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Karen Black
Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Office of Public Relations
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Fowler is Appointed Chief Medical Examiner
Former Deputy Chief has been in acting position since last May
            BALTIMORE, MD (May 15, 2002) -- Dr. David R. Fowler has been named Chief Medical Examiner for the State of Maryland by the Post Mortem Examiners Commission, effective today, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) has announced.  Dr. Fowler has been acting Chief Medical Examiner since May of last year, when Dr. John E. Smialek, the former examiner, passed away.
“The Commission selected Dr. Fowler because of his strong national reputation, the outstanding abilities he has shown while acting as interim head, and the extensive knowledge he has in the running of the Medical Examiner’s Office,” said Dr. Sanford A. Stass, who is chairman of the Post Mortem Examiners Commission and interim chair of the Department of Pathology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.  “In addition, he has the highest respect among those he works with in the academic and government communities.”
Dr. Fowler will head the Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) located in Baltimore.  The office employs 75 full time and 120 part time employees and has a budget of $6.2 million.
“Maryland has one of the leading medical examiner systems in the United States,” said Dr. Fowler.  “My goal is to maintain that reputation and help the office evolve to meet the new challenges that face our community in today’s world.”
The Office of Chief Medical Examiner investigates human deaths caused by violence, suicide, or casualty; sudden death in an apparently healthy individual; and deaths that involve any suspicious or unusual manner.
“The Chief Medical Examiner is a very visible position that requires interaction with numerous individuals,” said Dr. Georges C. Benjamin, DHMH Secretary and a member of the commission.  “We are extremely pleased that Dr. Fowler has accepted this position.”
Staff of the OCME works closely with law enforcement agencies, and are often called to testify before Grand Juries or in criminal cases.
"Partnership with a professional, efficient Office of the State Medical Examiner is vital to our success in Maryland law enforcement," said Colonel David B. Mitchell, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police and a member of the commission.  "The choice of Dr. David Fowler to be the State Medical Examiner is an excellent one that will continue the proud tradition of this important agency.  Dr. Fowler’s professional background and his experience at many levels in the Office of the State Medical Examiner make him perfectly suited for this position."
The Post Mortem Examiners Commission is a five-person group charged with overseeing the operations of the Office of Chief Medical Examiner.  Membership of the Commission is ex officio.
Dr. Fowler, who is a naturalized citizen of the United States, was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe in 1958.  He has been with OCME since 1993 when he joined the staff as a Fellow.  Prior to his appointment as acting chief, he was Deputy Chief Medical Examiner for Statewide Services and Deputy Chief for Autopsy Services.
Dr. Fowler is board certified in anatomic and forensic pathology by the American Board of Pathology, and received his medical degree and a Degree of Master of Medicine in Forensic Pathology from the University of Cape Town in South Africa.  He lives in Baltimore County with his wife Carolyn and their children Matthew and Kaitlyn.



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