021: Managing Death, Information, and the Opioid Epidemic – Julie Howe, M.B.A., D-ABMDI

On this episode, Julie Howe comes on the podcast to talk about managing death, information, and the opioid epidemic. Julie is a Professor at St. Louis University as well as a Medicolegal Death Investigator for Franklin, Jefferson, and St. Charles Counties in Missouri. For years now, Julie has been a mentor of mine and is part of the reason that I am doing this podcast today. I am very thankful that she was able to come on the podcast to share her experiences with you all.

Throughout the episode we discuss the importance of Health Information Management and how it is an exploding field right now due to the increased importance of health data. Also, she explains how her role as an HIM professor and a medicolegal death investigator grant her a unique perspective on our healthcare system.

We dive deep into the current opioid epidemic and how it is overwhelming the morgues and medical examiners across the country. Apart from that, Julie explains what it is like dealing with crime scenes including the safety risks and emotional toll that go along with it.

If you are interested in learning more, check out Julie on LinkedIn or check out more links below!

Enjoy the episode!

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– Julie’s background in health information management and medicoleagal death investigation. [4:10]
– What is Health Information Management? [6:34]
– Her experience being a teacher at Saint Louis University? [7:56]
– How being a death investigator helps her as a teacher. [9:49]
– What is the process of responding to a death outside of the hospital? [11:16]
– The importance of being a good patient advocate for yourself and others. [13:31]
– The interesting perspective that Julie has of the health system that other types of providers don’t recognize. [15:04]
– Has Julie been involved on any high profile cases? [19:40]
– Reenacting the cause of death. [21:30]
– The opioid epidemic is overwhelming right now. [24:15]
– Where Carfentanil, which is used for elephants, you can get on almost any street corner.[25:00]
– Because of overdoses the morgues are over capacity. [26:53]
– Determining if it’s overdose, poison or caused by somebody else. [29:20]
– Has Julie ever felt unsafe on scene? [30:03]
– Is there anything exciting Julie in the healthcare space right now? [32:01]
– Collaborating with people outside the country about the future of healthcare. [33:08]
– One thing she would change in the healthcare industry. [36:08]
– Advice for the next generation of healthcare leaders. [37:41]

Significant Quotes:

“Not taking all of your medications is just as important to know as taking too many.” [16:20]
“You need to be passionate about what you do.” [34:09]
“If you do the best job that you can, people will notice you.” [34:27]
“You have to invest in yourself.” [36:17]


Julie on LinkedIn
Saint Louis University HIM Program
St. Louis Office of the Medical Examiner

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