Opinion | Amber Flenniken: I’ve got the experience needed to become coroner
Candidate for Summit County coroner
Occupation: Patient care technician and security officer at St. Anthony Summit Hospital in the inpatient, critical care and pediatric units; 15 years of health care experience including jobs at Summit County Ambulance, High Country Healthcare, Centura’s on-mountain Urgent Care Clinics, Summit County Coroner’s Office. As chief deputy coroner at the Summit County Coroner’s Office, I have worked more than 300 cases in Summit County in my career.
Years in Summit County: 27
Family: Husband Josh Flenniken (executive director of Summit Huts), father-in-law Jeff Flenniken and a dog named Watson
Civic Involvement: Volunteer at Family & Intercultural Resource Center’s Family Food Market; assisted with administering COVID-19 vaccines at Summit County Public Health Office; prospective Summit County Rotary Club member; assisted at Summit Huts Association; volunteer at health fair as a phlebotomy and respiratory volunteer.
My name is Amber Flenniken and I will be on the on ballot for the office of coroner in November. I have been a Summit County resident for 27 years. I have been married to my best friend Josh Flenniken, who is the executive director of the Summit Huts Association, for 20 years. We reside in the Ptarmigan neighborhood in Silverthorne and share our home with my father-in-law, Jeff Flenniken and our dog, Watson. I have been working in health care for 15 years in many capacities, including Summit County Ambulance, High Country Healthcare, Centura’s on-mountain Urgent Care Clinics, Summit County Coroner’s Office, and I currently work for St. Anthony Summit Hospital on the inpatient, critical care and pediatric units as a patient care technician as well as a security officer.
I began working for the Summit County Coroner’s Office in 2017 after graduating from the Death Investigation Academy. While at the Coroner’s Office, I continued death investigation education training with the National Criminal Justice Public Agency Training Council, completing courses in “Forensic Pathology for Investigators and Investigative Techniques Using Social Networking.” I furthered my education, completing the Colorado Coroner’s Association Certification and Registered American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators, while maintaining continuing education hours for my medical career. In 2019, I was promoted to chief deputy coroner and have worked on more than 300 cases in Summit County.
I have attended and assisted in numerous autopsies since becoming a death investigator. I am an advocate for donor alliance and a designated requestor. I am also Mental Health First Aid U.S.A. Certified, but being a coroner is much more than just a list of certifications and accreditations. It is guiding the friends and family members suffering loss to help them find peace. It is coordinating with families, funeral homes, law enforcement and pathologists to make sure decedents are laid to rest with dignity in accordance with their wishes. It is treating the survivors and their lost loved ones with compassion and respect.
During my 27 years residing in Summit County, I have developed interests in many volunteer activities. I have assisted at the Family & Intercultural Resource Center’s Family Food Market and attended the Summit County 9 News Health Fair as a phlebotomy and respiratory volunteer. I have supported the Summit County Public Health Office by volunteering to administer COVID-19 vaccines, and I help my husband at Summit Huts Association volunteer events. Most recently, I am proud to be a prospective member of the Summit County Rotary Club. If you would like to learn more about me or my campaign, please visit my website AmberCoroner.com.
While I have encountered a large segment of our community within my various aforementioned roles, you are just as likely to run into me on the slopes in the winter or on the river on a standup paddleboard or raft in the summer. We may connect at a yoga class or on a trail when I’m hiking with my dog, Watson. While I sincerely hope that we never cross paths in a professional capacity, I look forward to being Summit County’s next coroner.
Amber Flenniken is a candidate for Summit County coroner on the Democratic Party ballot in the 2022 primary election.
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