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SWGMDI System Infrastructure Committee

Committee Members
Randy Hanzlick, Chair
Lindsey Thomas
John Fudenberg
Mary Ann Sens
R. Gibson Parrish
Tim Davidson
Margaret Warner

Advisory Members (Non-Voting, see Advisory Members Tab for Affiliations)
Joseph Prahlow
J. Scott Denton
Reade Quinton


Published Documents can be found HERE 

Current Projects 

1. Create SWGMDI’s response to the NAS report recommendation regarding coroners and medical examiners (draft in progress)

2. Create SWGMDI’s per capita formula for assessing manpower, facility, service, and funding needs for medicolegal systems (draft in progress).

3. Create SWGMDI's workplace document of the location of Forensic Pathologists who perform autopsies

swgmdi.org

SWGMDI Publications: Standards, Guidelines, Best Practices and Reports

The following have undergone successful publication set out by our bylaws.

Committee Chairs and Member/Advisor Lists can be found on individual committee pages- see drop down list on "Committees" tab above.

The attached Process Map was prepared by the SWGMDI for the following reasons: 
1) To give the public and other interested parties a better understanding of the basic steps involved in a medicolegal death investigation; and 2) To provide a visual understanding of critical steps in medicolegal death investigation around which SWGMDI projects, reports, and recommendations may be developed.

 

SWGMDI Committee Name

Publicly Reviewed SWGMDI Publications

Other Publications, Reports and Endorsements

 

The following included a public review and comment period and 2/3 majority vote of SWGMDI board to publish.
To view the public comment reports of the following documents, please go here.
 
* Endorsments of External documents
** SWGMDI Reports of objective information. No public review and comment period
 

Accreditation, Certification, Education and Training

Certification of Medicolegal Death Investigation Personnel- A Report and Recommendations (June 2014)

Report of the Comparison of the NAME and the IAC&ME Accreditation Standards (Nov 2012

Report of the Minimal Educational Requirements for Medicolegal Death Investigation System Personnel (Nov 2012)

 

Death Scene Investigation

 

SWGMDI endorses the National Institute of Justice publications entitled:  “Death Investigation: A Guide for the Scene Investigator” (1999), and “Death Investigation: A Guide for the Scene Investigator: Technical Update” (2011) as standards. (Published March 20, 2013)*

SWGMDI endorses the CDC Sudden Unexplained Infant Death Training Material as standards. (Published June 26,2013)*

 

Legal

 

SWGMDI Legal Committee Report: Jurisdictional Conflict Survey (Published June 2012)

 

Next Of Kin Services and Communication

Guidelines for Media Relations: Dissemination of Public Information in Medicolegal Death Investigations (Published March 8, 2012)


Guidelines for Communication with Next of Kin during Medicolegal Death Investigations (Published June 13, 2012)


Principles for Critical Stress Management in MDI Settings: Critical Event Debriefing and Recommendations for Development (Published June 13,2012)

 

 

Systems Infrastructure

Increasing the Supply of Forensic Pathologists in the United States: A Report and Recommendations (Published December 5, 2012)

Status of and Perceived Need for Regional Medicolegal Death Investigation Centers: A Report and Recommendations (Published July 19, 2013)

Relationships between Pathology Departments and Medical Examiner/Coroner Offices: A Report of Survey Results with Recommendations (Published July 19, 2013)

Regional Medicolegal Autopsy and Death Investigation Centers -Construction, Staffing, and Costs- A Report and Recommendations (Published September 17, 2013)

Workplace Locations of Board Certified Forensic Pathologists in the United States who Perform Medicolegal Autopsies for Medical Examiner/Coroner Systems: 2012 (Published December 12, 2013)

 

SWGMDI Infrastructure Committee Report: Death Investigation Systems and NAME, IACME, and ABDMI Member Representation in the States (Oublished March 2011)

SWGMDI Infrastructure Committee Report: Medicolegal Autopsy Facilities in the U.S. 2005 (Published March 2011)

SWGMDI Infrastructure Committee Report: Medicolegal Autopsy Facilities in the U.S. 2011 (Published March 2011)

SWGMDI Infrastructure Committee report: State Medical Examiner Survey (Published Jan 2012)

 

Research

SWGMDI's Possible Study Models to Assess the Utility of Autopsy in Contentious Medicolegal Categories of Death (Published July 2, 2013)

SWGMDI's Report and Recommendations for Research in Forensic Pathology/Medicolegal Death Investigation (June 2014)

 

 

Organ and Tissue Procurement

SWGMDI’s Standards for Interactions Between Medical Examiner/Coroner Offices and Organ and Tissue Procurement Organizations and Eye Banks (Published June 20,2013)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preparing SWGMDI Documents: PRCdrafts, Reports, Letters of Endorsement and Comment Reports

 

To have a consistent appearance of documents produced by various SWGMDI Committees:

FORMAT Specifics:

  • Prepare the document using Microsoft Word
  • Set the top, bottom, and side margins to 1 inch.
  • Use Times New Roman font size 12 except for the document title which should be centered and typed in Times New Roman bold font size 14.
  • Organize sections using the following format:

PRIMARY HEADING

Secondary Heading

Tertiary Heading

  • Prepare an Executive Summary as page 1. Have others sections follow starting on page 2
  • Avoid extensive outline numbers, letters, and Roman Numerals. Instead, just use bullets when feasible.
  • Insert a footer with: committee name, document title, page numbers, last modified date (for drafts) or published date if published.
  • Under page layout- add line numbers for easy reference during review phases.
  • When feasible, try to use the following PRIMARY HEADINGS when preparing the document: INTRODUCTION, METHODS, DATA/RESULTS, RECOMMENDATIONS,  DISCUSSION/COMMENTS (if needed), SUMMARY, REFERENCES
  • At the end of the document  include the names of committee members who contributed to the preparation of the document, and when published, include the names of SWGMDI Board Members at the time of being published.
  • If references are used, number the references in the order in which they are cited in text and use the format of (1) when citing the reference in the text, such as: Previous studies show that forensic pathologist trainees are few in number (1).
  • When showing the references, use the following format: 1. Hanzlick R, Prahlow J, Denton S, Jentzen J, Quinton  R, Sathyavagiswaran L, Utley S. Selecting forensic pathology as a career: a survey of the past with an eye on the future. Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 2008;29(2): 114-122.
  • Do not worry about including the SWGMDI logo in draft documents. We can add that when documents are prepared for posting or publication.
  • Of course, if a document is being prepared for submission to a journal for publication, the document would need to be prepared following the relevant journal’s guidelines

REPORTS: Follow similar format- but usually wont include some sections, such as "recommendations".
COMMENT REPORTS: See Example below. It can be separate document or included in Appendix of document
LETTERS OF ENDORSEMENT: One page document as example below.

SAMPLES:

  • PRC Draft Example Sample HERE
  • Letter of Endorsement Draft Example HERE
  • Comment Report Draft Example HERE

November 28-30, 2012 Board Meeting
Miami, Florida

Below are documents that will be reviewed/discussed in order of the meeting agenda.

 

Meeting Information and Agenda

 

Wednesday, November 28

Strategic Plan
Improving SWGMDI proposal from the Board's Chair, Vice-Chair and Secretary
Proposed new Bylaws for SWGMDI
Membership Committee

Thursday, November 29

Research-1: PRC draft on report and recommendations on identifying/reducing barriers, how research could/should be funded, ways for research to be supported and research focus areas. (Board Review to evaluate for public comment)
Research-2: PRC draft on recommendations for possible study models to determine pros/cons of autopsies in select types of cases (Board Review to evaluate for public comment)
SI-1: Coroner Summit Proposal (Update on Status)
SI-2: Response to NAS Report Recommendation to Change Coroner Systems to ME systems (Update on Status)
SI-3: Report of CO/ME needs based on survey perceptions about the quality of relationships between CO/ME offices and their affiliated hospital pathology departments (Initial board review and Report vs PRC determination)
SI-4: PRC #5 draft of recommendations for increasing the availability of forensic pathologists (post-public comment and review)

SI-5: PRC draft of recommendations for developing regional centers of excellence to address areas that lack adequate autopsy services (Board Review to evaluate for public comment)
SI-6: Draft report of per capita formulas for manpower needs, facility construction, and operating expenses for regional autopsy centers (Board Review for Public Comment)
Organ-1: PRC #4 draft of best practices for interaction between ME/C offices and Organ and Tissue Procurement Organizations (post-public comment and review)

SWG Proposal for TWG

Amended proposed Bylaws- from Bylaw committee- with edits shown

Amended proposed Bylaws- with comments accepted

Friday, November 30

Evidence-1: PRC draft of recommendations for evidence collection and management (Board Review to evaluate for public comment)
ACET-1: Report Comparing NAME and IAC&ME accreditation standards (Final board review)
ACET-2: Report of Minimal Educational Requirements of professionals in MDI systems (Final board review)
ACET-3: PRC draft of recommendations for education, training and certification requirements for MDI personnel (Board Review to evaluate for public comment)

 

UPDATED ORGAN PRC4 Doc

 

 

November 20, 2012

Meeting Information and Agenda

October 29, 2012

Dear Members:

Please review the five sections below in preparation for our upcoming board meeting in Miami, Florida Nov 28-30. There are more than 10 documents that will require your thorough review prior to Nov 23. It is a lot of information and please plan accordingly. If you have any questions, please contact John, Randy or Laura. Thank you in advance!

1. Travel Planning info was sent via email earlier this month  and is copied below:

Registration is now open for the meeting of the Scientific Working Group on Medico Legal Death Investigation (SWGMDI) to be held in Miami, FL – November 28-30, 2012.

ALL Attendees including Federal Employees and Local Attendees:  Please go to (http://conferences.csrincorporated.com) to officially register for the meeting.  You will need to enter the conference code (2012-113) to gain entry.  The information you provide on the registration site will assist us in making sure that all your logistics needs are fully met.  Even if you do not require hotel accommodations, you will still need to complete the registration form on the website to ensure that we have accurate  information for creating the participant list, badges, and other meeting materials.

Non-Federal Attendees:  Travel arrangements must be made through the CSR travel agent.  Please contact Sunny Hahn at WingGate Travel as soon as possible at             913-345-5204       or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .   You will need to provide her with the meeting code which is 2012-113, your full name (as it appears on your license, passport, or government ID), gender, and date of birth.   Travel arrangements made on your own are subject to reimbursement limits.

MEETINGS will be held at the Office of the Medical Examiner, 1851 NW 10th Avenue, Miami, FL

LODGING has been arranged at Spring Hill Suites by Marriott, 1311 NW 10th Street, Miami, FL.   Please do not contact the hotel … I will sending a rooming list.

If you have questions regarding logistics, please contact me at             703-741-7181       or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

2. Updated Strategic Plans have been uploaded to the member strategic plan page.

3. Agenda is forthcoming

4. Membership Committee Nominations are forthcoming

5. Documents to be reviewed for Nov 28-30th Board Meeting

By November 23, please review the below documents and complete THIS FORM when you have completed your review. Committee chairs would appreciate your comments emailed to them before our board meeting, but please come prepared to the Nov 28-30 meeting with your comments for a productive discussion.

ACET-1: Report Comparing NAME and IAC&ME accreditation standards (Final board review)

ACET-2: Report of Minimal Educational Requirements of professionals in MDI systems (Final board review)

ACET-3: PRC draft of recommendations for education, training and certification requirements for MDI personnel (Board Review to evaluate for public comment)

Autopsy-3: PRC draft of recommendations for autopsy standards, guidelines and best practices in MDI (Complete Board comments from August and evaluate for public comment)

Research-1: PRC draft on report and recommendations on identifying/reducing barriers, how research could/should be funded, ways for research to be supported and research focus areas. (Board Review to evaluate for public comment)

Research-2: PRC draft on recommendations for possible study models to determine pros/cons of autopsies in select types of cases (Board Review to evaluate for public comment)

SI-1: Coroner Summit Proposal

  • Update on Status

SI-2: Response to NAS Report Recommendation to Change Coroner Systems to ME systems

  • Update on Status

SI-3: Report of CO/ME needs based on survey perceptions about the quality of relationships between CO/ME offices and their affiliated hospital pathology departments (Initial board review)

  • Report or PRC?
SI-4: PRC #5 draft of recommendations for increasing the availability of forensic pathologists (post-public comment and review)

SI-5: PRC draft of recommendations for developing regional centers of excellence to address areas that lack adequate autopsy services (Board Review to evaluate for public comment)

SI-6: Draft report of per capita formulas for manpower needs, facility construction, and operating expenses for regional autopsy centers (Board Review for Public Comment)

Evidence-1: PRC draft of recommendations for evidence collection and management (Board Review to evaluate for public comment)

Organ-1: PRC #4 draft of best practices for interaction between ME/C offices and Organ and Tissue Procurement Organizations (post-public comment and review)

***Remember: By November 23, review of all the above documents, and remember to let us know through THIS FORM . Thank you!

 

October 1, 2012

 

New Strategic Plan for upcoming due dates is uploaded to the member strategic plan page and announced to board members.

 

New private member pages include:

Current News/Updates page- This is where the most up to date info will be listed and will mirror the info you receive in emails.

Strategic Plan page- Has the most up to date strategic plan. It has been revamped and directions for reading it are included on the page. It is also an abbreviated version which only includes the due dates for tasks that are due this Oct or November. The comprehensive version is forthcoming.

Meeting Agendas/Minutes page- as stated. The 8/22 minutes have now been posted.

Running Your SWGMDI committee page- Info for committee chairs but also helpful for members

Creating Documents page- Includes guidelines for creating SWGMDI documents in standard manner created by Randy.

Private Committee pages- committee pages available only to the board.

Additionally, Randy has updated the public committee pages with their current long term goals as per the strategic plan.

 

August 21, 2012 Update

SWGMDI Conference Call Agenda and Information

August 22-23,2012

Call number - (712) 432-6100

Pass code - 234101#

Please plan accordingly. The first and last calls require attendance of  ALL board members.
All Calls regarding specific documents, attend if:
o  you are a committee member of the committee that is responsible for the document
o OR if you submitted comments and would like to be part of the discussion on proposed edits.
• Absence from a call assumes your acceptance of the board’s decision.
• Call discussion will include those comments entered through the feedback forms over the last two weeks and those determined by the moderator

 

July 30, 2012 updates:

  • Next Board Meeting: August Board meeting in DC is cancelled. Conference call agendas for Wed and Thurs Aug 22 and 23 from 1-5PM EST are forthcoming.
  • Instructions for Board Members review of 6 draft documents below: (DUE AUGUST 17)
    • Review the following 6 document drafts and provide feedback for each of them in the forms provided under each document. This will allow each of the committee chairs to evaluate comments and concerns of the board members to efficiently discuss them on their conference call.
    • Regardless of whether you have specific comments/concerns, each board member is responsible for providing feedback or endorsement on each of the below documents by August 17 through the forms below. The forms include an option to endorse as is or abstain from providing specific comments and will defer to the swgmdi board for their ultimate decision.

 

 

 

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