CANDIDATE PROFILES - Walla Walla Coroner


Richard Greenwood

Age: 55.

Employment: Currently employed with Basin Disposal of Walla Walla.

Highest Education: High School degree from Walla Walla High School, 1974. Studied industrial safety at Eastern Washington University, received no degree. Agriculture mechanics class at Walla Walla Community College, around 1978-79.

Who I am: I was born and raised in Walla Walla. I've been married for 26 years to Darlene, a teacher at Prospect Point Elementary School. My children are Riley, Jared and Kendra. I have farmed and have worked in the food processing industry and private industry.

Why I am best qualified: I believe I'm able to bring more diversity to the coroner's office. A nurse is duplicating what the attending physician already does. The attending physician signs off on about 53 percent of deaths in Walla Walla, which includes hospice care, nursing home and hospital deaths, with some exceptions (2008 statistics). The coroner does the rest -- agriculture, industrial and car accidents. Unexplained and unexpected deaths. The coroner investigates about 20 percent of total deaths. In my industrial safety training, I've studied electricity, structure failure, that sort of thing. The coroner is a jack-of-all-trades and must figure out what killed a person rather quickly. If you study the duties of a coroner, his/her main job is to investigate the scene. He/she gets called in on the oddball stuff and it may be an electrocution, or drowning. My background in farming, food processing and industrial safety gives me that very background.

Virginia Romine

Age: 58.

Employment: Registered nurse for 25 years. I took the summer off to work for my husband's (Jim Romine) campaign and mine.

Highest education: Associate Degree in Nursing (A.D.N.) from Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario, Ore. Four classes short of a B.A. in business administration from the University of LaVerne in LaVerne, Calif.

Who I am: I was born in Ontario. I moved to Walla Walla in June 2005, when I married Jim Romine, a captain in the Sheriff's Department. I have four children (ages 19, 31, 33 and 36), six grandchildren and two more grandchildren on the way. I began working in health care when I was 16 as a candy striper at a nursing home. I have worked in health care my whole adult life.

Why I am best qualified: I have a 25-year career in health care dealing with all of the areas of death and dying. I have experience in emergency rooms and operating rooms, have cared for patients with terminal illness, assisted hospice in its care, taught EMT classes and been a first responder. I have worked with law enforcement and have done correctional nursing for the Snake River Correctional Institution, the largest prison in Oregon. I have assisted with autopsies for about 11 years. I believe I'm the best qualified candidate because every current coroner of the 39 counties in Washington has a background in health care, law enforcement, or the law -- attorneys or health-care professionals, or ex-law enforcement -- so they have a background with processing evidence. People who are grieving look to the coroner to explain why their loved one is dead. To be able to interpret medical records, to put medical records and autopsy reports into layman terms, you have to have a background in law or health care. Law enforcement also looks to the coroner for answers.


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