Iowa Association of County Medical Examiners

Better news for Iowa

Late last week, the University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics released projections for the course of the COVID-19 pandemic for all 50 states. It was predicted that the pandemic will peak on May 1 in Iowa, with 1,488 deaths by August 4. 

Yesterday, the University of Washington issued new and revised data projecting the pandemic in Iowa will peak April 26 with an average 15 deaths a day and a total of 420 deaths. If these projections prove true, Iowa will not run out of hospital beds or ventilators.

On Sunday, April 5, IACME participated in a web-based meeting of Iowa specialty society leaders discussing issues of concern in the COVID-19 pandemic. The meeting was organized by the Iowa Medical Society. 

Issues discussed included:

Best practices for PPE—It was noted that the Iowa Department of Public Health web site includes extensive guidelines for all aspects of PPE but that guidelines issued locally can change from day to day and are often determined by the availability of equipment. It was noted that the American Medical Association has released a statement based on its Code of Medical Ethics. According to the AMA, physicians have an obligation to “provide urgent medical care during disasters,” an obligation that holds “even in the face of greater than usual risk to physicians’ own safety, health or life.”

Liability issues—Several participants expressed concern about the liability implications of medical staff being asked to work in an area not usually included in their job description, and for physicians coming out of retirement to help out in the pandemic.

Social distancing guidelines—On April 1, the Iowa Medical Society sent a letter to Governor Reynolds stating, “The physicians of Iowa request that you implement a more stringent shelter-in-place order for a period of at least two weeks.” However, IMS staff are not optimistic regarding the outcome of this request.

Other issues discussed included the continued shortage of COVID-19 tests, telehealth and coding issues, mental health issues for health care professionals dealing with the pandemic, communicating with non-English speaking Iowans and limited availability of testing.

It’s 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.
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 2020 IACME dues by March 31 in order to receive the discounted rate for the November 6-7 IACME Fall Meeting.
   A printable dues statement is attached below if you prefer to renew and pay through regular mail. Send your completed dues form and your dues check to: IACME, PO Box 274, Boone, IA  50036.
MEMBER-GET-A-MEMBER— This is a special membership plan for staff in your county who have never belonged to IACME. For 2020, you and a new member can join for $100, the cost of one membership. Please use the attached “member-get-a-member”dues form. Please complete the form and mail it to IACME. You can pay by check or pay online. If you have questions, please contact Chris Sutton at or 515.212.9685.
Thank you for your support of the Iowa Association of County Medical Examiners.

2020 IACME dues statement

2020 Member-get-a-member dues statement

Record attendance at IACME Fall Meeting

Medical examiners and medical examiner investigators from around Iowa gathered November 1 and 2 for a weekend of education and networking at the IACME Fall Meeting and Education Expo. Attendance was significantly increased this year. Presentations covered investigating fatal fires, pediatric asphyxial deaths, the 9-11 attack on the Pentagon, death scene photography and working with DCI agents at a crime scene. This year’s banquet speaker was Robert Monserrate, whose topic was “Are we really handling our work-related stress?”

Next year’s IACME Fall Meeting will be Friday-Saturday, November 6-7, 2020 at the West Des Moines Marriott.


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