Cook County Chief Medical Examiner Appointed to National Board

November 13, 2018

Cook County’s Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Ponni Arunkumar has been appointment to the board of directions of the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME).

The appointment is a recognition of Dr. Arunkumar’s leadership at the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office (CCMEO). She played an instrumental role in implementing new policies and procedures and shaping the culture of the office while upgrading operations and technology. The Office received full accreditation from NAME in 2016. 

Dr. Arunkumar was recognized by the Cook County Board of Commissioners Tuesday.

“I am pleased to recognize Dr. Arunkumar’s hard work, diligence and talent,” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said. “As a result of her leadership, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office is now known as a leader in the field of forensic pathology.”

NAME is the national professional organization of medical examiners, medicolegal death investigators and death investigation system administrators.

In 2017, Dr. Arunkumar was recognized with an achievement award from the National Association of Counties for an online portal that provides up-to-date information about Cook County’s deaths, including those caused by gun violence and opioids.

Dr. Arunkumar was also recognized in 2017 by Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network for her dedication and commitment to offering grieving families the opportunity to donate organs on behalf of deceased loved ones.

Under Dr. Arunkumar’s leadership, the CCMEO hosted the first Missing Persons Day in Illinois to assist those with missing loved ones to submit DNA samples, medical records, photos and other records to aid in their search. 

Dr. Arunkumar’s tenure with the CCMEO began in 2003, when she was hired as a fellow pathologist. She rose within the ranks of the Office, from assistant medical examiner to her appointment as deputy chief medical examiner in 2012 and finally chief medical examiner in 2016. She is board certified in anatomic and clinical pathology and in forensic pathology.