Office of the State Chief Medical Examiner

Mission Statement:

The mission of the Tennessee Office of the State Chief Medical Examiner (OSCME), operating under the Department of Health, is to create statewide consistency of high quality medicolegal death investigation and forensic autopsy services. The purpose of the office is to serve its fellow citizens by protecting the public’s health and safety, participating in the criminal justice system and providing data for vital statistics.

The Office of the State Chief Medical Examiner (OSCME) is responsible for the education and training of county medical examiners, the keeping of records of deaths investigated by county medical examiners, and assuming investigative authority in cases of interest to the state, including mass fatalities and threats to public health.  The central office located within the Tennessee Department of Health in Nashville is staffed by two full-time forensic pathologists and two death investigators who are available for consultation to the public, law enforcement, clinicians, and friends and family of the deceased. A satellite office located in Johnson City is staffed with one administrator and houses medical examiner records. 

Services Provided:

Death Certification Training:

This training will help you better understand best practices in death certification. We will share why it is important to accurately document the cause of death on the death certificate and how to use your best medical judgment to determine accurate information. It includes two videos featuring State Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Adele Lewis and Deputy State Medical Examiner Dr. Amy Hawes.

The training is divided into two parts:

• Part 1: Medical Examiner Jurisdiction, Cause and Manner of Death, and Death Certification

• Part 2: Guidance for Certification of Disaster-Related Death

Free CME/CE is provided for course participants. 

Links to the videos, slide deck, and continuing medical education worksheet may be found here:


Adele Lewis, MD
State Chief Medical Examiner

Amy Hawes, MD
Deputy State Chief Medical Examiner

Margaret Hyder, MA
Deputy Director

Fran Wheatley, BS, MA, ABMDI - F
Medicolegal Death Investigator

Lindsey Crim, BS, MCJ, ABMDI - F
Medicolegal Death Investigator

Kristen Osgood, BA, ABMDI-D
Medicolegal Death Investigator

Molly Golladay, BS, M.Ed, MAT

Erica Martin, RN/BSN

Leah Vanderbush, BS

Bailey Floyd, BS
Administrative Services Assistant

Mary Beth Blair, RN, BSN
COVID-19 Fatality Coordinator

Main Office – Nashville

Office of the State Chief Medical Examiner
Andrew Johnson Tower – 7th Floor
710 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, TN 37243
Telephone: 844-860-4511
Fax: 615-401-2532

Satellite Office – Johnson City

Office of the State Chief Medical Examiner
William L. Jenkins Forensic Center
Box 70431
Johnson City, TN 37614
Telephone: 423-439-8403
Fax: 423-439-8810