President Toni Preckwinkle appointed Dr. Stephen J. Cina as Cook County Medical Examiner today, and his name has been submitted to the Board of Commissioners for consent and confirmation.
Dr. Cina is currently the associate medical director and chief administrative officer of the University of Miami’s Tissue Bank. From 2007 to 2011, he served as deputy chief medical examiner for Broward County, Florida. Prior to that, he was vice chair and chair of pathology for four years at McKee Medical Center in Loveland Colorado, where he was also a forensic pathology consultant for counties throughout northern Colorado and most of Wyoming. During that same period, he served as coroner/medical examiner for Weld County, Colorado, and as deputy coroner/medical examiner for Larimer County, Colorado.
Earlier in his career, as a major in the U.S. Air Force, Dr. Cina was a regional medical examiner, covering suspicious deaths and aircraft fatalities around the world.
“Dr. Cina comes to us with outstanding credentials, not only as a leader in the medical examiner field, but as a distinguished medical researcher,” President Preckwinkle said. “His wide-ranging expertise and executive experience clearly show he’s capable of providing the highest level of leadership and direction that will reshape the Medical Examiner’s Office into a model facility. Along with my recent appointment of Daryl Jackson as executive director, I’m very confident the ME’s office will soon be in the hands of a highly skilled and experienced management team.
“Over the past several months, we’ve been addressing serious concerns at the ME’s office head on. These issues arose because of a culture that was allowed to go unchecked in the past. Since earlier this year, we’ve steadily implemented an overhaul of personnel, policies and procedures. With this pending change in top management, we’re well on our way to creating a first-rate Medical Examiner’s Office.”
Commissioner Elizabeth Gorman said Dr. Cina “brings tremendous experience and management insight to Cook County. He will be the strong medical examiner that we need to take the Medical Examiner’s Office in a new direction.”
In addition to his current post, Dr. Cina is a clinical professor of pathology at Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine. He is currently serving his fourth term on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Medical Examiners, chairs the Forensic Pathology Committee of the College of American Pathologists, and is the immediate past president of the Florida Association of Medical Examiners.
“I have had the pleasure of knowing Dr. Cina for some 14 years,” said Dr. Andy Baker, president of the National Association of Medical Examiners and the chief medical examiner of Hennepin County, Minnesota. “He is a forward-thinking, nationally respected forensic pathologist who has long been recognized as a leader in our profession. Cook County is extremely fortunate to have secured him as its next chief medical examiner, and—provided the financial, administrative, and political support that such a demanding position requires—Dr. Cina will thrive in this role and provide an exceptional level of service to all of Cook County’s citizens.”
Dr. Ram Raju, CEO of Cook County Health and Hospitals System said that “Dr. Cina is one of the best pathologists in the country. He brings a strong work ethic and very strong credentials to the Medical Examiner’s office. His professional and leadership credentials will prove a valuable asset to the Cook County system. We are looking forward to working closely with him.”
In addition to his subspecialty training as a forensic pathologist, Dr. Cina completed a fellowship in surgical pathology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. His research in prostate and bladder cancer earned him admission to the prestigious Arthur Purdy Stout Society and to the International Society of Urological Pathologists. As a board-certified anatomic and forensic pathologist, Dr. Cina has authored over 100 scientific publications and book chapters and serves as the Forensic Pathology section editor for eMedicine. He has completed close to 4,000 autopsies and has testified in court and depositions over 200 times.
If approved by the Board of Commissioners, Dr. Cina will replace Dr. Nancy Jones, who was appointed by former board president Todd Stroger in 2007. Dr. Jones announced her retirement on June 19, effective July 31.