Stephen J. Cina, M.D. ,Chief Medical Examiner



The Medical Examiner ensures public health and safety by performing postmortem examinations to determine cause and manner of death for individuals who die in Cook County and to ensure the dignified final disposition of indigent decedents.

Mandates, Programs, and Key Activities

The Medical Examiner shall investigate any human death that falls within any or all of the following categories: criminal violence, suicide, accident, suddenly when in apparent good health, unattended by a licensed physician, suspicious or unusual circumstances, criminal abortion, poisoning or attributable to an adverse reaction to drugs and/or alcohol, diseases constituting a threat to public health, disease or injury or toxic agent resulting from employment, during some medical diagnostic or therapeutic procedures, in any prison or penal institution, when involuntarily confined or in police custody, when any human body is to be cremated, unidentified bodies.

Death Investigations

Take initial calls from mandated reporters concerning the death of an individual within the County. Determine if deceased falls within jurisdiction. Perform scene investigations.

Autopsies and Postmortem Examinations

Perform complete autopsy examinations or external examinations as necessary by policy and procedures to determine cause and manner of death. Provide expert testimony in criminal and civil matters at deposition or trial. Meet with law enforcement, state’s attorneys, public defenders, and family as appropriate. Provide prompt notification to respective agencies, i.e. Department of Health, of any death due to a reportable disease, unsafe consumer product, unsafe work environment.


Provide overall supervision of department including handling of labor issues. Maintain medical records & electronic death registry. Manage personal effects. Manage cremation permits & fees.

Budget and Full Time Employee Data

Performance Metrics

Number of Identified Decedents in Medical Examiner's Office for Over 90 Days