Iowa Association of County Medical Examiners


Another successful IACME Fall Meeting

Over 140 county medical examiners and medical examiner investigators from around the state gathered in West Des Moines November 14-15 for the IACME Fall Meeting and Education Expo. Attendees heard presentations from an expert in aquatic death and a first responder at the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shootings. Additional presentations covered agricultural deaths, communicating with the media and Iowa’s emerging viruses.

Annual elections were held on Friday evening preceding the annual banquet. Re-elected to the IACME Board of Directors were: Gregory Schmunk, MD, Polk County Medical Examiner; and Michael Hensch, F-ABMDI, Johnson County Medical Examiner Department. At its meeting Friday morning, the IACME Board of Directors approved the addition of another MEI seat to the board. Thomas Summitt, D-ABMDI, Muscatine County Medical Examiner’s Office, was elected to fill that seat.

Click here for a list of 2014 IACME Fall Meeting attendees

Click here to view the 2014 IACME Fall Meeting brochure.


Dan D. Paulsen

Dan Paulsen, 46, Pocahontas, IEMSA Board Member representing the Northwest Region, passed away Friday, December 12, 2014 at the Pocahontas Community Hospital. He is survived by his wife, Jessica; children Makayla, Abigail and Christian and many other family, friends, co-workers and fellow EMS providers. He attended North Iowa Area Community College for Criminal Justice and Emergency Medical Technician at the basic and advanced levels. He served as EMT volunteer for many years around North Iowa and had worked as an EMT-Intermediate for Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames and Story City, Dallas County Ambulance. Dan worked as an EMT and served as EMS Director for Pocahontas Community Hospital and EMS Coordinator for Pocahontas County Emergency Response System. Dan also served as a Medicolegal Death Investigator for the Pocahontas County Medical Examiner’s Office since 2009.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. We will miss his dedication to EMS and the impact he made on his community here in Iowa and around the country.


IACME Files Amicus Brief in Murder Verdict Reversal

IACME has filed an amicus brief opposing the Court of Appeals’ reversal of a guilty verdict in a Fort Dodge murder case. The court ruled that the defendant should get a new trial because testimony by the medical examiner was improper. For more on this important case, read the latest issue of the IACME News in the News section of this web site.

Electronic Death Certificate System launched

The Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS) was launched by the Iowa Department of Public Health on April 21, 2014. The new electronic system totally replaces the manual paper process and makes filing of a death certificate more efficient.

Funeral Directors, Medical Certifiers (DO, MD, PA, ARNP), Medical Examiners who complete death certification registration are required to use the new electronic system for all deaths occurring on or after April 21, 2014.

Medical certifiers who are involved in processing a death registration must have an account to access the new EDRS.  For access to the EDRS, medical certifiers need to complete the User Access and Participation Agreement forms.  To acquire the necessary forms and materials please contact the Bureau of Health Statistics help desk at (866) 309-0831 or email at

Prior to the launch of the new EDRS, the Iowa Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Health Statistics conducted class room training for Funeral Directors, Medical Certifiers (DO, MD, PA, ARNP), Medical Examiners, and state and local registrars.  For users who need training, a web-based training will be available the end of May.  To access this training, users will need to have or create an account on the MyLearningPointe website.  Please visit the following website: to set up your new account (please note this account is separate from the new electronic system).

If you need additional information on the new Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS), please feel free to contact one of our Field Representatives listed below or the help desk at 866-309-0831 or

Sam Nichols – Field Representative District 1  515-281-5001

Sandra Lyles – Field Representative District 2  515-725-2953

IACME Committee seeks input on Iowa’s ME system

A new Iowa Association of County Medical Examiners Ad Hoc Committee on the State Medical Examiner System is seeking your input.

The ad hoc committee, chaired by IACME President Daniel Cole, MD, is charged with studying Iowa’s state medical examiner system and making recommendations for improving it. The IACME Board of Directors approved creation of the committee at its November, 2013 meeting. Other committee members include: Dennis Crabb, MD; Paul Jensen, MD; Thomas Carroll, MD; Gregory Schmunk, MD; and Barbara Harre, MD.

The committee held its first meeting April 3. While committee members agree that Iowa’s medical examiner system has vastly improved in recent years, it is still not a true state medical examiner system.

Problems discussed at the initial meeting include: wide disparity in the cost of transporting bodies, how and where autopsies are done and county medical examiner budgets that are inadequate to cover the number of cases that appear.

The committee would like to hear about these or other problems you face as a medical examiner or medical examiner investigator in Iowa. To voice your opinion about how Iowa’s medical examiner system could be improved, email  Your response will be forwarded to the committee. The committee plans to meet again in May.

IACME Elections will be Nov. 14

Annual elections for positions on the IACME Board of Directors are scheduled for Friday, November 14 in conjunction with the IACME Fall Meeting. Two members of the IACME Board are seeking reelection. They are Gregory Schmunk, MD, Polk County Medical Examiner and Michael Hensch, MA, F-ABMDI, Johnson County MEI Administrator. Both seats carry two-year terms that begin January 1, 2015.

Any IACME member interested in running for a board seat should contact Cheri Jensen at 515.957.9246 or by email at by October 1. Your name will be forwarded to the Nominating Committee.

Electronic Death Registration Training

The Iowa Vital Records Office is in the final phase of development for the “New” Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS).  Implementation of the new system for medical certifiers, medical examiners, funeral directors, and county recorders is targeted for April 2014.  This system will totally replace the current paper registration process.

Many training opportunities for EDRS are available to help facilities and clinics prepare for this paperless death registration process. You are strongly encouraged to send at least one person from your staff to the hands-on, instructor-led training. The trainings will take place at various locations throughout Iowa from February 18 – April 11, 2014. (See list below.) The training is designed to be more of a train-the-trainer, so your staff person will be qualified to train others in your facility or clinics.

If you have additional questions regarding EDRS, please contact either vital records field representative:

Sandra Lyles 515-725-2963

Sam Nichols 515-281-5002