Contact: Shannon Guess (505) 272-0261

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – In a recent letter to University of New Mexico President, David Schmidly, and UNM Executive Vice President of the Health Sciences Center, Dr. Paul Roth, Patricia Niles, executive director of New Mexico Donor Services, praised the exemplary work of New Mexico’s Chief Medical Examiner and UNM School of Medicine Pathology Department member, Dr. Ross E. Zumwalt, and his staff.

“Dr. Zumwalt and his staff worked with us to insure that 100 percent of potential organ donors were able to provide life-saving organs to approximately 119 individuals throughout the country and in New Mexico,” Niles wrote. “We want to especially thank him on behalf of the recipients, the donors, and the donors’ and recipients’ families who, in 2007, were able to give and receive the gift of life because he and the members of his office were so committed to this life-saving enterprise.”

As one of only 16 centralized death investigative systems in the country, the high volume, single location facilitates relationships with donor organizations. In addition to working with New Mexico Donor Services, the Office of the Medical Investigator works closely with the New Mexico Lion’s Eye Bank as well.

“Many forensic pathologists state that our work represents the last voice of the dead. That’s true, but as I’ve said previously, we work extremely hard to serve the living in so many ways,” said Zumwalt. “I have a great staff that is constantly reaching out to the citizens of New Mexico, serving their needs, and hopefully creating a positive, living perception of our difficult work.”