicsville area, in which we are proud to be located. Fifth, the FCMEC is now among the premier medical examiner facilities in the United States, and will undoubtedly assume greater importance in regional and national training programs in death investigation as well providing improved death investigation service to the community.

The Commissioners of Fulton County and the Mechanicsville community have shown wisdom in providing a home and neighborhood for the Fulton County Medical Examiner Center. We strive toward the Fulton County Vision of People, Families, and Neighborhoods, and to fulfill the Fulton County Mission to serve, protect, and govern in concert with local municipalities.

It is with great pride and appreciation that we occupied our new FCMEC home on April 12, 1999, with a commitment to provide high quality death investigation services to the community. A new chapter in the history of the Fulton County Medical Examiner has begun.

The previous Fulton County Medical Examiners are:

 

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Tom Dillon, MD Robert R. Stivers, MD

Saleh A. Zaki, MD, PhD

Former Locations of the Fulton County Medical Examiner are:

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The Steiner Building. Adjacent to Grady Memorial Hospital. This was the first home of the Fulton County Medical Examiner and housed the FCME from 1965 until 1974.

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The second home of the FCME at 50 Coca Cola Place SE.  This building was located 1 block from Grady Hospital and housed the FCME from 1974 until 1999. The building had approximately 9000 square feet.

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Current home of the FCME at the Fulton County Medical Examiner Center, 430 Pryor Street SW, Atlanta, GA 30312.  This is the front of the administration building, and two additional buildings are located behind the administration building. In each of those buildings, autopsies are performed.  This 6.6 million dollar facility (which has 33,000 square feet) opened on April 12, 1999.

 

 

 

 

 
 

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Fulton County Medical Examiner

430 Pryor Street SW
Atlanta, Georgia 30312
Phone: 404-613-4400
Fax: 404-613-2463
email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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