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 (MOC) and 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
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
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.
Carla Perez has been with Santa
Clara County for 19 years serving in Health & Hospital Systems until she
joined MEC in July 2018. She graduated from National Education Center/Bryman
Campus as a Certified Medical Assistant in 1985 and is a member of the American
Association of Medical Assistants.
Administrative Services Manager (ASM-III):
Josefina Covarrubias joined in 2017
Senior Office Specialist, Nicole Lopez joined in 2017
Executive Assistant, Candace Garcia joined in 2017
Office Specialist III, Angela Diaz joined in 2018
Senior Office Specialist, Cindy Gallego joined in 2018
Forensic Autopsy Assistants:
Misty Padilla joined in
Barrie Buey joined in 2014
Natalie White joined 2017
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