Iowa Association of County Medical Examiners

Medical Examiners, Medical Examiner Investigators from around Iowa attend 2018 IACME Fall Meeting and Education Expo

High quality education sessions and record attendance highlighted the Iowa Association of County Medical Examiners 2018 Fall Meeting and Education Expo at the West Des Moines Marriott November 2-3. In the photo above, Rosalind Flores, MEI and Tiffany Brown, D-ABMDI of the Clark County Nevada Coroner’s Office, pose with IACME Board Member Thomas Summitt, D-ABMDI and John Kraemer, PA of the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner. Ms. Brown was the speaker at the Friday night banquet, speaking on the coroner’s office response to the October 1, 2017 mass shooting on the Las Vegas strip. Also on Friday evening, Thomas Summitt, Gregory Schmunk, MD and Staci Olson, RN were re-elected to the IACME Board. Watch next month’s IACME News for more news from this year’s IACME Fall Meeting.



Las Vegas Shooting will be focus of 2018 IACME Banquet presentation

The October 1, 2017 mass shooting on the Las Vegas strip will be the focus of this year’s IACME Fall Meeting banquet presentation.

Tiffany Brown, Senior Coroner Investigator with the Clark County (Nevada) Coroner/Medical Examiner Office, will speak on Investigator Response to a Mass Shooting in Las Vegas: A Realistic Perspective. She’ll discuss the unique challenges posed by this terrible event, and also the impact the mass shooting had on MEs and MEIs investigating the case.

The Las Vegas shooting was the largest mass shooting in American history, with 58 dead and 881 injured. An Iowa woman was among those who died.

Continuing Medical Education Credit—IACME Fall Meeting

Upon review of the program information submitted on the “2018 Iowa Association of County Medical Examiners (IACME) Fall Meeting and Education Expo” program which will be held on Friday, November 2 and Saturday, November 3, 2018we are pleased to inform you that the programs meets the criteria for 13.25 Category 1 Continuing Medical Education (CME) credit.

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Iowa Medical Society (IMS) through the joint providership of UnityPoint Health – Des Moines and the Iowa Association of County Medical Examiners.   UnityPoint Health – Des Moines is accredited by IMS to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

UnityPoint Health – Des Moines designates this live activity for a maximum of 13.25 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

ABMDI credits for IACME Fall Meeting

The American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI) has approved the 2018 IACME Fall Meeting and Education Expo for 13.25 hours of continuing education credit for medical examiner investigators attending the meeting. Certificates of attendance (required by the ABMDI to claim the education credits) will be available at the meeting.

Funding increase will bring “much-needed stability” to IOSME operations

Iowa Chief State Medical Examiner Dennis Klein, MD said last week that his office finally has “good news” to report with regard to funding. A badly-needed increase in autopsy fees has been approved by the State Administrative Rules Committee and will go into effect July 1.

“This funding increase will introduce much-needed stability into our operations,” Dr. Klein told the Iowa Association of County Medical Examiners Board of Director at a Thursday, February 28 meeting.

The increase in autopsy fees from $1,400 to $1,900 will allow hiring of a new forensic pathologist. The IOSME staff was reduced from four pathologists to three upon the resignation of Dr. Julia Goodin two years ago. At that time, funding shortfalls prevented hiring of a replacement, and the IOSME began to experience an inevitable backlog that drew the attention of the media.

Dr. Klein reported that Dr. Kelly Kruse of Baltimore will join the IOSME staff in July following completion of a forensic pathology fellowship.

“We had three finalists who were all excellent candidates,” commented Dr. Klein. “We could have hired any one of them.”

In addition to the autopsy fee increase, the IOSME has received an increase in infrastructure funding that will allow replacement of some equipment and upgrading of the lab.

“And I’m happy to report that the IOSME has full accreditation as of today,” Dr Klein concluded.

IACME President responds to Des Moines Register article

Last month, the Des Moines Register published an article on the funding shortfall at the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner. IACME President Thomas Carroll, MD responded in a letter which the Register published the following Sunday. To read the letter, click on the link directly below. The second link will take you to the full text of a letter written to the Iowa State Association of Counties by the Johnson County Board of Supervisors. The letter expresses full support for the IOSME request to increase autopsy fees.

Dr. Carroll’s Letter to the Editor

Johnson County Letter of Support


Civil Unrest Body Recovery Protocol

On August 9, 2014, Michael Brown, an 18 year-old black man, was shot to death by a white police officer after allegedly robbing a convenience store in Ferguson, Missouri, a northern suburb of St. Louis. The circumstances of the shooting were initially disputed, and weeks of civil unrest ensued. Media from around the country and the world covered events in Ferguson, and the incident sparked a national debate about the relationship of local police and the communities they serve.

Terrance Ledbetter, F-ABMDI, a death investigator with the St. Louis County Medical Examiner, was closely involved in this case and shared details of the case with IACME Fall Meeting attendees at the Friday evening banquet September 22. He said that the extreme civil unrest surrounding the case began almost immediately as crowds gathered at the scene of the shooting. The decedent remained at the scene for an extended period of time, and the situation quickly escalated.

In the wake of these events, Ledbetter developed a protocol for body recovery in situations of extreme civil unrest. He agreed to share this hard-won knowledge with Iowa death investigators. Click on the link below to read the protocol.  Mr. Ledbetter has graciously agreed to answer questions about the protocol via email

Civil Unrest Body Recovery Protocol