Coroner’s Office receives voluntary accreditation

FROM STAFF REPORTS

The Shelby County Coroner’s Office, run under Coroner Lina Evans, received unconditional accreditation from the International Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners in August.

“Medical Examiner offices can apply for accreditation through National Association of Medical Examiners,” Evans wrote in a press release. “Coroner offices can apply for accreditation through the International Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners.”

According to Evans, there are more than 2,400 Coroner/Medical Examiner offices in the United States that can receive voluntary accreditation. Currently, 94 ME offices are accredited through NAME, and only 34 Coroner offices are accredited through IAC&ME.

The Shelby County Coroner’s Office was subjected to a review of 230 mandatory standards to include administrative, forensic, investigative and facility review, all to ensure operating policies, procedures and practices are within international guidelines.

The IAC&ME requires 100-percent compliance of mandatory standards and 90 percent of all applicable general standards.

Evans wrote she submitted to this stringent process to make every effort to provide the highest level of service to Shelby County citizens by ensuring the office provides a dedicated team of well-trained investigators.

The IAC&ME recognizes that Evans elects to acquire accreditation for her office due to her desire to strive for excellence in service provision.

The accreditation is important to the office as it assists in maintaining a level of trust, compassion and service to the citizens in its jurisdiction, Evans wrote, and it also mutually benefits the office’s relationship with law enforcement partners and EMS.

“Hospitals are accredited. Barbers are accredited. Coroners and their offices should also be inspected and accredited,” she wrote. “Most industries have a set of best practices and standards. Coroner and Medical Examiner offices shouldn’t be any different.

“I want the citizens of the county to feel confident in the death investigations handled through this office,” she continued. “We follow national standards and protocols. I am so excited about this. Again, Shelby County leads the way. We are the first County Coroner in Alabama to receive accreditation and the 34th nationwide.”