The Washington Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners (WACME) is a professional organization of county coroners/medical examiners and their deputies in Washington State.

Lead and Advocate for best practices and excellence in death investigations.

Facilitate the exchange of information pertaining to the duties, methods and official practices of members.

Provide for the essential and continued education in all matters relating to coroners / medical examiners.  

Create education opportunities for our members and the public, focusing on the safety and welfare of Washington State residents and visitors.

Promote communication with the law enforcement and the medical communities and with other individuals and agencies involved in death investigations.

  1. All Counties in Washington State should have a separately elected / appointed Coroner / Medical Examiner.
    Regardless of county population, an independent Coroner/Medical Examiner with both local authority and accountability is critical to objective death investigations and providing post mortem services to survivors.

  2. All Washington State County Coroner/Medical Examiner offices should be have access to board certified forensic pathologists.
    Regardless of county size all Coroner/Medical Examiner offices need reliable and sustainable access to well qualified and board certified forensic pathologists to complete all required autopsies.

  3. All Washington State County Coroners / Medical Examiner offices need adequate resources and capacity to ensure accuracy and timeliness in conduct of death investigation services.
    Delays in any aspect of death investigation or unreasonable caseloads can affect accuracy, hinder investigations, deter criminal justice and impact public health safeguards. Policy options for achieving objectives:
    • Require and report 90% of toxicology examinations complete within 90 days of case submission
    • Investigate cost and service efficiencies of a regional model of toxicology laboratory services
    • Study and report on Coroner / Medical Examiner office caseloads statewide and degree to which they deviate from national standards

More information regarding WACME and WACO Priority Legislation can be found on our legislative advocacy page: http://countyofficials.org/232/Legislative-Advocacy


  1. The WACME 2022 legislative priority is to increase the supply of available forensic pathologists in the State of Washington. To achieve this goal our first step is to study the problem. We have submitted to WACO a study bill to study the shortage in our state with policy recommendations to be presented to the legislature.

    At the WACO annual meeting on October 6, 2021 - the WACO membership voted in favor of supporting this proposal. We are currently in the beginning stages of creating the study. Should the legislation pass, we will have more resources at our disposal, should it not pass in 2022 - it will serve as an important education piece for the legislature that we could then utilize for more policy driven options in 2023.


  2. Members of the Washington Association of Coroners/Medical Examiners elected new board members at the October 5, 2021 business meeting held at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Washington.


     The 2021/22 WACME Executive Board are as follow:

    • Hayley Thompson, Skagit County Coroner – President
    • Warren McLeod, Lewis County Coroner – Vice-President
    • Dr. Karen Cline-Parahamovich, Pierce County Medical Examiner – Secretary
    • Gary Warnock, Thurston County Coroner – Treasurer
    • Craig Morrison, Grant County Coroner – Immediate Past-President


Skagit County Coroner Hayley Thompson let's you know about her role as an elected County Coroner