XENIA — Democrat Dr. Steve Bujenovic will challenge incumbent Dr. Kevin Sharrett for the office of Greene County coroner on the November ballot.
Bujenovic has been a practicing physician for more than 30 years and currently works at a clinic in Yellow Springs. During the primary in March, he said that while his opponent had done a “pretty fine job” as coroner, he has a “different take” on the position. Bujenovic has a broad background in family medicine, emergency medicine and imaging, as well as administrative experience.
If elected, Bujenovic hopes to introduce virtual autopsy as a method of the coroner’s office, and would draw on his experience in radiology to do so, he said. Virtual autopsy uses existing medical imaging techniques, including CT and MRI scans, to determine cause of death.
Virtual autopsy, or “virtopsy,” can aid in better diagnosis, and is non-invasive compared to standard autopsy. Virtopsy is also respectful of religious beliefs, and is generally less time consuming than examining an entire body, according to documents from the National Institute of Health.
Utilizing imaging equipment can offer assistance determining a “compassionate and accurate cause of death,” Bujenovic said in response to a questionnaire sent to candidates.
Sharrett has served as Greene County coroner for six terms. In that time he has certified more than 2,000 deaths, and served two terms on the Ohio State Coroners Association Governing Board. During his administration, the Greene County Coroner’s office has maintained certification with the National Association of Medical Examiners, an accreditation which few Ohio offices have achieved.
Sharrett’s family practice has served eastern Greene County for 28 years. He also serves as a medical advisor to Greene County Public Health in response to COVID-19.
In response to the candidate questionnaire, Sharrett said that while the official responsibilities of the job are essential, the most important part is to support and comfort families of the deceased.
“Families have told me how much they appreciate the support they have received during this vulnerable time,” he said.
Sharrett said that the most important challenge facing the office is the ongoing battle with opioid drugs, and that he would “continue working with Law Enforcement and Social Service agencies to continue to decrease the impact [of drugs] on our society.”
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