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January 2015

Dear Members,

New Ebola Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Fact Sheet OSHA has released a new fact sheet matrix outlining the PPE that Funeral Directors should be given based on their potential level of exposure to the Ebola virus. More information on the fact sheet can be found at www.osha.gov.

New Regulations regarding Regulated Medical and Chemotherapeutic Waste The Environmental Quality Board has promulgated new regulations regarding regulated medical and chemotherapeutic waste effective November 8, 2014. The changes relevant to funeral directors are as follows:
1) The federal government identifies infectious waste as "regulated medical waste". Thus the new Pennsylvania regulation will now refer to "infectious waste" as "regulated medical waste". This simplifies labeling requirements for purposes of collection, and transport such that the same containers used satisfies both federal and state requirements.
2) Those who transport waste were previously required to complete and keep a "manifest". The new regulation allows for the "manifest requirement" to be satisfied with a "shipping paper, log or electronic tracking system" that provides the required information.
3) Previously, generators were able to store regulated waste for up to 30 days from the date the waste was first put into the container. The new amendments permit generators to store regulated waste for up to 30 days from the date the container is full or the date the container is sealed, whichever is earlier, thereby eliminating the need for partially filled containers to be picked up every 30 days. This results in a cost savings for generators.
NOTE: Generators have up to two years from November 8, 2014 to come into compliance with the new regulations. Source: Kathleen Ryan, Esquire

New OSHA Fact Sheet on Handling Ebola Contaminated Waste OSHA has released a fact sheet to help Funeral Directors educate their staff members on the handling, transporting, and disposing of waste contaminated with the Ebola virus, and also to help them take the correct steps to protect their workers. Download the free fact sheet at https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA_FS-3766.pdf

PFDA's Donation to Highmark Caring Place With the addition of $11,715 in proceeds from its Annual Benefit Golf Classic held during the Annual Convention in June 2014, and Highmark Blue Shield's match of dollar-for-dollar, PFDA has raised a total of $255,115 for The Highmark Caring Place. PFDA President Paul J. Urban presented this year's donation to Caring Place's Fasy Greevy on October 29, 2014 at the PFDA Board of Governors meeting. Once again, we want to thank everyone for their support of this year's golf classic.

FDLIC's New Director of Sales Development Kevin Peragine has joined Funeral Directors Life Insurance Company (FDLIC), as the Director of Sales Development in Pennsylvania. Kevin has over 20 years of experience in the funeral business, from directing and operating funeral homes to managing pre-need sales.

Exhumation to Determine Paternity An Orphans' Court in Luzerne County has recently ruled that exhumation for purposes of determining paternity was justified when Petitioner (alleged son) established "reasonable cause" and that samples were available despite the time that had passed since death (expert testimony required). "Reverence for the memory of those who have departed does not require the Court to abdicate the high duty of doing justice to the living", particularly in a case where the right to inherit is involved. Source: Fox Est. 4 Fiduc. Rep. 3d 380; Kathleen Ryan, Esquire

Did You Know??? Current PennDOT regulations permit licensed funeral directors or their agents or employees to direct traffic IF they are "appropriately attired". The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has recently proposed a regulation which if passed, will require the apparel and headwear to include safety vests in fluorescent orange, yellow-green or a combination thereof. Samples of appropriate apparel and headwear can be found by Googling American National Standard for High-Visibility Safety Apparel and Headwear, and then going to ANSI/ISEA 107-2004. The proposed regulation would mandate Class 2 or 3 requirements of this standard. We will keep you informed on the progress of this regulation. Source: Kathleen Ryan, Esquire

2014 Wreaths Across America On December 8, the Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association partnered with Wreaths Across America and joined other states and the District of Columbia in honoring veterans and members of the armed forces and their families with a remembrance wreath laying ceremony at the Pennsylvania State Capitol. Dignitaries and representatives from various veterans' organizations, state veterans who have served throughout the world, members of the armed forces and their families, Civil Air Patrol, funeral directors, state legislators and the general public participated in the event.

Family Service Survey Evaluation When it comes to advertising for your funeral home, nothing works better than third party promotions. Third party promotions often carry a higher sense of credibility than paid for advertisements because people believe other people – especially friends or family members. With the rising popularity of social media, families are more and more often turning to online review sources such as Google+, Yelp and Facebook to get the inside scoop on other consumer's experiences with your funeral home.

PFDA members using the Family Service Survey Evaluation program are one step ahead of the competition because they are keeping up on what their families think they are doing well, what changes need to be made and perhaps most importantly, gathering positive reviews that can be shared across multiple platforms. Roughly 75% of people will be willing to fill out a survey and share positive reviews online. Funeral directors who fail to survey families are missing a great PR opportunity. See PFDA Family Service Survey insert for more information. Source: Funeral Service Insider

Fort Indiantown Gap National Cemetery The National Cemetery at Fort Indiantown Gap is now allowing internment of cremated remains in-ground. Previously all cremated remains had to be in a columbarium. Due to limited grave space for in-ground burials of cremated remains, Funeral Homes should contact the cemetery's scheduling office at 1-800-535-1117 to confirm availability.

Online Resource Provides Insight Into Eastern Orthodox Funeral Traditions Philip Habbard, former president of the Counsel of Eastern Orthodox Churches of Central Massachusetts and founder of the Orthodox Section at Hope Cemetery in Worcester, MA has unveiled a site that includes traditions and practices that funeral directors are expected to perform at Eastern Orthodox funeral and burial services. Additional information can be obtained at www.orthodoxcustomstraditionsandpractices.com.

Recharge Yourself In 2015

Attend a valuable management conference that will help you increase your revenue stream, meet and exceed customer and staff needs.

Hear about the latest and greatest in the cremation business to increase your revenue stream. Gain insight from David Nixon, CMC.

Hear about the latest on Human Resource Practices – including the importance of employee handbooks and specific discipline policies. Kathy Ryan, Esquire and Bill Ford will provide you with procedures to follow and a sample Employee Handbook and Policy Manual.

Hear about and discuss current and emerging issues with John Eirkson and Kathy Ryan, Esquire.

Get out of town and earn 6 CE credits while enjoying Valentine's Day with your significant other at a luxury resort and spa.



See enclosed conference brochure for program agenda and registration information

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

2015 District Meetings PFDA's Annual District Meetings will be held during the weeks of September 14-18 and September 21-25, 2015. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Mihalakis, who will present on child abuse. The program will fulfill the required 2 Continuing Education Credits required for Funeral Directors by January 31, 2016.

Protect Your Funeral Home From Online Hackers Recently online hackers have gained access to personal information of millions of people that have used credit cards at retail giants like Home Depot and Target. If your Funeral Home accepts credit cards, there are steps and guidelines to protect you from potential security breaches: Make sure you are PCI Compliant – there are 12 steps you must follow so your clients' information is secure; When you have staff members accessing your network from home implement a "two-factor authentication", which requires users to put in a changing code and password; All users should have distinctive and their own IDs and passwords; Remove inactive users; Limit administrative access to the network; and Change passwords monthly.
Source: American Funeral Director November 2014

Unclaimed Veterans Remains The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has released a step-by-step process to help Funeral Directors determine eligibility and arrange a proper burial for unclaimed Veterans. VA pensions or other compensation are no longer required for unclaimed Veterans to get burial benefits. Detailed information can be found at www.cem.va.gov/CEM/docs/FactSheets/Unclaimed.remains.pdf

Missing in America Project (MIAP) MIAP is an organization that works to secure final resting places for tens of thousands of U.S. veterans' unclaimed remains. With the help of private, state, and federal organizations, the group locates, identifies and inters the unclaimed cremated remains. Currently MIAP has visited 1,647 funeral homes, located 9,781 unclaimed cremated remains, identified the cremated remains of 2,396 veterans and coordinated funerals for more than 2,178 veterans. Funeral Directors play a key role in this project being a success by speaking to MIAP members and letting them into your Funeral Homes. For more information and to get involved, visit www.miap.us.

Thank you to those who have contributed $808 to the building fund. As you all know, we cannot do this alone and look to you our members to help us. We appreciate your assistance in helping us achieve this goal in 2015 so that we can improve the overall working environment and brighten our surroundings.

Renew Your PFDA Membership for 2015 It's that time again! If you have not renewed your PFDA membership for 2015, please do so as soon as possible, so that you don't lose access to exclusive PFDA member benefits and services. If you have already renewed for 2015 – THANK YOU! We appreciate you and are glad to have you as part of the PFDA group of funeral service professionals in Pennsylvania. You can renew online at www.pfda.org. Please contact Sue Bertsch, Membership Coordinator, at 1-800-692-6068 or sue@pfda.org with any questions.

In Memoriam

Virgil L. Howard, 92, of Shinglehouse, died on November 16, 2014 at Olean General Hospital, Olean, NY. He was the former owner and operator of Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home in Shinglehouse.

Dolores Mysko, 88, of Clarks Summit, died on December 16, 2014. She is the mother-in-law of PFDA Board of Governors Member Christopher Calvey.

PFDA OFFICE CLOSING The association office will be closed on Monday, January 19, 2015 in observance of the Martin Lutheran King, Jr. holiday. The office will reopen Tuesday, January 20, 2015.

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