Bernadette Powis

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Bernadette Powis is a Kinderhook Democrat, running for the office of Columbia County Coroner in the upcoming November 6th election. She is a medical professional with more than 35 years’ experience as a Registered Nurse (RN), Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP). The combination of these professional skills makes her highly qualified for the responsibilities of Coroner. The elected Coroner, assisted when necessary by the Coroner’s Physician, is called upon to determine the cause and manner of death in certain circumstances. The Corner’s responsibility in those cases is to render an independent, impartial decision regarding the cause and manner of death. This role is distinct from the role of law enforcement in these investigations.

Throughout her long career, Bernadette has worked in a variety of health care settings as an autonomous health care provider who collaborated and conferred with physicians and other team members. She has expertise in observation and reporting, administrative oversight, crisis de-escalation, and the ability to communicate medical findings in everyday language to patients and families.

The Coroner, in practice, is also the point of contact for those personally affected by the death. They may be distraught family members with questions about how this loss came about. There may be a need for guidance on navigating the system, claiming the body and making arrangements. The Coroner is there to assist, advise and comfort as possible.

As Coroner, Bernadette will be able to draw from her skills as a therapist to approach grieving families with sensitivity and compassion. Surviving family members can take comfort in knowing she will face the death scene with stringent objectivity and arrive at a medically informed decision. She will serve families and communities across Columbia County with professionalism and dedication. For Bernadette, the attraction of this position is the opportunity to feel genuinely useful to another human being in their time of vulnerability and need.

Bernadette has lived in Kinderhook since 2002, where she is an active member of her community. She serves as a member of the Kinderhook Memorial Library Board of Trustees and the Columbia County Safe at Home Workgroup. During the summers, she volunteers at the local Summer Lunch Program.

When not working with her community, Bernadette enjoys her large family of 4 grown children and 10 grandchildren with husband Bill Mancini.