The Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office once again has been granted accreditation, offering independent confirmation that the office is operating a modern death investigation system consistent with national best practices.
Only about 70 of the 2,000 medical examiner offices throughout the entire country – and no others in Arizona – have been able to meet the stringent criteria set by the National Association of Medical Examiners.
The Office of the Medical Examiner performs death investigations, including autopsies to certify the cause and manner of death.
“Accredited offices represent the highest quality of death investigation systems,” wrote David Fowler, chairman of the Inspection and Accreditation Committee, in a Dec. 8 letter to Chief Medical Examiner Gregory Hess, notifying him of the continuing accreditation. “The citizens can be proud of the hard work, dedication, and leadership made by you and your staff in attaining this accreditation.”
Dr. Hess said he was proud to let Pima County residents know that the forensic scientists who serve them have the credentials and training to meet the rigorous standards set by the national organization.
“When loved ones die a traumatic death, it is a very difficult time for families,” said Dr. Hess. “Our goal is to be effective and efficient in helping them get the answers they’re seeking. Accreditation puts us on par with other organizations similarly working to set and meet high bars.”
Originally accredited in 2011, the next physical inspection of the facility will take place in 2016.