State Spotlight - Mississippi
Last updated: March 2012
Hazel Gaines, RN, MS
Child Death Review Panel Coordinator
Mississippi State Department of Health
570 East Woodrow Wilson
Jackson, MS 39215-1700
Legislation establishing a Child Death Review Panel (CDRP) became effective
on July 1, 2006. The statute provided for the State
Medical Examiner's Office to have administrative oversight of the
CDR panel. During the 2008 regular session of the Legislature, the Child Death Review Panel was moved to the Mississippi State Department of Health. With the move to the Department of Health, staff was provided to coordinate the activities of the Panel.
Mississippi has a state level review team. The Child Death
Review Panel is composed of fifteen (15) voting members: the State
Medical Examiner or his representative, a pathologist on staff at
the University of Mississippi Medical Center, an appointee of the
Lieutenant Governor, an appointee of the Speaker of the House of
Representatives, and one (1) representative from each of the
following: the State Coroners Association, the Mississippi Chapter
of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Office of Vital
Statistics in the State Department of Health, the Attorney General's
Office, the State Sheriff's Association, the Mississippi Police
Chiefs Association, the Department of Human Services, the Children's
Advocacy Center, the State Chapter of the March of Dimes, the State
SIDS Alliance, and Compassionate Friends.
The chairmen of the review panel is elected annually by the panel
The CDRP reviews data related to infant and child mortality. The CDRP reviews deaths of children from birth through age seventeen. The Hinds County Local Review Team reviews deaths of children from birth through age seventeen that were residents of the county.
The primary purpose of the panel is to foster the reduction of
infant and child mortality and morbidity in Mississippi, and to
improve the health status of infants and children.
Data for the Review Panel and the Hinds County Team's review and reporting is supplied by the
State Medical Examiner's Office and all other agencies with information related to the death i.e. law enforcement etc.
According to statute, the Child Death Review Panel shall submit a
report annually to the Chairmen of the House Public Health and Human
Services Committee and the Senate Public Health and Welfare
Committee on or before December 1. The report shall include the
numbers, causes and relevant demographic information on child and
infant deaths in Mississippi, and appropriate recommendations to the
Legislature on how to most effectively direct state resources to
decrease infant and child deaths in Mississippi. The State
Department of Health is responsible for printing and
distributing the annual report(s) on child and infant deaths in
Recommendations for preventive strategies are made in the annual report to the Chairmen of both the House and Senate Public Health and Human Services Committees of the Mississippi legislature.
The review panel is developing and implementing procedures and
policies necessary for its operation, including obtaining and
protecting confidential records.
County Medical Examiner Investigators have on-going training to appropriately complete the CDC Sudden Unexplained Infant Death Investigation form. Child Death Review staff was trained in the use of the Child Fatality Review National Database software in 2011. The Hinds County team received training prior to beginning to review cases. This training was provided by the National Center for Child Death Review Program.