West Michigan-based morgue authority dissolves
Board of commissioners approve withdrawal at recent meeting
REED CITY - The West Michigan Forensic Pathology Services Authority is being dissolved.
The Osceola County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the county's withdrawal from the organization at its April 21 meeting.
In a letter to the board, county coordinator Susan VanderPol explained the Authority was created to allow other counties to join with Mecosta and Newaygo counties to use the morgue facility in Big Rapids for pathology and autopsy services.
"Mecosta County has asked for the boards to dissolve the Authority, as it is no longer needed," VanderPol said.
The Authority had difficulty in hiring and maintaining a board-certified pathologist at the facility. As a result, the facility was underutilized, but continued to incur overhead expenses for the counties, VanderPol told the board.
Another pathology service is currently looking at entering into an agreement with Mecosta County for services, VanderPol said.
Mecosta County Commisioners agreed to approve a morgue lease and pathology services agreement with Dr. Joyce DeYoung, who heads up the Western Michigan University medical school, at its meeting April 2.
Osceola County previously had a separate agreement with Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine for services and was using the morgue facility in Big Rapids for body storage only, VanderPol said.
"Under the new agreement, the Authority no longer has a purpose and needs to be dissolved to allow the agreement to go forward," she said.
"Hopefully, with this new agreement, we will be able to have pathology and autopsy services done locally at the Big Rapids facility," she added.
Lake County Commissioners voted to withdraw from the Authority at its meeting April 8.