divider image

April 2017 Reporter

April, 2017

Dear Members,


PFDA Annual Convention

The 2017 Annual Convention and Expo will be held April 23-26, 2017 at Kalahari Resorts and Convention Center in Pocono Manor, PA. You can earn 8 credits at convention, 2 of them will be in Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse. Attendees can reserve overnight rooms by calling 855-356-9208 and asking for the Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association block or going online to https://book.kalahariresorts.com/poconos/groups.asp and using the group booking ID 416.

Registration brochures for this year's annual convention are available online at http://www.pfda.org/2017_convention_and_expo/.

The Service of Remembrance will be held on Tuesday, April 25 at 11:00am. The annual Service Awards ceremony will take place on Tuesday, April 25 at 10:30am.

PFDA invites you to join in donating to this year's Silent Auction at Convention. All proceeds go to the Funeral Service Fund and Building Fund. In 2016, $6,000 was raised due to many baskets and items that were received. Your help is needed again this year. The Silent Auction donation forms are enclosed.

Notice of the PFDA Annual Meeting

We invite you to attend PFDA's 2017 Annual Meeting and House of Delegates Meeting, which will be held at the annual Convention on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, beginning at 9 a.m. at Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, Pocono Manor, PA. This meeting is for PFDA members.

At the meeting, members will vote on the following matters: the election of officers for 2017-2018 and the election of candidates nominated by their Local Associations for the position of District Governor. If you have any questions, please call the PFDA office at 800-692-6068.

(1) Election of the following slate of officers for 2017-2018:

For the Position of President:
Deron Youse, Ludwig Funeral Homes Inc.

For the Position of President-Elect:
Stephanie Doriguzzi, Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home

For the Position of Secretary/Treasurer:
David V. Peake, Jr., Craft Funeral Home, Inc.

(2) Election of candidates nominated by their Local Association District Governor:

District 1
Jenna Buechele, Buechele Funeral Home

District 8
TJ Fluehr, TJ Fluehr Funeral Home


Bill Introduced to Increase Funeral and Burial Benefits for Veterans

A bill to increase funeral and burial benefits for certain veterans was introduced in the House by Representative Duncan Hunter of California. H.R. 1212 creates burial benefits for service related deaths and non-service related deaths. Any veteran that dies from a service related disability will be eligible for $1,500-$2,000 (this is indexed for inflation). Veterans that die in a VA facility, die from a non-service related death or have no next of kin are eligible for $749. More information on the bill can be found at https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr1212/text/ih .
Source: NFDA Bulletin, February 27, 2017

NFDA Resource Guide for Opening a Crematory

With cremation on the rise, funeral home owners are now considering adding their own crematory, rather than using another provider. Anytime someone chooses to expand their current business, especially when it comes to adding a crematory, they are met with many challenges and oppositions. NFDA's Opening a Crematory: Frequently Asked Questions for Funeral Professionals is a resource for member funeral directors thinking about adding a crematory. The guide can be downloaded at http://www.nfda.org/resources/operations-management/cremation.
Source: NFDA Bulletin, February 27, 2017

NFDA Member Benefit: Religious Funeral Customs Reference Materials

NFDA understands that you want to provide the best service to people of all faith and cultures. To assist you with that goal, NFDA is pleased to provide you with a new point of reference for religious funeral customs research. This NFDA member-only benefit, is available to help you become acquainted with family expectations associated with a wide variety of religious customs and the funeral practices that may accompany them. For the new resource click here: http://www.nfda.org/resources/business-technical/religious-funeral-customs.
Source: NFDA Bulletin, March 20, 2017


Who May Request a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth?

A parent may obtain a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth by completing an Application for Certified Copy of Death Record by going to http://www.health.pa.gov/MyRecords/Certificates/DeathCertificates/Documents/Death_Certificate_Application%20(Web)%20Rev%206-2016.pdf Parent is to write "Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth" in part two, Intended Use of Certified Copy.

Since the name of the stillborn fetus was not included on the Certificate of Fetal Death until 2006, the mother or father may provide on the application form the name of the stillborn fetus to be listed on the Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth, provided, that if a name is given it must be the same as the name on file with the Department, if any. The first copy is available at no charge. There is a $9 fee for each additional copy requested. This fee may be waived for the dependent of an individual who served or is currently serving in the Armed Forces.

How to Get a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth

There are two ways to obtain a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth. Be sure to complete all required information on the application form provided within each link:

1. Request by Mail – use this link for an application
http://www.health.pa.gov/MyRecords/Certificates/FetalDeathStillbirthCertificates/ages/556827.aspx#.WMw_dOLD-Uk (Note parent is to write "Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth" in part two, Intended Use of Certified Copy.)

2. Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth applications may be filed in person at a public office located in Erie, Harrisburg, New Castle, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh & Scranton; however, the Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth will be mailed from the central office in New Castle, Pennsylvania.

PA Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS) Update

The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) is making progress on the implementation of an Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS). In 2016, phase 1A of the EDRS was successfully completed by funeral directors and coroners/medical examiners in fifteen counties. A fax attestation process was used by funeral directors to transmit the medical information and cause of death completed by physicians and CRNP' s to the department. The Department of Health will continue using a multi-phase implementation plan by expanding EDRS reporting to the remaining fifty-two counties in Pennsylvania during phase 1B. Phase 2 will be implemented at a later date and will be directed to the remaining medical certifiers (primarily physicians and CRNP 's) and licensed healthcare facilities.

The Department of Health has contracted with Black Consulting Services Inc. to provide comprehensive EDRS training and technical support to funeral directors, coroners/medical examiners and local registrars as they begin phase 1B. They anticipate training to begin in April and continue for three months. A trainer from Black Consulting Services Inc. will be contacting funeral directors and coroners/medical examiners in the remaining fifty-two counties within the next two months to schedule training. Training will be delivered through regional in-person sessions as well as WebEx. Available dates will be provided by the training specialist. More information and updates can be obtained on the EDRS webpage at: http://doh.pa.gov/edrs. In order to capture additional demographic information about you and your funeral home to prepare for training you can complete the DOH EDRS Training Interest Survey at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MS995QH
Source: PA Department of Health


Legislative Update

PFDA held a legislative committee meeting in March where staff and legislative committee members from across the state reviewed the numerous pieces of legislation that have been or are planned to be introduced in the 2017-2018 legislative session. Issues being addressed relevant to funeral service range from prohibiting "constructive delivery" and requiring that cemeteries provide price lists to consumers, to amending the disposition law to include majority rule, reporting convictions to the BPOA, allowing CE carryover, and increasing DHS burial assistance. PFDA will keep you informed of key legislation as it is introduced and moves through the legislative process.


Former Crown Crest Cemetery Caretaker Sentenced

Edmund Grenier, of SCI-Benner, formerly of Clearfield, pleaded guilty to stealing over $114,500 from clients at the Crown Crest Memorial Park in Hyde Lawrence Township. He was sentenced to 3.5 to 7 years in state prison for four counts of theft by deception and ordered to pay restitution to all 54 victims. Greiner, who had plead guilty to other charges in both Jefferson and Clearfield Counties, had already been sentenced to a 25-50-year state prison sentence. He will serve the time concurrently.

West Philly Funeral Director Sentenced

Blair Hawkins, an unlicensed funeral director, who operated Hawkins Funeral Services in Philadelphia, was sentenced to two years' probation for three counts of abuse of corps and ordered to repay $5,000 to three families whose deceased family members were mishandled.

In 2015 Hawkins Funeral Services was shut down by the state after an inspection found rotting bodies in the funeral home. The State Board of Funeral Directors revoked Hawkins' license and fined him $100,000.

York County Cemetery Owners Indicted on Theft Again

Theodore and Arminda Martin, owners of Suburban Memorial Gardens, Conewago Township and two cemeteries in Ohio, have been charged with one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and more than 40 counts of theft. The Martin's received payment for burial plots, vaults and headstones at the Fairview Memorial Park in Delaware, Ohio, that people never received. In 2016, the Martin's were charged with similar offenses related to Suburban Memorial Gardens. The charges in York County were withdrawn and turned over to the federal Office of the Inspector General.

Theodore Martin's trial has been set for May 30, 2017. Arminda is currently in jail in West Virginia for tax evasion. Her arraignment date for the Ohio charges has not been set.


Simple Follow-Up Tips Funeral Directors Should Use

A funeral director's job does not end after the disposition of a family's loved one. Aftercare is important. it will have an impact on families and it will help you to build your business. Here are some simple steps you can take to make a lasting impression on your current and future customers:
1. Send them a handwritten note thanking them for choosing your funeral home; 2. Host engaging events for your clients and the community members to participate in; 3. Deliver gifts, baskets, or cards to the team members at institutions you visit frequently. This will show your appreciation, build relationships, and lead to additional business when they refer you; 4. Show what you are doing in aftercare, by sharing on social media. This will show families and community members that you care about the families you serve, even after they have done business with you; 5. Use technology to help you keep track of all the people you have visited, events you have hosted or attended, or other ways you have touched families. By keeping this information in a database or software program, you can easily access this information for future promotions, events, etc.

When you use these simple steps in the aftercare process, you open the door to build personal relationships with families that can lead to lifelong friendships and hopefully, future business.
Source: Cremationist – VOL. 53, NO. 1


Cremation Certification Program

PFDA and NFDA will be hosting the Cremation Certification Program on Thursday,June 8, 2017 at Highmark Caring Place, Lemoyne, PA from 7:30am-4:00pm. Registrants can earn either the Certified Crematory Operator (CCO) or Certified Cremation Service Provider (CCSP) designation. For more information and to register, go to http://www.nfda.org/education/cremationcertification.

2017 District Meetings

PFDA's Annual District Meetings will be held during the weeks of September 11-14 and September 18-21, 2017. We will be offering 3 continuing education credits. This year's speakers will be PFDA Past President Norm Shropshire and Curtis D. Rostad, CAE, CFSP, FACFEI, former Executive Director of the Indiana Funeral Directors Association.


Cynthia E. Slabinski-Dowling, died on March 1, 2017 in Naples, Florida. She is survived by her brother Joseph F. Slabinski, III, sister-in-law, Donna, niece, Nicole, and nephew, Joseph F., IV, all Pa Licensed Funeral Directors, working in the family business, The Slabinski Funeral Home, Philadelphia.

Robert G. Walker, of Philadelphia, died on March 6, 2017. He was a Pa Licensed Funeral Director.

© Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association. All rights reserved. PRIVACY POLICY | SITE MAP | MOBILE SITE