Indianapolis News and HeadlinesWomen's History Month

Actions

Marion County Coroner’s Office paving the way for more opportunities for women

whm8.jpg
whm5.jpg
whm6.jpg
whm7.jpg
whm2.jpg
whm4.jpg
whm.jpg
whm3.jpg
Posted at 7:36 PM, Mar 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-02 16:53:45-05

INDIANAPOLIS — March kicks off Women’s History Month.

During the month of March, we share stories of women making great strides in our community, and we introduce you to women breaking barriers and creating more opportunities for others to follow.

WRTV’s Amber Grigley found a story of bravery and changemakers in the Marion County Coroner’s Office.

"I wanted to be a physician ever since I was a little girl," Dr. Leeandrea Sloan, Marion County Coroner, said.

whm.jpg

If you simply Google Dr. Sloan, there's a long list of results of what she has accomplished so far.

"I practiced for 22 years at IU Medical Group which then became IU Health Physician," Sloan said. "I am a veteran. I joined the army reserve in 1989. Once I graduated from medical school, I then received a direct commission as a captain into the Medical Corp."

In 2003, her commitment to serve was given the ultimate test.

whm4.jpg

"When my middle son Joshua was 13 months old, I got a notification on a Thursday that I was going to war and had to report by Sunday," Sloan said.

Nearly 13 years later, in 2016, Dr. Sloan received a text from Deputy Chief Coroner Alfarena “Alfie” McGinty.

"The text read, 'Hey, why don't you think about running for coroner,'" Sloan said.

whm7.jpg

The fear of the unknown rocked her world, but like everything else she has had to tackle in life, she pushed through it.

"I became the first African American female coroner in the county," Sloan said.

A role traditionally associated with men.

whm6.jpg

"We take in descendants; we do investigations because we want to speak for the dead and learn how they die and what was their cause of death. Being a woman and a minority were kind of two strikes against me, and a lot of times we have to work twice as hard to achieve less in some respects," Sloan said.

Eight years after being elected, Dr. Sloan has reached her term limit and is now returning that same text to Alfie McGinty, asking her to run for coroner.

"It kind of scared me a little bit just because, I dream big, but I don't think that dream was on my list," McGinty said.

whm5.jpg

McGinty has been the Chief Deputy Coroner for 18 years and worked in the office for 26 years. Until Dr. Sloan was elected, women were outnumbered in holding those positions.

"Wow, these are the shoes I have to fill and I’m filling them as a female, as a woman, and a woman of color," McGinty said.

Both Sloan and McGinty are leading the way, creating endless opportunities for women in the Marion County Coroner's Office.

"It feels good to be able to do it but then to know that there are so many young women who are looking at us as a role model, even when you don't think that they're looking at you, they're looking at you, they're striving to be like you," McGinty said.

whm2.jpg

"I think of the forerunners and who really allowed me to be in this place, but here I am. My name will go down in history, that's amazing and it just humbles me, and I feel blessed, and grateful that I was given this opportunity," Sloan said.

There is not a Republican candidate for coroner at this time. The Marion County Republican chair has until July 3 to appoint someone who will then run against Alfie in November.