State Spotlight - West Virginia
Last updated: February 2014
Trish A. McCay, Coordinator
Office of Chief Medical Examiner
619 Virginia St, West
Charleston, WV 25302
Phone: 304-558-6920 ext. 4010
West Virginia’s CDR Program began as a voluntary process in 1994 and was put into statute in 1996. In 2013 new legislation was enacted and WV Code §61-12A-2 created the Unintentional Pharmaceutical Drug Overdose Fatality Review and combined Child Death Review, Domestic Violence Fatality Review and the Infant and Maternal Mortality Review Teams as one. The Bureau for Public Health in consultation with the review teams is proposing rules for legislative approval in 2014.
West Virginia Child Fatality Review Team is a state team only.
Kathy Cummins: Division Director of Research Evaluation and Planning for Sudden Infant Death, Sudden Unexplained Infant Death, under the Bureau of Public Health, DHHR
Marie Frazier, MD: Pediatric Intensivist from Marshall University
Lieutenant Danny Swiger: West Virginia State Police, Director of the Crimes Against Children Unit
Corporal Marlene Moore: West Virginia State Police, Crimes Against Children Unit
Vickie Hildreth: Coordinator for Emergency Medical Services for Children
Michelle Kelly: Medical Social Worker and Case Manager for WVU Hospitals
Jane McCallister: Director of Adult and Children’s Services, WVDHHR
Shana Modesitt: Detective Wood County Sheriff’s Department
Michelle O’Bryan: Director of Violence and Injury Prevention Program WVDHHR
Joan Phillips MD: Board Certified Child Abuse Pediatrician Women’s and Children’s Hospital System
Birgit Shanholtzer: Senior Health Statistics Center Epidemiologist, WVBPH
Harry Anderson: Program Manager of Governor’s Highway Safety Program
Mary Treece, CPS Investigator, DHHR Region 4
Jeannie Curry, CPS Supervisor, DHHR Region 2
Thelma Caplinger, CPS Supervisor, DHHR Region 3
Christa Janes-Ash, CPS Child Welfare Consultant, DHHR Region 1
Doronda Gaynor: Infant and Maternal Mortality Review Team
Melissa Baker: Epidemiologist, Bureau for Public Health
Annette Roberts: Nurse, Bureau for Public Health
Patrick Kerr: Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Director WVU Dialectical Behavior Therapy Services
Andrea Darr, Coordinator WV Children’s Justice Task Force
Becky King, Co-Coordinator for Our Babies: Safe and Sound
Eileen Barker, Co-Coordinator for Our Babies: Safe and Sound
Kimberly Harrison: Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities
Sharon Istfan: Board Certified Child Abuse Pediatrician, Women’s and Children’s Hospital Systems
Law requires basic review and data collection on all child deaths. The West
Virginia CDR State Team does a “full” review on deaths that appear
avoidable – homicides, suicides, motor vehicle, SIDS/SUIDS and accidents and undetermined.
Reviews are conducted on children that are less than 18 years old.
Review all deaths of children under the age of eighteen years who are residents of West Virginia in order to identify trends, patterns and risk factors; Provide statistical analysis regarding the causes of child fatalities in West Virginia; Promote public awareness of the incidence and causes of child fatalities, including recommendations for their reduction; and Provide training for state agencies and local multidisciplinary teams.
West Virginia CDR utilizes the National Child Death Review Data Base and gathers all requested data.
West Virginia CDR will be working on further reports.
West Virginia CDR efforts have influenced change. A statewide example of this is the utilization of the standardized death scene investigation forms used on all child deaths. The child death investigation forms are specifically generated for each cause of death. The WVCDR provided every County Medical Examiner and the WV State Police Crimes Against Children Unit an infant death scene investigation kit. This kit includes the reenactment doll, place cards, forensic tools, child development chart, reference sheet to all services in the State of West Virginia and a hypothermic thermometer.
The WVCDR has produced a statement and brief on preventing drowning’s in West Virginia, and press events for air bag safety. Along with the Chief Medical Examiner, the WVCDR is trying to establish a statewide child abuse and neglect medical evaluation team, who will assist and advise child protective services.
The West Virginia CDR Program is required by statute to provide training. The West Virginia CDR program has presented multidisciplinary training on child death review to law enforcement, child protective services, prosecuting attorney’s and other social service providers.