Governor appoints Summit coroner to new board |

Governor appoints Summit coroner to new board

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Summit Daily/Kristin Skvorc

SUMMIT COUNTY ” Summit County Coroner Joanne Richardson will be one of eight professionals from around Colorado charged with establishing first-ever training requirements for coroners in the state.

Governor Bill Owens recently appointed Richardson to the new Colorado Coroner Standards and Training Board, which will set standards and training requirements for deeded coroners in the state.

The board is comprised of three coroners, one sheriff, one district attorney, one forensic pathologist and two county commissioners. Richardson was the only woman appointed to the board.

“I’m just very grateful and excited for the opportunity to make a difference in our system,” Richardson said of her appointment.

The board’s existence stems from the passage of House Bill 1105 in 2003, which Richardson supported.

The bill called for the board’s creation in order to develop a training course for new coroners, approve the qualifications of teachers and approve training programs for annual in-service training. The bill also requires coroners to attend 40 hours of training in medical-legal death investigation.

Coroners aren’t required have to any sort of medical background to hold the position, and many don’t know the laws pertaining to the job because it isn’t mandated, Richardson said.

“Not only are a lot of coroners lacking death investigation ” or any kind of training ” (but) they don’t know how to administrate. … Some counties are better than other counties and we’d like to see that standardized,” Richardson said.

The board will also enforce the new standards required by the bill, and coroners who are not meeting the standards can be subject to salary suspension.

The new standards will go into effect next January.

Richardson’s term on the board javascript:doFacts(2);expires in March 2009.

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