TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2019
The Jackson County Medical Examiner Office was recognized for receiving full accreditation during the National Association of Medical Examiner’s Conference October 22.
N.A.M.E. accredited offices represent the highest quality of death investigation system. The accreditation process consists of a rigorous inspection of the physical facility and review of the office practices, including the implementation of policies and procedures. The overall objective of the accreditation is to ensure that the application of the standards set forth by N.A.M.E. will aid in developing and maintaining a high caliber medico legal death investigation system for the communities in the jurisdiction in which they operate.
While presenting the certificate, Dr. Brian Peterson Co-chair of Inspection and Accreditation said, “N.A.M.E. accreditation is extremely important and it is not just important in achieving accreditation but Meis just as important to maintain because once you have it, it is horrible to lose it. There is no doubt at all that to keep accreditation is no small effort. It requires ongoing effort.”
According to Tom Hensley, Chief of Forensic Operations and Investigations, The Jackson County Medical Examiner’s Office was first accredited in 1992 and has maintained that accreditation ever since.
“In 1991 we had an office of five and now we are an office of 21, because of the support and funding of the County Legislature and the County Executive’s Office,” Hensley said. “Without that we would not be able to maintain accreditation all of these years.”
“Our staff has grown, our case load has grown and hopefully we will continue to maintain that accreditation in the years to come. Our case load seems to be going up and up and up with every crisis that we are having with the opioid and other drugs that are out there and of course our homicide rate which we are up to over 150 so far this year. We do keep busy and as long as we have the support from the County Legislature and the County Executive’s Office hopefully we can continue to fulfill that endeavor,” he said.