Spotlight – Kentucky

Angela K. Brown
Infant and Child Fatality Review and Injury Prevention Nurse Consultant
Child & Family Health Improvement
Division of Maternal and Child Health
Kentucky Department for Public Health
275 East Main Street, Mail Stop HS2W-A
Frankfort, Kentucky 40621
Phone: (502) 564-2154, ext 4369
Fax: (502) 564-5766




Mortality Statistics

Program Description

Kentucky’s Child Fatality Review Program was established by statute (section 211.680 et seq.) in 1996. The program has an annual budget of $418,500. Funding comes from the Title V Block grant. Some funding is given to local health departments for child death review. The program is housed in the Department for Public Health. There are 2.5 FTE state level employees that staff the program. Kentucky is part of the Southeast Coalition on Child Fatalities.

Kentucky has both state and local teams, which are not mandated.

State Team Chairperson: Dr. Melissa Currie
The team is comprised of approximately 30 additional members representing diverse agencies and meets every other month.

Local Teams:
The chairperson at the local level is the County Coroner. There are 92 teams which cover approximately 77% of the counties. Teams are comprised of six to ten members.

The Kentucky State CFR team reviews deaths that are special request only, and Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths (SUID) that are not reviewed at the local level. The local teams review coroner deaths. Both teams review cases of children under the age of 18 years old.

The goal of the Kentucky Department for Public Health’s Child Fatality Review (CFR) Program is ultimately to decrease child deaths through prevention efforts. This is done by monitoring aggregate data from vital statistics in order to identify trends and emerging issues related to fatalities that may be preventable in Kentucky. In collaboration with key partners, this data analysis is applied to the development of recommendations and community interventions that may help prevent future injuries and child deaths.

  • Facilitating the development of local child fatality review teams, which may include training opportunities and technical assistance;
  • Developing and distributing model protocols for local child fatality review teams that investigate child fatalities;
  • Reviewing and approving local protocols prepared and submitted by local teams;
  • Analyzing data regarding child fatalities to identify trends, patterns and risk factors;
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of adopted prevention and intervention strategies; and
  • Making recommendations regarding state programs, legislation, administrative regulations, policies, budgets, and treatment and service standards, which may facilitate the development of strategies for the prevention and reduction of the number of child deaths.

Bereavement services are offered through the local health departments.

Standardized data reporting forms are completed for all reviews. This is required by state statute. Data is stored on hard copy and electronically. Data is used in writing the annual CFR report. The Kentucky CFR program has access to vital statistics records including electronic transmission of data from the electronic death registration system, coroner’s reports, and other sources.

Annual Report
Kentucky produces an annual report based on calendar year data. The report is distributed to selected government officials, Department for Public Health staff, local health departments, coroners and others upon request.

Prevention Initiatives
CFR findings have influenced policy changes in Kentucky. Statewide examples of these changes include a booster seat and graduated driver’s license legislation. CFR has also participated in the provision of educational materials to prevent pediatric abusive head trauma to birthing hospitals in Kentucky. CFR findings have also been useful in the development of a Safe Sleep campaign (

Kentucky has protocols in place including confidentiality, and recommendations for the composition of local teams. The Kentucky CFR program recommends that all teams follow the recommendations from the National Center for Child Death Review.

Kentucky CFR primarily coordinates and provided training to local health department staff. Training is available upon request from other agencies and organizations. CFR also distributes information about additional training and resources to local health department staff.

Last Updated: January 2018