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formation of a National Office of Death Investigation Affairs (NODIA). One might consider medical examiner work to be essentially an unfunded federal mandate. Unless NIJ and CDC truly adopt the medical examiner community or a new lead federal agency is created, possibly in DHS, the ME/C community will continue as an orphan without to a parent to care for and feed it.
A priority mandate for NIJ and the federal government is to abolish or replace antiquated coroner investigation systems with medical examiner systems staffed by competent forensic pathologists (Ellen Clark).
One of the greatest barriers to collaboration between ME/C offices and public health is unfamiliarity with each other's mission. Public health has failed to develop formal collaborations with ME/C offices for bioterrorism (Marcella Fierro). To expand collaborations, there needs to be broader education of the public-health community about the value of death investigations to public healthnot just for vital statistics but also for collaborative investigations (Kathleen Toomey). ME/C collaborations with public health should also include the county health department. The county health department has been largely overlooked throughout the workshop (Randy Hanzlick).
DMORT is expensive for states. The state of Georgia paid DMORT $250,000 per week for its assistance during the crematorium investigation (Kris Sperry). In an effort to reduce costs, DMORT is planning to offer partial services rather than the full complement of services (Paul Sledzik).