Spotlight – New Mexico

Sarah Meadows
Child Fatality Review Coordinator
Injury & Behavioral Epidemiology Bureau
Epidemiology and Response Division
New Mexico Department of Health
1190 S. Saint Francis Drive
P.O. Box 26110
Santa Fe, NM, 87502
Phone: (505) 827-5146
Email: Sarah.Meadows@state.nm.us

Program Description

Administration
The New Mexico Child Fatality Review (NMCFR) was established in 1998 by regulation. The administration and coordination for the team is facilitated through the New Mexico Department of Health.

Teams
New Mexico’s CFR team consists of four state-level review panels. These include Child Abuse and Neglect; Suicide; Sudden Unexplained Infant Death (SUID); and Unintentional Deaths. The membership of these panels include individuals representing various professional disciplines, topic experts, agencies, and advocacy groups.

State Team:
The NMCFR team comprises four panels as noted above, and each panel is made up of volunteers who meet monthly to review cases and discuss strategies for preventing deaths. Legislation requires the team to look at ways to reduce future deaths through identifying risk factors, determining risk reduction strategies, and/or through the recognition of system failures. From these reviews, recommendations for the prevention of future fatalities are made. Legislation also requires the sharing of such information to policy makers, providers, communities, and the public.

Reviews
The NMCFR reviews all New Mexico deaths except those resulting from disease in children from birth though the age of 17 years, depending on the cause. Deaths occurring on tribal land or reservations are not reviewed by the state CFR. At this time, homicide, premature neonatal, or natural deaths (with the exception of SUIDS) are not reviewed. All deaths are identified through the state’s Office of the Medical Investigator. This information is sent to the NMCFR Coordinator who collects all case information and notifies the appropriate panel that the case is ready for review.

Purpose
The purpose of the NMCFR is to gather and analyze information related to childhood fatalities in order to identify gaps in care and strategies to inform future prevention efforts. An important component of this is improving coordination among agencies that engage young families.

Data
NMCFR uses the National Fatality Review Case Reporting System (NFR-CRS) in conjunction with the web-based database developed by the National Center for Fatality Review and Prevention.

Annual Report
New Mexico will be publishing the 2015 Annual Report in the near future.

Prevention Initiatives
NMCFR findings have influenced policy changes and prevention initiatives.

Protocols
New Mexico has established CFR meeting protocols in place.

Training
CFR Training is ongoing for established panel members. New panel members receive individual training and mentoring. The Office of the Medical Investigator conducts training in death scene investigation

Last Updated: March 2018