What’s next for NH’s Chief Medical Examiner? A ministry to youth focused on drug prevention

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Screenshot from Saturday’s NYT story featuring NH’s recently retired Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Andrew.

CONCORD, NH – A really interesting look at what’s next for New Hampshire’s retiring Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Thomas Andrew, in Saturday’s New York Times. Last month Thomas announced his retirement after 20 years:

After laboring here as the chief forensic pathologist for two decades, exploring the mysteries of the dead, he retired last month to explore the mysteries of the soul. In a sharp career turn, he is entering a seminary program to pursue a divinity degree, and ultimately plans to minister to young people to stay away from drugs.

“After seeing thousands of sudden, unexpected or violent deaths,” Dr. Andrew said, “I have found it impossible not to ponder the spiritual dimension of these events for both the deceased and especially those left behind.” – New York Times

The story, by Katharine Q. Seelye, details the sharp rise in deaths around the country attributed to opioid overdose – and zeroes in on New Hampshire’s 2016 statistics, which catalogued more deaths per capita from synthetic opioids like fentanyl than any other state – nearly 500, which is almost 10 times the number in 2000.  Andrew also mentions NH’s backlog of autopsies which, puts our state at risk of losing accreditation.

Most fascinating is that Andrew talks about not only leaving his longtime profession, but his plan to reinvent himself at age 60 – he will become an ordained deacon in the United Methodist Church, serving as chaplain for the Boy Scouts of America, as well as joining the Appalachian Trail Chaplaincy of the United Methodist Church to minister to troubled hikers along the trails that wind through New Hampshire and its White Mountains. 

A must-read, you can find the full story here at nytimes.com

About this Author

Carol Robidoux

PublisherManchester Ink Link

Longtime NH journalist and publisher of ManchesterInkLink.com. Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!