Lubbock County Commissioners approve contract with outside foren - FOX34 Lubbock

Lubbock County Commissioners approve contract with outside forensic pathology firm

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

Lubbock County Commissioners approve a contract with an outside forensic pathology firm to take over duties at the medical examiner's office.

NAAG Pathology Labs will operate and manage the office with Dr. Sam Andrews as chief. Dr. Sridhar Natarajan's retirement is effective next Monday.

NAAG is head-quartered in San Diego, but doctors provide services in house here. Commissioners say this public/private partnership will cut the budget for the ME's office by about 12 percent, more than $330,000.

"Trying to find a Texas Board certified forensic pathologist to be a medical examiner is very difficult because obtaining a Texas license is extremely difficult," Lubbock County Commissioner Patti Jones said. "And so, Dr. Sam Andrews had already been working for Lubbock County on a part time basis when Dr. Natarajan would be out of town that sort of thing. So, we already had him working for us for about a year. Now he has become our chief medical examiner, but he will be contracted and paid through the company."

This arrangement is expected to streamline operations and reduce the number of outside pathologists, services and vendors.

Lubbock County's ME office serves 19 additional counties in the area, which helps offset the overhead cost.

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