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Dr. Cline-Parhamovich to join Pierce County as Medical Examiner

Karen Cline-Parhamovich, D.O. has accepted the position of Chief Medical Examiner for Pierce County, subject to confirmation by the Pierce County Council.  She is currently Interim State Chief Medical Investigator with the Office of the Medical Investigator (OMI) in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

“I am pleased to welcome this highly skilled forensic pathologist to Pierce County,” said Bruce Dammeier, Pierce County Executive.  “Dr. Cline-Parhamovich’s breadth of experience, strong administrative skill and demonstrated leadership will support the employees of the Medical Examiner’s Office and serve the people of Pierce County who rely on this critical role.”

Cline-Parhamovich has eleven years’ experience as a board-certified forensic pathologist and nine years of leadership experience.  She is also an associate professor of Pathology at the University of New Mexico.

By her own count, she has performed 175 – 220 autopsies annually, in addition to her administrative and teaching responsibilities.

In 2018, Dr. Cline-Parhamovich organized and led the response to a mass fatality accident which resulted in 8 positive scientific identifications and 7 next-of-kin notifications within 24 to 48 hours of the incident.

Prior to her work in New Mexico, Dr. Cline-Parhamovich was the State Chief Medical Examiner in Tennessee. During that same time, she served as the Director of the Division of Forensic Pathology at East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine.

Her responsibilities have included overseeing the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME) accreditation process in both New Mexico and Tennessee.

Cline-Parhamovich earned her Bachelor of General Studies, cum laude, as well as a double major in Pre-medicine/General Studies from Kent State University.  She graduated from Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine with a D.O. degree.

Cline-Parhamovich will join Pierce County once she has obtained her licensure in the state of Washington and wrapped up her work in New Mexico.

Dr. Mark Fajardo, previously named Pierce County’s Chief Medical Examiner, has decided to remain in Riverside County. Pierce County thanks Dr. Fajardo for his counsel about the resources necessary to maintain NAME accreditation. The Executive looks forward to presenting a supplemental budget proposal to the County Council in the coming months.

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