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October-November 2014

Dear Members,

REMINDER OF NEW CE REQUIREMENTS FOR FUNERAL DIRECTORS -- As of January 1, 2015, funeral directors are required to have two (2) continuing education credit hours on child abuse as part of their six (6) CE credit hours to renew their funeral director licenses. In order to renew your license, you will need to obtain two (2) CE credits in child abuse prior to February 1, 2016. PFDA will be providing these credits at the September 2015 District Meetings throughout the state.

As of January 15, 2015, all new licensees (those applying for an initial license) are required to complete three (3) Continuing Education hours of approved child abuse recognition and reporting training. Source: 2014 Act 31

OSHA Poster Update -- The latest "Job Safety and Health: It's the Law" poster, which makes workers aware of their rights under the Occupational Safety and Health law, must be displayed for all employees to see. New posters can be downloaded or ordered at 800-321-6742 or www.osha.gov/publications/poster.html.

CDC Guidance on the Safe Handling of EBOLA Patient Human Remains -- The CDC has outlined for Funeral Directors specific guidelines for handling human remains with EBOLA. It specifically recommends against embalming and discourages autopsies. The most up-to-date information can be downloaded from our website at www.pfda.org/pfda-breaking-news/index/php.

Unclaimed Veterans Burial Reimbursement -- The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Cemetery Administrators (NCA) has shared resources to assist Funeral Homes in providing Veterans with a proper and timely burials and also help defray costs that may be incurred. If you have unclaimed remains of a Veteran, contact the National Cemetery Scheduling Office (800-535-1117) and they can determine the burial eligibility within 24 hours if there are service records, and in most cases where records aren't available, eligibility can often be determined within 48 hours.

The VA will be adding an additional reimbursement program, which will reimburse Funeral Homes for certain caskets or urns used to bury a veteran who dies with no next-of-kin and no resources to provide a burial receptacle. Funeral Homes should be keeping all receipts for these expenses in order to be reimbursed once the program is up and running. All updates on the new program will be provided through GovDelivery. Additional information can be obtained at http://www.cem.va.gov/cem/docs/FactSheets/Dignified_Burial.pdf.

OSHA Updates Recordkeeping Rule -- Effective January 1, 2015 all employees must report all work related fatalities that occur within 30 days of an incident within 8 hours, and report all work related inpatient hospitalizations, amputations, and losses of an eye that occur within 24 hours of an incident.

For further information on OSHA's revisions to the recordkeeping rule go to www.osha.gov/recordkeeping2014/recording.html.

Get VA Benefit Updates -- Funeral Homes may obtain electronic updates on important memorial benefits for Veterans through GovDelivery. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) wants to be sure that Veterans, their families, and those handling their final arrangements are aware of various VA memorial benefits available. Receive email updates and information regarding VA memorial benefits by signing up at https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/usvanca/subscriber/new.

Consumer Preferences for Cremation -- The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) has shared the 2014 NFDA Cremation and Burial Report Research, Statistics and Projections with us. It is projected that the rate of cremation will surpass that of burials in 2015. In 2013, the rate of burials was estimated to be 48.9 percent and the rate of cremations was estimated to be 45.1 percent. The projected rates of cremation and burial by the end of 2015 are 48.2 percent and 45.8 percent. For additional information and findings from the report, NFDA members can download the report at no charge at www.nfda.org/tools/creamation or call 800-228-6332.

Burials (%)

2011 - 51.69

Projected - 48.9

Projected - 47.3

Projected - 45.8

Projected - 38.1

Projected - 23.2

Cremations (%)

2011 - 42.2

Projected - 45.1

Projected - 46.7

Projected - 48.2

Projected - 55.8

Projected - 70.6

Human Remains Shipping - Harrisburg International Airport -- U.S. Airways announced that their aircraft that can transport Casketed Remains has returned to their flight schedule. Currently human remains can be accommodated on three non-stop flights to/from CLT, per day, Monday-Friday. Flights depart HIA at 6:40am, 9:00am and 3:20pm; and arrive into HIA at 2:43pm, 9:11pm and 11:55pm. Contact the US Airways/American Airlines TLC desk at 800-852-3333 or Cargo Contact Center at 888-300-0099 for all human remains reservations.

FAMIC Consumer Workbook -- A new, detailed guidebook to help consumers get loved ones to talk about end-of-life preferences like burial and cremation, has been released by FAMIC. The resource is part of FAMIC's "Have the Talk of a Lifetime" national consumer education campaign. The book can be personalized by individual funeral homes, cemeteries and memorial parks with their own names and logo. Visit www.famic.org/campaign for more information.

Office of Child Support Enforcement New Hire Reporting Program -- According to the New Hire Reporting Program, Funeral Directors are required to report all New Hires within 20 days of their date of hire, along with the following seven data elements: employee name, address, social security number (SSN), date of hire (the date an employee first performed services for pay), and employer name, address and Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN). Additional information can be found at www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/css.

Online Directory Fraud -- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is warning all small businesses to be cautious of vendors that offer online directory listing services due to the recent fining and shut down of several of these companies due to fraud. To protect your funeral home from these fraudulent businesses, train your staff members to limit their conversations with any cold calls and report them to the Federal Trade Commission.

New State Board Members Congratulations to Robert E. Neely of Glenshaw, Milian E. Rodriguez of Philadelphia and Thomas G. Kukuchka of Tunkhannock on their recent nomination to the State Board of Funeral Directors.

Mark Your Calendars


What Could Be Better?

"Listening to Cremation"

Interested in a profitable cremation business?? David Nixon will show you how to recharge your skills to increase your revenue stream & customer satisfaction with your funeral home to become profitable in the cremation business.
David Nixon, CMC
President & CEO - Nixon Consulting/Heartland Funeral Solutions

"Complying with Employee Laws"

Important, timely discussion on compliance with employee laws within which funeral homes must operate to ensure they are in legal compliance. Come get the sample Funeral Home Employee Handbook.

Kathleen Ryan, Esq.,
PFDA General Counsel

William Ford,
President & CEO


FEBRUARY 10-12, 2015

Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Farmington, PA

Registration details will be available soon.
6 CE credits pending approval

Spring 2015 -- Young Funeral Directors Group Educational Program & Networking The agenda will be geared towards all Funeral Directors under the age of 40. The initial event will be used to provide both educational programs and networking opportunities. Date, time and location will be announced once they have been confirmed.

2015 Annual Convention and Expo The 2015 Event will be June 7-10, 2015 and will be held at the Holiday Inn Grantville.

CDC Report Shows Death Rates Fall -- The CDC released a 2012 report that showed that U.S. death rates fell and life expectancy inched up. Also, there was a decline in rates for most of the leading causes of death except suicide, which rose over 2 % to 12.6 % per suicide deaths, per 100,000 American.

The report, which complied information for all 2012 U.S. deaths, includes: the life expectancy for children born in 2012; how many years of life were left for both men and women 65 years of age; the number of deaths in 2012 and how it compared to 2011; the infant mortality rate; death rates for blacks, whites and Hispanics; and the 10 leading causes of death. For more information on the report go to www.cdc.gov/nchs.

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Gay Marriage Cases -- The U.S. Supreme Court decided to pass on the review of the appellate ruling that banned states from refusing to legalize same-sex marriage. Funeral homes are affected by this decision, as same-sex marriage is legal in approximately 30 states, including Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania recognized same-sex marriage as of May 20, 2014.

Congratulations to PIMS' Dean's List -- The following full-time students achieved a 3.50 or higher grade point average during the summer trimester: Ashley Baldauf-Kreil, Pittsburgh; Lauren Leister, Pittsburgh; Kyra Mangold, Munhall; Rebecca Rossi, Erie; Kathleen Shirley, Downingtown; and Beth Ziance, Greensburg.

PFDA Office Closing -- The PFDA Office will be closed for the Thanksgiving Holiday on
November 27th and 28th.

In Memoriam

Michael J. Carlucci, 94, of Dunmore, died September 7, 2014 at the Jewish Homes of Eastern Pennsylvania. He was a licensed funeral director in Pa for over 65 years. He co-owned and co-operated the Carlucci Funeral Home in Dunmore.

Gordon B. Garrett, 80, of Titusville, died September 10, 2014 at Southwoods Assisted Living Community, Titusville. He is survived by his son, Todd, a licensed funeral director, who is Supervisor and President of Gordon B. Garrett Funeral Home in Titusville, and a grandson Joseph, a licensed funeral director, also working in the family business.

Eugene H. Drinkwine, 72, of Cherry Flats, died on September 19, 2014. He was the Funeral Director at Sanders Mortuary in Williamsport.

James Walter Poland, 68, of Conway, died on October 1, 2014 in Heritage Valley, Sewickley. He was the owner of McCabe Funeral Home, Ambridge and Poland Funeral Home, Inc., Conway.

Thaddeus T. Boron, 90, of Carrick, died on October 11, 2014. He is survived by his wife, Lucy, a licensed funeral director, and his sons, Thaddeus T. and Edward D., both licensed funeral directors who continue to work in the family business; Boron Funeral Home, Inc, Pittsburgh.

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