Spotlight – Tennessee

Rachel Heitmann, MS
Child Fatality Review Section Director
Division of Family Health and Wellness
Tennessee Department of Health
8th floor, Andrew Johnson Tower
710 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, TN 37243-0860
Phone: 615-741-0368
Fax: 615-741-1063
Email: Rachel.Heitmann@tn.gov

Website: https://www.tn.gov/health/health-program-areas/fhw/child-fatality-review.html

Tools

Reports

Mortality Statistics

Program Description

Administration
The Tennessee Child Fatality Review (CFR) Program was established in 1995. It is housed out of the Tennessee Department of Health, Division of Family Health and Wellness. Tennessee is a member of the Southeast Coalition on Child Fatalities.

Teams
Tennessee has both state and local CFR teams. Both team levels are mandated. There is no official relationship with the Citizen’s Review Panel (CRP); however, a representative from the Department of Children’s Services sits on both the State Child Fatality Review Team and the CRP.

State Team:
The state child fatality prevention team reviews the reports from the local teams, analyzes statistics of the incidence and causes of child deaths and makes recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly to promote the safety and well-being of children.

Local Teams: (Chairperson(s) – Department of Health team leaders)
Local teams have been established in the 31 judicial districts. Retrospective reviews are conducted by these teams.

Reviews
Tennessee reviews all deaths of children 17 years of age or younger.

Purpose
The purpose of the Tennessee CFR Program is to provide services and prevent future childhood deaths.

Data
Standardized data reporting forms are completed for all reviews.

Annual Report
The State Child Fatality Review Team reviews the reports from the local teams, analyzes statistics of the incidence and causes of child deaths, and makes recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly to promote the safety and well-being of children. This report is required by statute.

Prevention Initiatives
Tennessee CFR findings have influenced policy changes such as encouraging collaboration between disciplines and autopsy requirements.

Protocols
The Tennessee CFR program has a confidentiality protocol.

Training
A training for child fatality review team members is held annually.

Last Updated: February 2018