Elevating Denver Municipal Capabilities With New Office of Medical Examiner

Page was pleased to attend a special grand opening for the City and County of Denver Office of the Medical Examiner. While all project completions are significant milestones, the firm is particularly proud of its complete renovation of a warehouse that now provides a fit-for-purpose, technologically advanced facility which also supports the health and wellness of employees in demanding jobs. As Chief Medical Examiner Dr. James Caruso M.D. explained during the ribbon cutting ceremony, “Denver is a world-class city that deserves world-class death investigations and forensic services and [now] we have that in this building.”

The decision to relocate the City and County of Denver’s Office of the Medical Examiner (OME) was driven by many factors, including the opportunity to start with a clean slate. Its new home is a 29,000 sf warehouse owned by Denver Health that was gutted to allow programming of the interior space to meet the multiple needs of a state-of-the-art forensic facility. The pre-design phase included input from Denver Health, the City and County of Denver, and the actual users themselves, the staff of the Denver OME. Dr. Caruso shared, [This is] “a tremendous facility that prioritizes workflow, ergonomics and safety.”

New features that Denver OME’s previous space lacked include enhanced technologies and security measures which will allow the delivery of high-quality medical examination and investigation services well into the future. Examples are automated temperature controls, alarms and warning systems; air locks and air flow systems to enhance health and safety and control odor; increased security and storage capabilities for evidence, sensitive tissues and materials; an improved isolation autopsy suite for severe decomposition or the presence of communicable diseases and devices to support bariatric autopsies. Equipment was coordinated to universal standards and MEP redundancy was included to mitigate global risk. Particular attention was paid to standard processes and equipment that will improve results while reducing workplace fatigue.

In addition to Dr. Caruso, other grand opening hosts were Denver Deputy Mayor Brendan Hanlon, City Councilmember Jolon Clark and Denver Department of Public Health and Environment Executive Director Bob McDonald. Page project team members in attendance included Project Manager Keith Conrad, Project Architect Michael Reilly, Design Architect Stuart Crawford and Designer Joe Hickman as well as several other colleagues. Other project team members include Crime Lab Design with whom Page has collaborated on other forensic facility projects, and Iron Horse Architects.

To learn more about the new City and County of Denver Office of the Medical Examiner, click here.