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 Prevention Council​ for Santa Clara County and a member of the Domestic Violence Death Review Team.

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 and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI). 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 after previously serving as a Forensic Pathologist associated with the San Joaquin County Sheriff-Coroner in French Camp, CA.  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 completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology and Clinical Pathology at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA and fellowship training in Forensic Pathology at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore, Maryland.  She is board certified by the American Board of Pathology in Anatomic Pathology and Forensic Pathology and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI).

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.​

Karin Wells 

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

 

Administrative Support Officer (ASO-I): 

Candace Garcia joined in 2021

 

Administration Office:

Senior Office Specialist,​ Nicole Lopez joined in 2017
Senior Office Specialist,​ Cindy Gallego joined in 2018
Office Specialist III, Marisol Batres joined in 2019

 

Forensic Autopsy Technicians:

Misty Padilla joined in 2001
Natalie White joined 2017
Charles Rios joined 2020
Ariel Flores joined 2021
Martin Kams joined 2021

 

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
Alyssa Collazo joined 2021

Barrie Buey joined 2021

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