Jackson County Medical Examiner staff with the binders of paperwork needed to acquire NAME accreditation in 2014. (Seated L-R) Medical Examiner Dr. Diane Peterson, Chief of Forensic Operations and Investigations Tom Hensley and Forensic Supervisor Adrian Baron. (Standing L-R) Forensic Technician/Investigator Megan Minniear, Administrative Supervisor Kandi Brooke and Executive Assistant to the Chief Medical Examiner Dianna Siefering.
The Jackson County Medical Examiner’s Office is accredited by the National Association of Medical Examiners. NAME is the national professional organization of physician medical examiners, medicolegal death investigators and death investigation system administrators who perform the official duties of the medicolegal investigation of deaths of public interest in the United States. NAME was founded in 1966 with the dual purposes of fostering the professional growth of physician death investigators and disseminating the professional and technical information vital to the continuing improvement of the medical investigation of violent, suspicious and unusual deaths.
NAME members provide the expertise to medicolegal death investigation that is essential to the effective functioning of the civil and criminal justice systems. In many jurisdictions the medical aspects of death investigation remain relegated to personnel without medical training, or are performed by persons with little or no education in death investigation.
As part of its mission to improve the quality of death investigation nationally and to recognize excellence in death investigation systems, NAME conducts voluntary inspection and accreditation programs for medicolegal death investigative offices. This program is designed to offer expert evaluation. Accreditation by NAME is an honor and significant achievement for an office. It signifies to the public that the office is performing at a high level of competence and public services.
The Jackson County Medical Examiner’s Office has received its 4th continuous accreditation by the NAME in 2014. The office received full accreditation from NAME in 1999, 2004, 2009, and 2014 with zero deficiencies on over 350 checklist items for a 5 year term.
Additionally, the ME's Office operates a one year Fellowship Training Program in Forensic Pathology, which is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). The training course begins with orientation and didactic lectures, followed by graduated responsibility in case difficulty and complexity. Forensic Pathology knowledge is gained by scene investigations and performance of approximately 200 to 250 autopsies. Fellows will have observed court testimony and depositions by the end of the 1 year fellowship. Categorized records provide excellent study materials for research projects and board preparation. At year’s end the Fellow should be educated with skills and logic needed to practice forensic pathology independently. The Jackson County Medical Examiner’s Office received its ACGME accreditation in 2002, 2007, and 2012 with full accreditation through 2019.
The medical staff and investigative staff have various memberships and affiliations with professional organizations, including:
- Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)
- American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS)
- American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI)
- American Medical Association (AMA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- College of American Pathologists (CAP)
- Disaster Mortuary Operations Response Team (DMORT)
- Kansas City Regional Mortuary Operational Response Group (KCRMORG)
- Medical-Legal Death Investigation Subcommittee (OSAC)
- Mid-American Regional Council (MARC)
- Midwest Transplant Network (MTN)
- Missouri Disaster Response System (MODRS)
- Missouri Mortuary Operational Response Group (MOMORG)
- Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF)
- National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME)
- National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
- State Technical Assistant Team (STAT)
- United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology (USCAP)
The medical staff has clinical faculty appointments in the Department of Pathology at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine (UMKC) and University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC). Additionally, we participate in the training of UMKC Residents in Pathology and Children's Mercy Hospital fellows in Pediatric Pathology and Child Abuse Care. The medical staff also conducts educational lectures for the UMKC Medical Student Pathology course and, whenever called upon, at local hospitals and other community organizations.