CLEARFIELD – Clearfield County Coroner R. Joel Heath has announced he is seeking the Democratic nomination for re-election to the office of Clearfield County coroner.
Heath, 50, is married to the former Sheila K. Folmar, formerly of Osceola Mills.
He is the present coroner, having served the office since January 1988.
Heath is a graduate of the Philipsburg-Osceola Area High School, the University of Pittsburgh and St. Francis University. He recieved his master’s degree from Mississippi State University where he graduated with high honors. He is an honors graduate of the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science and has been a licensed funeral director for more than 25 years. Heath earned his teaching certification from St. Francis University and completed the course of study with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine eye enucleation program.
He also has completed numerous courses in forensic death investigation with several educational institutions, including The Pennsylvania State University, Edinboro University, Mercyhurst Archeoligical Institute, the Allegheny County Coroner’s Office, Erie County Coroner’s Office, The Pennsylvania State Coroner’s Association and the Pennsylvania Dental Association Forensic Odontology Committee.
Heath is a former instructor and co-chairman of the East Mississippi College, Department of Mortuary Science and while an instructor in Mississippi assisted the Mississippi State Legislature with the development of their State Medical Examiners program. He was also an instructor of mortuary science with the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science.
He is a life member of the Columbia Fire Co., Osceola Mills and numerous other civic and fraternal organizations. Heath has been associated for many years with the eye enucleation program with the Western Pennsylvania Eye Bank and the Center for Organ Recovery as an eye enucleation technician for corneal transplantation.
During his years in office, Heath has spoken on the benefits of organ donation to numerous clubs and organizations in Clearfield and Centre counties.
Heath stated, “During my tenure as your coroner, I have tried to conduct the coroner’s office in a professional, dignified and compassionate manner, which I believe the citizens of Clearfield County have come to expect. I do not sensationalize cases for the benefits of media exposure and personal gain and will never do so.
“I have tried to maintain a good working relationship with area police agencies and emergency organizations. Select deputies and I have carried out the duties of the coroner’s office in an efficient and budget-conscious manner, while still providing the people of Clearfield County with the quality of service they deserve.
“Many aspects of the coroners office have been computerized by myself and deputies at no expense to the taxpayers, thus affording better and swifter communication with my office and other agencies needing information on a death.
“I believe I have been fiscally responsible in conducting the coroner’s office during my years in office. I have kept my budget at the lowest levels possible and have paid out of my own pocket for many unforseen circumstances, so as to keep the promise I made to the people of Clearfield County in 1987.
“I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to serve the people of Clearfield County the past 20 years. I have tried to treat everyone in a fair and compassionate manner which I believe the people of Clearfield County deserve. I hope that I may continue to hold the trust and confidence they have placed in me in the future.”