Spotlight – Rhode Island

Shannon Spurlock
Coordinator, Child Death Review Team
JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc.
235 Promenade St., Suite 440
Providence, RI 02908
Phone: 401-824-2121
Email: shannon_spurlock@jsi.com

Program Description

Administration
The Rhode Island Child Death Review Team was established in 1997 and is housed out of the RI Department of Health, Office of the State Medical Examiners. The program has a budget of funded by Rhode Island Department of Health. The funding supports 0.4 FTEs and includes time and effort for a coordinator and data manager. Rhode Island is also a member of the Northeast Regional Coalition of State CDR Programs.

Teams
Rhode Island has one state team.

State Team:
The team is comprised of 22 members and meets 8-10 times a year.

Reviews
Rhode Island’s State CDR team reviews deaths to children through 17 years of age. Rhode Island reviews deaths due to SUID, injuries, homicides, suicides, abuse/neglect and deaths of natural causes that are potentially preventable such as those due to asthma. Reviews are conducted retrospectively. The CDRT team reviews approximately 30 CDRT eligible deaths each year. The state also has domestic violence and maternal mortality reviews.

Purpose
The purpose of the Rhode Island CDR Program is to bring together a multi-disciplinary team from across the state to share information and ideas through the review of individual child deaths and child death data. The group works together to analyze and make recommendations to prevent child deaths in the state.

Data
Rhode Island CDR has access to state vital statistics which are used in conjunction with Medical Examiner data. Rhode Island enters all known cases of child deaths occurring in Rhode Island into the National Center for Child Death Review web-based reporting system.

Annual Report
Rhode Island has produced annual reports which are submitted to the Director of the RI Department of Health. Special topics reports have been prepared for distribution to legislators, media, policy makers and professional groups. Summary data reports are being developed every three years, the current report includes 2015-2017.

Prevention Initiatives
CDR findings have influenced policy changes at the agency level. CDC findings are utilized in state presentations to the Children’s Cabinet, statewide child safety conferences and state and local application for additional funding to sustain child death prevention efforts.

Protocols
Rhode Island has CDR Meeting, confidentiality, preventability assessment and child death investigation protocols in place.

Training
Rhode Island provides training on a quarterly basis during the open portion of the CDRT meetings.

Last Updated: January 2019