Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $35,367)
Project Purpose – The purpose of this project is for the Dorchester County Coroner’s Office to obtain initial Accreditation from the International Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners (IACME). This Accreditation will provide an independent measure of quality assurance by assessing that this office maintains written policies and procedures and adequate staff, equipment, training, and suitable physical facilities to produce a forensically documented, accurate, and credible death investigation product. This in turn will help to strengthen the quality of Medical Examiners and Coroners services in the United States by ensuring that agencies performing postmortem examinations are in compliance with industry and professional standards and performance criteria.
Primary Activities – The Dorchester County Coroner’s Office will undergo a complete evaluation of their existing capabilities and procedures and submit an application for accreditation to IACME. They will complete the accreditation process and request an audit within one year of the application request. The audit will consist of an on-site inspection performed by two IACME auditors. The Coroner’s Office will maintain the records of Accreditation and pay IACME the annual maintenance fee for the next four years until time for re-accreditation.
Expected Outcomes – The Dorchester County Coroner’s Office expects to receive the initial accreditation from the IACME and maintain this accreditation in order to produce a forensically documented, accurate, and credible death investigation product. This accreditation will strengthen the quality and consistency of the coroner services in Dorchester County, thereby increasing public trust in these services.
Service Area – Dorchester County, South Carolina has a total area of 576 square miles and an estimated population of 163,327 based on the 2021 data from the US Census Bureau. The County is home to the Towns of Saint George (County Seat), Reevesville, Harleyville, Dorchester, Ridgeville, Summerville and part of the City of North Charleston.
Intended Beneficiaries and Subrecipients – The Dorchester County Coroner’s Office and the citizens of the County will benefit from this accreditation.