Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Search SCCGOV Main Portal

Staff

Dr. Michelle Jorden has been employed in Santa Clara County as a Medical Examiner and Neuropathologist since 2008 and is currently the Chief Medical Examiner. She obtained her medical degree from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois. She performed 6 additional years of postgraduate training to include residency and fellowships in Anatomic pathology, Surgical Pathology and Neuropathology at Stanford University Medical Center, CA and a fellowship in forensic pathology at the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office in Chicago, IL. Dr. Jorden has been a Medical Examiner since 2005 and is board certified through the American Board of Pathology in anatomic pathology, neuropathology and forensic pathology. She maintains her board certification and participates in maintenance of certification (MOCand most recently, Continuing Certification (CC)​ through the American Board of Pathology. Dr. Jorden also is Chair of the Child Death Review Team, board certified through the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI), a member of the Child Abuse Council for Santa Clara County and a member of the Domestic Violence Death Review Team.

Dr. Joseph O’Hara  joined the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner team in 2003.  He grew up in Atlanta, Georgia.  He received a BA from West Georgia College (a unit of the University System of Georgia).  He attended the Medical College of Georgia (University of Georgia), obtaining his MD.  He then completed a 5 year pathology residency at the Medical College of Georgia Hospital and Clinics.  Finally he completed a Forensic Pathology Fellowship at the OMI at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.  He has served on the county Suicide Prevention Oversight Committee, the Child Death Review Team, the Elder Death Review Team, and the Defined Contributions Plan Committee.  As an affiliated professor of Pathology at Stanford University, he enjoys instructing pathology residents.

Dr. Mehdi Koolaee joined Santa Clara County Medical Examiner Office in July 2016. He served as Deputy Medical Examiner at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Washington, DC and Assistant Chief Medical Examiner at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Manassas, Virginia. He graduated from Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Tehran, Iran and completed his training in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology at the Howard University Hospital in Washington DC followed by a fellowship at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the State of Maryland in Baltimore. He is board certified in anatomic and clinical pathology, and forensic pathology through American Board of Pathology.​​

Dr. Nika Aljinovic joined the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner Office in October 2017, coming from Syracuse, NY, where she served as a Medical Examiner for the Onondaga County Medical Examiner Office and a Clinical Assistant Professor at SUNY Upstate Medical University in charge of the autopsy education for the rotating pathology residents.  She obtained her medical degree from University of New Mexico School of Medicine, and completed her residency training in both Anatomic and Clinical Pathology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, followed by the Forensic Pathology fellowship at the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator, and a Forensic Neuropathology/Cardiac Pathology fellowship at the Office of Chief Medical Examiner in New York City. She is board certified in Anatomic, Clinical, and Forensic Pathology. She has participated in a regional Mass Disaster workshop, and received training in the OSHA 40-Hour Health and Safety Hazardous Waste Operations Emergency Response (HAZWOPER). 

Dr. Susan Parson joined the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner Office in March 2018.  She received a B.S. in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior and a B.S. in Psychology from the University of California, Davis. Having been interested in forensic pathology since her early teenage years, she later received an M.S. in Forensic Science with a concentration in Advanced Investigation from the University of New Haven (Connecticut) prior to earning her medical degree from Saba University School of Medicine (Saba, Netherlands-Antilles). She then completed residency in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA and fellowship in Forensic Pathology at the Maryland State Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore.  She is board certified by the American Board of Pathology in Anatomic Pathology and Forensic Pathology.​

Rosa Vega joined the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office in July 2005. She is the Chief Investigator and currently supervises 9 Medical Examiner-Coroner Investigators. Rosa obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from San Jose State University where she studied Criminal Justice and Physical Anthropology. She later earned a Master's of Science degree from Loyola University New Orleans in Criminal Justice Administration with a concentration in Forensic Science Administration. She is a member of the California State Coroner's Association, California Homicide Investigator's Association and the International Association of Coroners & Medical Examiners. Rosa is a registered Diplomate with the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators. She is a member of the Santa Clara County Child Death and Domestic Violence review teams. 

​​​​​​Andrea Whelan has been employed as an Investigator since 1997. Prior to working in Santa Clara County, she was employed as an Investigator at the San Francisco Medical Examiner’s Office. Investigator Whelan has a B. A. in Biology, with minor degrees in Chemistry and Criminal Justice. In 2008, Investigator Whelan obtained a Master’s in Public Administration and her thesis project focused on the Social Justice Issues of Unclaimed Dead. She is a member of the California State Coroner’s Association, International Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners and a Registered Diplomate with the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators.

​Jamie Giller has been employed as an Investigator since 2016. Prior to joining the team she worked as an Investigator for the Cook County Office of the Medical Examiner since 2010. She has a B. A. from Southern Illinois University and in  2009 she earned an Associate of Applied Science degree from Worsham College of Mortuary Science.  She is a Registered Diplomate with the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators.​

Alyssa Collazo joined the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner team in 2015. She is currently the Lead Forensic Pathologist Technician. She was born and raised in Santa Clara County. Alyssa received her BA in Criminal Justice with a Concentration in Forensic Science from California State University Stanislaus where she spent one year interning at the Stanislaus County Coroner’s Office.​​

Karin Wells (Student Intern) has been a student intern for the Chief Medical Examiner since January 2016. She received a B.A. from San Francisco State University and is currently completing an M.A. at California State University, Chico. Some of her work includes a suicide study in conjunction with the Epi-Aid team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a retrospective juvenile motor vehicle study, and a retrospective homeless death study for the county of Santa Clara.​ 


 

Administrative Services Manager (ASM-III): 
Josefina Covarrubias joined in 2017



Administration Office:
Senior Office Specialist,​ Nicole Lopez joined in 2017
Executive Assistant, Candace Garcia joined in 2017
Senior Office Specialist,​ Cindy Gallego joined in 2018
Office Specialist III, Marisol Batres joined in 2019


 

Forensic Autopsy Assistants:
Misty Padilla joined in 2001
Barrie Buey joined in 2014
Natalie White joined 2017


 

Investigators:
Chris Garcia joined in 2001
Norma Contreras joined in 2007
Christina Pantoja joined in 2009
Marcel Watson joined in 2013
Jasamyn Wimmer joined in 2017
Susan Stolberg joined in 2018
Waleed Kilany joined in 2018

​​​

Last updated: 7/2/2019 1:56 PM