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Huron County funeral directors talk with commissioners on problems with business contracted for medical examiners services
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 11:02:55 EDT
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Several of the Funeral Directors in Huron County were in attendance Wednesday morning to talk with the Huron County Board of Commissioners on problems they are encountering with the Michigan Institute of Forensic Science and Medicine (MIFSM) which the county contracted for medical examiners services. They talked about the increase in cremation fees - which more than doubled - along with a reduction in the payments the funeral homes receive for transporting a body to the Saginaw facility. Corporate Counsel for the board, Steve Allen using the terms of the contract they signed with the firm said the firm had violated those terms. The county is to pay certain fee per year for the services, per the contract. It is similar to what Tuscola County Commissioners were told by their attorney on the matter. Director James Childs of the Champagne Funeral Chapel told us the violation of the contract was a significant finding, as the firm was in violation of a 20 year contract in the first month.
Medical Examiner Dr. Russell Bush (right) was in attendance and tried to address the issues, however his responsibilities are with the medical aspect of the business, which the funeral directors were not finding a problem. The doctor in charge of the business aspects of MIFSM was not at the meeting. Also under discussion were delays in death certificates as families are looking to move forward following the death of a loved one. The commissioners talked about trying to set up a meeting with representatives of MIFSM, the board and funeral directors to discuss the issues, and what were described as communication problems between the firm and the funeral directors. Also at the meeting were Gia Mellendorf of the Juengel and Mellendorf Funeral Home of Sebewaing and Ryan Ramsey of the Ramsey Funeral Home of Harbor Beach.