Iowa Association of County Medical Examiners

Register now for the IACME Fall Meeting

The IACME Fall Meeting and Education Expo is Friday and Saturday, November 1-2, 2019 at the West Des Moines Marriott. This conference features real-world education for Iowa’s medical examiners, medical examiner investigators and anyone involved in death investigation in Iowa. Click on the links below to see the conference brochure and a printable registration form if you wish to pay by check.

2019 IACME Fall Meeting brochure

2019 IACME Fall Meeting printable registration form

Please note that October 10 is the deadline for reserving a hotel room at the special rate of $124.

You can register and pay online in the Fall Meeting section of the IACME web site OR you can register and pay by mail. Just print the registration form and mail it with your check to the address provided.

Don’t forget that anyone who registers for the 2019 IACME Fall Meeting at the non-member rate ($350 for MEIs and $400 for MEs) gets a free 2020 membership. This means you can attend the 2020 IACME Fall Meeting at the member rate.

If you need an invoice for reimbursement purposes or have questions about registering online, please contact Chris Sutton, IACME Executive Director, at 515.212.9685 or

We hope to see you in November!

2019 IACME Fall Meeting details announced- Drew Peterson case and 9/11 Pentagon attack

A high-profile murder case and the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon are just part of the exciting program planned for the IACME Fall Meeting and Education Expo Friday-Saturday, November 1-2, 2019 at the West Des Moines Marriott.

The Friday evening banquet speaker is forensic pathologist Larry Blum, MD, formerly of Rockford, Illinois. Dr. Blum and well-known pathologist Dr. Michael Baden performed an independent autopsy on Kathleen Savio, the third wife of Bolingbrook, Illinois police officer Drew Peterson. Savio’s death was originally ruled an accidental drowning but the case was reopened and her body exhumed when Peterson’s fourth wife Stacy disappeared. Dr. Blum concluded her death was actually a homicide. His testimony played a crucial role in Peterson’s 2012 murder trial, which ended in a guilty verdict. 

On Friday afternoon, forensic pathologist Andrew Baker, MD will give a special extended presentation entitled “The Pathology of Mass Disasters: the 9/11 Pentagon Attack and the I-35 Bridge Collapse in Minneapolis.” In 2001, Dr. Baker was Chief Deputy Medical Examiner with the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, DC and was called to assist at the Pentagon on September 11. In 2002, he joined the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office in Minneapolis as Deputy Chief Medical Examiner. Dr. Baker will also give a Saturday presentation on pediatric asphyxial deaths.

Other topics at this year’s Fall Meeting include death scene photography, investigating fire fatalities and working with law enforcement officials at a crime scene. The conference will end with a presentation of Iowa case studies, a session which received very positive reviews in 2018.

Watch your email for additional information on the 2019 IACME Fall Meeting and Education Expo. 

Former Iowa Chief Medical Examiner dies in hospice

Dear Colleagues,

It is with great sadness to inform you that our former Chief State Medical Examiner, Dr Julia Goodin, died while in hospice this past Friday. Dr. Goodin served for 17 years in Iowa, leading the Iowa Medical Examiner’s Office through many critical accomplishments including NAME accreditation, construction of a new facility, and adoption of much need laws and rules. After retiring from her position in Iowa, Dr. Goodin became the Chief State Medical Examiner in Tennessee.

On a personal level she was not only a supportive and generous mentor, but a kind friend that will always be remembered and missed. Below is a link to Dr. Goodin’s obituary.


Dennis Klein MD
Iowa Chief State Medical Examiner

Time to renew your IACME Membership

It’s time to renew your membership in the Iowa Association of County Medical Examiners, the only statewide organization for county medical examiners and medical examiner investigators. 
 To pay your dues online, visit the Pay Your Dues section of this web site.

In the Pay Your Dues section, you will find an interactive membership form and the payment button. If your address, phone number or email have changed since last year or you are a new member, please complete the form so we have your current information. The online payment button is at the bottom of the form. You can pay for up to 10 members with one transaction.

You must pay your 2019 IACME dues by March 31 in order to receive the discounted rate for the November 1-2 IACME Fall Meeting.
If there are staff in your office who are not IACME members, please urge them to join. IACME is open to attorneys, law enforcement, funeral directors and others interested in death investigation.
  Thank you for your support of the 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