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August 2016

Dear Members,


NFDA Board of Directors Elections
In October 2015, the new governance structure for NFDA was adopted. Under the new structure all NFDA members will vote for the officers that will serve on the NFDA Board of Directors. On August 1, eligible NFDA members will receive an email or a postcard with the link and login credentials to vote.
More information can be found at www.nfda.org/elections.

OSHA Changes
Two recent developments have significantly increased the consequences of an OSHA inspection. First, OSHA civil penalties will be adjusted upward, effective August 1, 2016, to keep pace with inflation. OSHA's top penalty, which has not changed since 1990, will increase from $7,000 to $12,471, a nearly 80% increase. State plan states are required to follow suit. OSHA penalties are still a fraction of the $53,907 penalty that EPA can assess for some environmental violations.

Second, OSHA's new Safety Data Sheet (SDS) requirements have been in effect since June 1, 2016. Revised SDSs for products containing hazardous chemicals used in the funeral home should now be on hand, reviewed, and communicated to employees so that all workers understand the new pictographs and hazard warmings. For details go to www.osha.gov.
Source: NFDA Bulletin July 11, 2016

Funeral Homes May Impose Credit Card Surcharge
Beginning January 27, 2013, VISA and MasterCard allowed merchants in certain states, which includes Pennsylvania, to impose credit card surcharges with the following restrictions, requirements and considerations:

•Prior to imposing a credit card surcharge, funeral homes must provide a 30-day written notice to VISA and MasterCard and their credit card banks or processors of their intent to add a surcharge. For VISA, merchants can submit a notification form by going to visa.com/merchantsurcharging. For MasterCard go to www.mastercardmerchant.com to post the 30-day notice. After notifying VISA and/or MasterCard, notify the bank or financial institution that processes your credit cards of the intent to impose a surcharge.

•The surcharge may only be imposed on credit cards, not debit cards. The amount of the surcharge may not exceed the amount of the swipe fee paid by the funeral home on the particular credit card. Funeral homes will need to know how much a swipe fee is on each card if they intend to fully recoup the full amount of the swipe fee.

•A merchant that decides to impose surcharges must post a notice of the surcharge at the point of entry into the place of business, at the point of sale and on the receipt given to the consumer. Online merchants must post the notice on their websites.

•The receipt must also itemize the dollar amount of the surcharge. For funeral homes imposing a surcharge, this would require adding a line item onto the Statement of Funeral Goods and Services Selected to record the amount of the surcharge.

Each funeral home will have to make a decision regarding how the imposition of a surcharge may impact its consumers and the competitive position of the funeral home in its market. Each funeral home will have to make its own business decision regarding the use of surcharges.
Source: NFDA Memorial, January 17, 2013

NFDA 2016 Cremation and Burial Report: Research, Statistics and Projections
In July, NFDA released its cremation and burial report. Once again it showed a steady rise in cremation and there are several factors that contribute to that: "including consumer cost considerations, environmental concerns, fewer religious prohibitions of the practice and changing consumer preferences, such as the desire for simpler, less ritualized funeral practices."

The report found that the national cremation rate exceeded the burial rate for the first
time in 2015 and in 2035, less than 20 years away, the cremation rate is projected to increase to 78.3% of deaths. Cremation is projected to exceed the 50% mark in 43 states over the next nine years.

The projections for Pennsylvania are: 2017 – burials will be 46.2% and cremations will
be 48.1%, and by 2030 burials will only account for 25.1% of deaths, but cremations will account for 70.1%. NFDA members can find more information on the report at http://www.nfda.org/resources/business-technical/cremation/cremation-exclusive-member-resources.
Source: NFDA.org July 2016

NFDA At-Large Representatives
At the Leadership Conference in July the Policy Board elected John O. "Jack" Mitchell
IV, CFSP, CCO; Peter G. "Butch" Mulhearn, Jr.; and Terry Reardon, CCO, to serve as at-large representatives on the association's Board of Directors.


Updated U.S. Army Burial Honor Form
The DOD U.S. Army Casualty Assistance Center at Fort Dix has updated their burial honor form. Funeral homes in Bucks, Philadelphia, Montgomery, Chester and Delaware counties can obtain the form by going to https://www.dix.army.mil/Services/DHRM/CasualtyAssistance.aspx or calling 609-562-2820.

Capital Health: New Procedures for the Release of a Body
Effective immediately, Capital Health is implementing a new procedure for the release of bodies at both Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton and Capital Health Medical Center – Hopewell in Pennington. In order to ensure a high level of service and security in the care of the deceased, the following changes have been implemented that will affect the manner in which funeral homes pick up patients at the facilities.

1. Call Ahead (609)815-7378

2. Go Directly to Security

3. Documents Required for Body Release
a. Driver's license for the funeral home representative identification
b. Funeral home's completed authorization form including:

i. Decedent's full name, date of birth, and date of death
ii. Next of kin's name, relationship, address, and telephone number
iii. Signed authorization by the next of kin giving the funeral home authority to pick up the decedent on his or her behalf. If unable to provide signed authorization, the funeral home must document the full name and relationship of the family member requesting the funeral home's service on the form.

4. Positive Patient Identification

5. Sign Out

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the care of the deceased representative at 609-303-4150 or 609-303-4650 during normal business hours.


Legislative Update on PA Senate Bill 874
PA Senate Bill 874 is currently on the House Calendar for 09/19/16. If you haven't already done so, please contact your local PA House Member and ask them to support Senate Bill 874 with no amendments.

You can provide additional support for this legislative effort by "liking" PFDA on Facebook
and sharing posts related to SB 874 with your Facebook network. "Like" PFDA today at: https://www.facebook.com/PennsylvaniaFDA


Congratulations to Our New President

Debra Ashton-Chase is a fifth generation funeral director with her family's funeral home, Ashton Funeral Home in Easton, PA. She received her Bachelor's Degree from Indiana University of PA, her Master's Degree from George Washington University and is a graduate of the Northampton Community College Funeral Service Program. She followed in her father's footsteps as a PFDA District #6 Governor and as Past-President of the Eastern PA Funeral Directors Association. She has also served on the former NFDA Women in Funeral Service Advisory Board. She is married to Peter Chase and resides in Easton, PA.

Congratulations to our New Officers
Two new officers serving on your Board are Deron Youse, President-Elect and Stephanie Doriguzzi, Secretary-Treasurer.

Deron K. Youse, a life-long resident of Kutztown, PA, graduated from Kutztown Area High School in 1984. He is a graduate of Northampton Community College, Bethlehem, PA, where he received an Associate Degree in Funeral Service Education. Prior to entering funeral service, he served as a former paramedic and police officer, Deron has had a lifetime of service to others. He is a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Kutztown, PA, a member, currently serving as Treasurer and former Secretary of Fraternal Order of Eagles, Aerie #839, Kutztown, PA. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Topton Community Ambulance, Topton, PA; is a member of the National Funeral Directors Association, Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association, where he formerly served on the Board of Directors as District 6 Governor, Berks County Funeral Directors Association, where he currently serves as Treasurer, and Eastern Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association. He resides in Kutztown with his wife Wendy. Deron is the Supervisor of the Ludwick Funeral Homes, Inc., facility in Kutztown, PA, and has been a part of the Ludwick Funeral Home staff since 1989.

Stephanie Doriguzzi, a 2006 graduate of the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science, where she received the William J. Musmanno award for excellence in embalming and the Mu Sigma Alpha Award in outstanding academic efficiency. She is also a 2007 graduate of Point Park University where she received her bachelors' degree in Funeral Management. She became a licensed funeral director in 2008, and is currently the supervisor at the Turtle Creek funeral home. She has been a Certified Celebrant since 2006 and has been a PA Licensed Insurance professional since 2010. In 2011 Stephanie was elected to sit on the Allegheny County Board of Trustees, and served as their President in 2014. In 2011 Stephanie was selected to serve on the Pursuit of Excellence Committee for the National Funeral Directors Association which was a three year term. Also, Stephanie was one of two funeral directors in Pennsylvania selected to attend the NFDA Meet the Mentors program at Harvard University in August of 2011. In June of 2012, Stephanie, was sworn in as the District II Governor, serving Allegheny County, on the Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Board of Governors. In 2012 Stephanie married her husband, Dustin Despot, and they have since had a daughter, Caleesi.

Congratulations to PFDA's New District Governors
The new District Governors to the PFDA Board are: John P. Lester (District 2); Bruce Parthemore (District 9); and William C. Williams (District 10) and Michael Hacker (District 4), who will be starting his own 2-year term on the board.

PFDA's 135th Convention & Expo
This year's three-day annual event in June was once again an ideal mix of educational
opportunities, networking and social events. The Local Associations, Board members and exhibitors' generous donations of valuable items for the Silent Auction raised more than $6,000 for the PFDA Funeral Service Action Fund and Building Fund. Winner of the cash prize drawing was Don Deaner. The benefit golf classic had 80 players and was a fun day enjoyed by all participants. This year's golf benefit raised over $11,000 for the Highmark Caring Place.

Update Your PFDA Membership Information
PFDA will be uploading the most current membership information to the website in September. Enclosed is a form for every funeral home to update their information. Please return the form to PFDA by August 15, 2016 so that your correct information is put on the website.


Oak Lawn Cemetery's Former Owner Charged
James H. Delaney of Seven Valleys has been charged with theft and violations of the Pennsylvania Burial Grounds Law, with approximately $1 million of prepayments unaccounted for. The Oak Lawn account with Philadelphia Trust Co. only contains $45,481 and should contain $1,036,000. Over 450 people have filed complaints about Delaney concerning prepaid funds for services and merchandise.


Merchandise Fraud
NFDA has been made aware of funeral homes in both Ohio and Minnesota that have received phone calls requesting large jewelry orders and/or ordering expensive cremation jewelry. The credit cards provided to the funeral homes for payment were stolen cards. NFDA has provided some steps that funeral homes should follow, so they can hopefully avoid being caught in any of these scams. The information can be found at http://www.nfda.org/news/in-the-news/nfda-news/id/1328/scam-alert-be-aware-of-merchandise-fraud.


Fall Annual District Meetings
The Annual Fall District Meetings will be September 12-15 and September 19-22, 2016 throughout the state. The locations and dates are as follows: Dubois, September 12; Erie, September 13; Pittsburgh, September 14; Altoona, September 15; Philadelphia, September 19; Wilkes Barre, September 20; Bethlehem, September 21; and Harrisburg, September 22.


James F. Ruffner, 73, of Lebanon, died on June 28, 2016 at the M.S. Hershey Medical Center. He was the President and Owner of Taylor-Ruffner Funeral Home, Inc.

R. Joel Heath, 59, of Chester Hill, died on July 7, 2016 at M.S. Hershey Medical Center. He was a licensed funeral director and business partner of the Heath Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Osceola Mills and the Beezer-Heath Funeral Home, Phillipsburg, where he was the Supervisor.

Clemence Ilene "Clem" Herrington, 89, of Phillipsburg, died on July 12, 2016 at Windy Hill Village, Phillipsburg. He is survived by his son, John H. "Jay" Herrington, a licensed funeral director at Koch Funeral Home, State College.

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