Rockwall County Child Fatality Review Team is established

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(Rockwall) May 12, 2012 – Under guidance of the Texas Department of State Health Services, Rockwall County has established a Child Fatality Review Team (CFRT).   This team brings together the expertise of local law enforcement, legal, child advocacy, and medical personnel to serve Rockwall County by reviewing all deaths of persons in Rockwall County under 18 years of age, regardless of cause or suspected cause.

In 1995, Texas enacted legislation establishing the State Child Fatality Review Team Committee (CFRTC or Committee) and authorizing counties to form local and regional Child Fatality Review Teams (CFRT). Senate Bill 6, 79th Legislative Session, amended sections of the applicable code, Family Code 264, Subchapter F (§264.501 – §264.515); most notably moving support and coordination of the State Committee and CFRTs from the Department of Family and Protective Services to the Department of State Health Services.

CFRTs are multidisciplinary, multiagency working groups that review child deaths on a local level from a public health perspective. By reviewing circumstances surrounding child deaths, teams identify prevention strategies that will decrease the incidence of preventable child deaths by:

  • Providing assistance, direction, and coordination to investigations of child deaths;
  • Promoting cooperation, communication, and coordination among agencies involved in responding to child fatalities;
  • Developing an understanding of the causes and incidence of child deaths in the county or counties in which the team is located;
  • Recommending changes to agencies, through the agency’s representative member, that will reduce the number of preventable child deaths; and
  • Advising the State Committee on changes to law, policy, or practice that will assist the team and the agencies represented on the team in fulfilling their duties.

The Rockwall CFRT is comprised of individuals who serve the community in a variety of occupations and whose backgrounds benefit the evaluation and review process for child fatality events.  Members of the Rockwall CFRT are:

Gregory Sonnen, M.D., F.A.A.P., CFRT Presiding Officer

Pediatrician, Pediatric & Adolescent Specialists of Rockwall

Tami Hawkins, RN, MSN, Child Fatality Review Team Coordinator

Vice President, Patient Care Services, CNO

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Rockwall

Christy Peoples, Child Fatality Review Team Data Reporting

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Rockwall

Kenda Culpepper, Rockwall County Criminal District Attorney

Ashley Anderson, Rockwall County Assistant Criminal District Attorney

Harold Eavenson, Rockwall County Sheriff

Nancy Beaty, Justice of the Peace, Rockwall County Precinct 2

Terry Garrett, Director of Public Safety, Heath, TX

Sara Bonser, Assistant Superintendent, RISD Student/Family Services

Nichol Smithers, RN, M.Ed., MSN, RISD Student/Family Services

Laurel Tate, LCSW, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

David Lensch, M.D., Rockwall City Medical Director

Baylor Family Medical Center at Rockwall

Gary Bonacquisti, M.D., Rockwall County Medical Director

Benchmark Family Medicine

Katie Gerber, Child Protective Services Specialist

Vickie Nettleton, Program Director, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates)

Angie Scalf, Rockwall County Chief Juvenile Probation Officer

Sumer Wassef, LPC, Victim Services, Texas Department of Public Safety

Susan Clark, Traffic Safety Specialist, TxDOT

Sue White, Rockwall County Victims Assistance Coordinator

Samuel R. Crowley, M.D., Emergency Physician

Emergency Medical Consultants

Vickie Oldham, Detective, Criminal Investigation Department

 Rockwall County Sheriff’s Office

Theresa Marie Snyder MS, RNC, CPN Womens Services

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Rockwall

Tim Wolf, LP, CCEMT-P, Paramedic Supervisor

Rockwall County Emergency Medical Services

Martin Ramirez, LP, Paramedic Supervisor

Rockwall County Emergency Medical Services

Katie Martin, BS, RN, CEN

Director Critical Care and Emergency Services

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Rockwall

For more information on Rockwall County’s Child Fatality Review Team, contact Gregory Sonnen, M.D. at 214-771-3712.

Submitted by Nikki Mutschler, Marketing Director, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Rockwall.

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