An autopsy found significant narrowing of the coronary arteries. Hartlage’s death was classified as “natural,” the report said.
Her unexpected death shocked the Louisville health community where Hartlage had become the public face of the campaign against COVID-19, helping set up the LouVax drive-thru vaccine site and appearing regularly at weekly press briefings with Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.
Fischer in March praised Hartlage’s tireless work to make COVID-19 vaccines available.
She “took command of an amazing team of city workers and volunteers to vaccinate tens of thousands of people in a previously unthinkably short amount of time, while also working to ensure vaccines are being distributed equitably throughout the community and communicating facts about their safety in relatable ways to non-medical professionals,” Fischer said.
The medical examiner’s report took three months to complete because of laboratory analysis and other tests, the office said.
Hartlage died within a day of leaving Louisville for Orlando.
On March 15, Hartlage reported she was excited to be on an early-morning flight to Orlando where she was to speak at a medical conference.
“5AM sweaty airplane selfie can only mean one thing: I am #HIMSS bound!,” she said on Twitter, referring to the Health Care Information and Management Systems Society meeting.
Later that day, Hartlage reported in another tweet she stepped in to help with a medical emergency on the plane when a passenger became ill.
Hartlage started an IV on the man at 35,000 feet in the air, working with another doctor and nurse also on the flight. The man was taken to the hospital after landing in Orlando.