Bexar County commissioners approve funding to aid medical examiner’s office facing increased workload

$238,471 expenditure authorized for staff members and part-time doctors

SAN ANTONIO – This week, Bexar County Commissioners Court, in a unanimous vote, approved a request for additional funding from the chief Bexar County medical examiner to deal with the exponential increase in the ME’s office’s workload.

“Last year, we saw a 17% workload, and we’re used to 5%,” Dr. Kimberly Molina told commissioners. “We have six doctors handling the workload of nine.”

She said, in addition to hiring part-time medical examiners, she needs additional office staff. The Medical Examiner’s Office currently has a staff of 56.

Molina said the shortage of personnel could have a negative impact on the Medical Examiner’s Office’s accreditation.

“Unlike hospitals in the area that were able to kind of support their staff, their doctors and nurses, through the pandemic with help from outside resources, the Bexar County Medical Examiners Office has not been able to do that,” Molina said.

Molina said the body count in the morgue reflects the need for more help. In 2019, the average body count was 48. So far, in 2021, the average is 89.

About the Authors:

Paul Venema is a courthouse reporter for KSAT with more than 25 years experience in the role.