The Arkansas Child Death Review (CDR) Panel was established through passage of Arkansas Act 1818 of 2005 as a committee within the Arkansas (AR) Commission on Child Abuse, Rape and Domestic Violence. The panel is required to include members from nine specific professions and may include additional professionals as needed. The AR CDR Panel and the Injury Prevention Center (IPC) of AR Children’s Hospital provides oversight to the Arkansas Infant & Child Death Review (ICDR) Program which was started in 2011.
The director of the AR ICDR Program is Abdallah Dalabih, MD, who serves as an Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Critical Care Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Dr. Dalabih is also the medical director of Pediatric Sedation service at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee
The coordinator of the AR ICDR Program is Dawn Porter, who also serves on the National Child Death Review Advisory Board, Emergency Medical Services for Children, the AR Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN) to Reduce Infant Mortality and the Southeast Coalition on Child Fatality Review and Brother’s United Safe Sleep and Breastfeeding Support Advocacy Group.
Hope Mullins, MPH, is the Research and Evaluation manager for the IPC and oversees the data collection process for the project.
State Level: Arkansas Infant & Child Death Review Program
The AR ICDR Program is the intermediary between the AR CDR Panel and the local ICDR teams. The program was established in 2011 and funding is provided by the Family Health Branch of the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH).
Local teams are comprised of multi-disciplinary professionals that systematically collect, analyze and discern external factors that led to the infant/child’s death within the community. Currently there are eleven teams in Arkansas covering all 75 counties. Each team of volunteers has a director and coordinator and representatives from the following agencies and disciplines: the Crimes Against Children Division of the AR State Police; the AR Department of Human Services, Division of Children and Family Services; Emergency Medical Services; Law Enforcement; Medical Examiner; County coroners; Pediatrician (or nurse with specialized training); Prosecuting Attorney’s Office; and Public Health. Each team meets quarterly.
To ensure a coordinated response that addresses all programmatic concerns surrounding pediatric deaths in Arkansas, the AR Legislature granted the AR CDR Panel and designees the authority to gather all relevant records necessary for comprehensive reviews to be performed. All records obtained for reviews are confidential.
Exceptions to team reviews include cases that are currently under criminal investigation or prosecution. The AR ICDR Program is notified of deaths through the release of death information (and corresponding birth information) from the Arkansas Department of Health, Health Statistics Branch. The AR ICDR Program then determines which deaths are ineligible for review (based on existing legislation) and forwards the eligible cases to the appropriate local team.
Eliminate all preventable infant and child deaths in Arkansas.
To review all unexpected infant and child deaths in the state of Arkansas. These reviews result in the development of interventions and recommendations through multi-disciplinary team collaboration, community education, and policy.
Eleven local teams have been established and perform case reviews. AR has a data use agreement with the Michigan Public Health Institute for internet-based data reporting and retrieval.
The AR ICDR Program produces an annual report in December. Annual reports are accessible from our website.
Local multi-disciplinary and multi-agency reviews of infant and child deaths assist in improving pediatric death investigations; developing a greater understanding of the incidence and causes of these deaths; identifying prevention strategies; and identifying gaps in services to children and families. The AR ICDR collaborates with the IPC on prevention initiatives based on recommendations from local ICDR teams. Since FY 17 the ICDR program has developed statewide prevention initiatives to reduce child deaths. In FY 17 the safe sleep initiative was launched followed by suicide prevention in FY 18. Both campaigns will continue through the ICDR for the next 3 to 5 years.
The AR ICDR Program, with the consensus of the CDR Panel, has developed a Standard Operating Procedure Manual (SOP)based on AR law, policy and best practices. The SOP is posted on our website.
Last Updated: February 2019