As the new Franklin County coroner, Nathaniel R. Overmire ’09 has used his training and expertise to improve the lives and safety of the nearly 1.3 million people he serves. As a trained family physician, Overmire treats his patients using a holistic lens through all stages of life. Both identities converge daily through Overmire’s passion for serving others.
“I really identified with the philosophy of osteopathic medicine. Osteopathy is rooted in the idea of looking at the whole body, a holistic care approach for a patient. It’s about trying to get to the root cause and understanding that maybe a patient’s neck pain is really from an abnormal gait or something wrong with the foot,” said Overmire, D.O. “Everything in the body is connected. One aspect of your body can influence another in quite a dramatic way. It’s about not just treating the symptom; it’s about trying to uncover the root cause.”
The osteopathic family physician not only treats the body as a whole in his clinical practice but he has also leaned into the approach as the new Franklin County coroner.
“When I’m at the coroner’s office, I’m meeting with folks and collaborating with other elected officials. I’m really looking forward to elevating the voices of the voiceless in our community and serving the underserved and all residents,” said Overmire. “I feel so honored, privileged, and humbled to have been selected and appointed to this role. By providing important data and sharing important stories, we can hopefully improve the lives and safety of the folks of Franklin County and impact policymakers and other stakeholders.”
Overmire was appointed to the Office of Franklin County Coroner in December 2022. On Jan. 3, 2023, he was commissioned to assume the role of Franklin County coroner. The office serves a community of nearly 1.3 million people, including the city of Columbus. The Coroner’s Office investigates all deaths by violence, criminal means, suicide, or any unattended death whatever the cause. The coroner is responsible for the unbiased, independent formal report and verdict on all deaths that fall under their jurisdiction.
“I’m very interested in elevating and understanding people’s stories in the office, understanding their unique roles. I’m not a chemist, but I’m really interested in learning more about our toxicology department. From getting a chance to do a ride-along with our investigators to talking with our case secretaries who talk to families, there’s a lot of work being done within the office,” said Overmire.
“My official clinical capacity definitely includes signing death certificates. As a physician, I can do an autopsy, but I don’t currently. I would want to do some more formalized training If I were to do autopsies. As a physician, I have the lingo that when I read a pathology report or an autopsy report, I know exactly what the pathologist is talking about because of my education.”
Overmire earned his undergraduate degree in biology and minored in Spanish and chemistry from Capital in 2009.
“I knew almost immediately that Capital was where I wanted to spend my undergrad. I loved the big-city aspect of Columbus coming from a small town but then having that family, small town within the big city that Capital can provide in Bexley,” said Overmire. “The trusting relationship I had with my faculty was so important. My professors were so genuine and kind, but also challenged us intellectually. Challenged us to be thoughtful leaders.”
After graduation, Overmire went to medical school at Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. He returned to the Columbus area for residency at Grant Medical Center.
“During my residency, I focused on full-scope family medicine. An old term we used was cradle-to-grave care,” said Overmire. “I love those transition points when we’re bringing life in and honoring the life that folks have had and helping them in their final moments. I think those touchpoints are the most precious, impactful times in medicine.”
Overmire is committed to running for re-election in 2024. His current term as Franklin County coroner ends in January 2025.
For more information on biology at Capital, visit https://www.capital.edu/academics/majors-and-minors/biology/.
For more information about Nathaniel R. Overmire, D.O., visit https://coroner.franklincountyohio.gov/about/about-the-coroner.