ANDERSON — Both Republican candidates say they are looking to bring change to the office of coroner in Madison County.
Dr. Troy Abbott, 54, and Noah Bozell, 20, will be on the ballet June 2 for the COVID-19-delayed primary.
Bozell graduated from Anderson High School in 2018 and, though young, has worked in the funeral business with his father, Todd Bozell, since he was 13.
Father and son purchased Hersberger-Bozell funeral home in Lapel two years ago.
“I thought it would just be another way for me to serve the Madison County community. That’s why I decided to run,” Bozell said.
Abbott graduated from Highland High School before earning a degree in chemistry and biology from Anderson University. He graduated from Indiana University’s medical school and completed his residency at Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie.
He worked for 23 years with Community Health Network in Alexandria before deciding to become an independent physician, joining Wright Family Practice in Lapel.
He said he views the office as not just determining cause of death but also as a way to help the living through data collected by the office that can be used to improve the health of the county.
“It’s more like a calling than just an office for me,” Abbott said.
Madison County consistently comes in near the bottom of state health rankings.
Bozell wants to improve technology, improve standards and raise awareness about the coroner’s office.
Both candidates want to see autopsies performed in Madison County.
“My No. 1 goal is to keep every autopsy here locally in Madison County,” Bozell said.
Abbott believes having a physician in the office not only brings expertise but savings to the county.
“I think you need to have someone that has a medical background, to be able to interpret medical records, review autopsy results and be prepared to testify in court if need be, and ultimately that should save the county thousands of dollars,” Abbott said.
He also wants to shorten the time it takes for the coroner or deputy coroner to respond when called to a scene.
“I just feel like there’s been a lot of complacency with the current office,” Abbott said. “We need to look at the budgets and we need to look at how to improve the services.”