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  • Pima Medical Examiner earns national accreditation

    Mar 15, 2017 | Read More News
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    The Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner has earned full accreditation from the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME). 
    Medical ExaminerFull accreditation is the highest achievement NAME offers and signifies to the public the Pima County Office of Medical Examiner’s commitment to upholding the highest ethical and professional standards. 

    “We view accreditation as a way to measure our policies, procedures, operations and personnel against national norms, and we are pleased to continue to provide the highest quality death investigation in Arizona to Pima County,” said Dr. Greg Hess, Pima County Chief Medical Examiner.

    In their report, NAME accreditors noted the Pima County Office of Medical Examiner operates at a high level of efficiency, describing the per-capita funding of $1.30 per person as “one of the lowest rates in the country.” 

    NAME accreditors also lauded the County for its many innovations. The report specifically noted innovations like maintaining a refrigerated storage unit in Ajo as a way to address the vastness of the County, partnerships with nongovernmental organizations to assist in identifying the deceased, use of anthropology in case management and a web-based interface with local funeral homes. 

    NAME’s full accreditation status is valid for five years. Pima County is one of just 75 jurisdictions to earn NAME full accreditation status and the only fully accredited office in Arizona. 

    The Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner also earned NAME accreditation in 2011. 

    The office also serves as medical examiner for Cochise and Santa Cruz counties and conducts medical examinations when needed for Apache, Gila, Graham, Greenlee, La Paz, Navajo, Pinal and Yuma counties. 

    In 2015, the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner conducted 2,437 death investigations. Pima County forensic pathologists and anthropologists also performed 1,456 autopsies, 348 external examinations, 290 death certifications 145 anthropologic examinations in 2015, the year of the most recent annual report. 

    About the National Association of Medical Examiners 
    The National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME) is the national professional organization of physician medical examiners, medicolegal death investigators and death investigation system administrators who perform the official duties of the medicolegal investigation of deaths of public interest in the United States. NAME was founded in 1966 with the dual purposes of fostering the professional growth of physician death investigators and disseminating the professional and technical information vital to the continuing improvement of the medical investigation of violent, suspicious and unusual deaths. Growing from a small nucleus of concerned physicians, NAME has expanded its scope to include physician medical examiners and coroners, medical death investigators and medicolegal system administrators from throughout the United States and other countries.

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