Gov. Steve Beshear has named the 17 members of the state’s new Child Fatality and Near Fatality External Review Panel, which is comprised of a wide range of professionals.
The panel will act independently from the state, although for administrative purposes it’s placed in the Justice Cabinet.
Its job will be to review certain child abuse cases on a quarterly basis to make sure the state government is complying with its policies.
The Cabinet for Health and Family Services has been criticized for not handling certain cases appropriately and it remains in a legal battle over the release of certain records it wants kept private.
The 17 member panel includes legislators, law enforcement, and social service professionals who will review certain cases and make recommendations as needed to the various public and private agencies charged with keeping children safe.
The panel will also produce an annual report of case reviews, findings and recommendations that will be submitted to the governor and will be made available online.
Beshear signed an executive order creating the panel after a bill establishing the same panel failed in the General Assembly this year.
- Rep. Tom Burch, of Louisville, is Chair of the House Health and Welfare Committee. He serves as an ex officio, nonvoting member.
- Sen. Julie Denton, of Louisville, is Chair of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee. She serves as an ex officio, nonvoting member.
- Teresa James is the Commissioner of Department for Community Based Services. She serves as an ex officio, nonvoting member.
- Family Court Judge Brent Hall, of Elizabethtown, serves as an ex officio, nonvoting member and is selected by the Chief Justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court.
- Dr. Carmel Wallace, of Lexington, represents physicians for the University of Kentucky’s Department of Pediatrics’ Medical Home Clinic and is selected by the Attorney General.
- Dr. Melissa Currie, of Louisville, represents a board-certified child abuse pediatrician from the University of Louisville’s Forensic Medicine program and is selected by the Attorney General.
- Dr. Tracey Corey, of Louisville, is the state medical examiner.
- Andrea Goin, of Evansville, Ind., is the Henderson County Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Director for The Children’s Advocacy Center of Green River District. She represents CASA program directors and is selected by the Attorney General.
- Kevin Calhoon, of Frankfort, represents peace officers with experience investigating child abuse and neglect fatalities and near fatalities, and is selected by the Attorney General.
- Joel T. Griffith, of Dry Ridge, represents Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky Inc. and is selected by the Attorney General.
- Jenny Pitts Oldham, of Elizabethtown, is the Hardin County Attorney. She represents practicing local prosecutors and is selected by the Attorney General.
- Sharon Currens, of Frankfort, is the executive director of the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association.
- Dr. Ruth Shepherd, of Frankfort, is the acting chair of the State Child Fatality Review Team.
- Robert Walker, of Lexington, represents practicing social work clinicians and is selected by the Attorney General.
- Carmella Yates, of Lexington, represents practicing addiction counselors and is selected by the Attorney General.
- Maxine Reid, of Barbourville, represents Family Resource and Youth Service Centers and is selected by the Attorney General.
- Judge Roger Crittenden, of Frankfort, is an at large representative selected by the Attorney General. Judge Crittenden will serve as chair of the panel.