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TDH Appoints Forensic Experts to Lead Medical Examiner's Office

Tuesday, January 12, 2016 | 10:07am

Goodin, Lewis Bring Skills and Experience to Serve Tennesseans

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Health announces the appointment of two accomplished medical doctors and forensic pathologists, each with deep and complementary experience at the local, state and national levels, to direct the state’s medical examiner office. Julia C. Goodin, MD, will serve as state chief medical examiner, effective May 1, while Adele Lewis, MD will serve as deputy state chief medical examiner, effective March 6. Both are currently serving in a part-time capacity as they fulfill other responsibilities.

“Drs. Goodin and Lewis have the training and experience necessary to assure we meet our solemn obligations to decedents, their families, friends and loved ones consistent with all of the requirements under Tennessee law,” said TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH. “We are confident they will be valuable resources to those involved in medicolegal investigative work while ensuring the dignity of process deserved by decedents and their families.”

Julia Goodin, MD, chief state medical examiner for the Iowa Department of Public Health since 1999, has performed more than 4,500 autopsies and has testified as an expert witness in both state and federal-level courts. She earned her Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine in 1983, had a residency in anatomic and clinical pathology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center from 1983 to 1987, was a visiting resident in the Medical Examiner’s Office and Department of Pathology at the University of South Carolina and was a Forensic Pathology Fellow in the Office of Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore, Md. from 1987 to 1988. She earned diplomate certifications from the National Board of Medical Examiners and the American Board of Pathology (Clinical and Anatomical/Forensic Pathology). 

Her professional appointments include service with medical examiners’ offices in Baltimore and Nashville, along with the states of New Mexico, Alabama and Iowa and teaching positions at the University of Maryland, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, the University of New Mexico and the University of South Alabama. She is a retired U.S. Naval Reserve Captain, with assignments including medical staff chair, Integrated Medical Support, Pensacola Naval Hospital and numerous pathology department assignments within the continental U.S. 

Adele Lewis, MD, earned her Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Alabama School of Medicine in 1997. After residencies in general surgery, trauma and surgical critical care and anatomic pathology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, she completed a fellowship in forensic pathology at the Office of the Medical Examiner in Nashville. She has earned diplomate certifications in both forensic and anatomic pathology from the American Board of Pathology and has academic appointments including assistant clinical professor, Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology at Vanderbilt; adjunct assistant professor, Meharry Medical College Department of Pathology; lecturer at the Forensic Institute for Research and Education at Middle Tennessee State University; faculty member, National District Attorneys Association in Columbia, S.C. and Washington, D.C. and instructor at the National Forensic Academy in Knoxville. Lewis also serves as chair of the Board of the Nashville Academy of Medicine and as chair of the Public Health Committee of the Tennessee Medical Association.

From 2011 to now she has been the deputy chief medical examiner for Nashville/Davidson County and since 2006 has served as assistant and associate medical examiner for Forensic Medical Management Services, PLC in Nashville. Since 2007 she has been a member of the Davidson County Child Death Review Board, serving as co-chair from 2010 to present. She has been published in a number of professional publications for the forensic science community and has lectured at numerous conferences and symposiums on forensic matters.

The mission of the Tennessee Department of Health is to protect, promote and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee. TDH has facilities in all 95 counties and provides direct services for more than one in five Tennesseans annually as well as indirect services for everyone in the state, including emergency response to health threats, licensure of health professionals, regulation of health care facilities and inspection of food service establishments. Learn more about TDH services and programs at