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December 2017 Reporter

December 2017

Dear Members,


Fee for Death Certificates Issued by a Department of Health Office Increases

As of November 13, 2017, the fee for each certified death certificate issued by a Department of Health office (including mail and online orders) increased from nine dollars ($9) to twenty dollars ($20). However, the fee for death certificates issued from a local registrar's office remains at six dollars ($6).

For Funeral Homes who haven't transitioned to the EDRS, updated, enhanced PDF versions of the Certificate of Death reporting form (H105.143 Rev. 11/2017) and the Report of Fetal Death form (H105.024 Rev. 11/2017) are available and you should start using them immediately. As of January 1, 2018, these updated forms will be the only ones accepted.

Source: Department of Health Memo, November 8, 2017


Tax Document Due Dates Have Changed

Employers must file W-2s with the federal government by January 31, up from the 2prior deadline of February 28th for paper returns and March 31 for e-filings. Partnership returns are now due 2½ months after year-end, which would be March 15 for calendar-year firms.

Source: The Kiplinger Tax Letter, July 2017

2017 NFDA Pursuit of Excellence Awardees

The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) presented the Pursuit of Excellence Awards to qualifying funeral homes at the annual International Convention & Expo October 29-November 1. PFDA would like to congratulate our member recipients: Jennings-Calvey Funeral & Cremation Services, Inc., Clarks Summit, E.Blake Collins Funeral Home, Wilkes Barre; Emmanuel Johnson Funeral Home, Philadelphia; George I. Green Funeral Home, Munhall; Molden Funeral Chapel, Bristol; and Lanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, East Pittsburgh.

NFDA Policy Board Elects John Wenig to Serve on Board of Directors

The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) Policy Board met on October 28 and, in a special election, elected John W. Wenig of Wenig Funeral Homes in Sheboygan Falls, WI, to serve a one-year term as an at-large representative on the association's Board of Directors.

Wenig's term of service begins immediately following the 2017 NFDA International Convention & Expo, October 29 through November 1 in Boston.

Source: NFDA Bulletin, October 30, 2017

NFDA Discount Advantage Program: Save Big on Travel

NFDA members are eligible for exclusive discounts on things they use every day, like prescription drugs, car rentals, travel and more, through the Discount Advantage Program.

The newest offering in the Discount Advantage Program comes from Hotel Engine. This free and exclusive members-only hotel booking platform offers NFDA and their members access to deeply discounted hotel rates. You can take advantage of an average of 26% off public rates at more than 150,000 hotels globally.

Visit www.nfda.org/discountadvantage to learn more about Hotel Engine (listed under "Travel Center Discount Program") and other exclusive discounts available to NFDA members.

Source: NFDA Bulletin, November 13, 2017


Don't Let Your Business Go Up In Smoke

Fires that hit businesses come in all sizes. They can occur anytime, anywhere, and from a variety of causes. They don't discriminate. Spontaneous combustion, heating and electrical systems, smoking, poor housekeeping, the storage of flammables, and mechanical equipment failure continue to be the most frequent fire causes across all industries, and are often the result of missed opportunities to recognize and remove the hazard.

Fire prevention is an important enough topic to take the proper time and effort to put into action. Federated provides an industry and business specific, customizable fire risk evaluation checklist to use during facility inspections.

The sample checklists are intended to help employees, supervisors, or managers recognize potential fire hazards so they can fix the problem. Employee training and proper fire prevention safeguards, procedures, and equipment may help prevent a fire from taking over control of your company.

For more information on the checklist and employee training, visit https://www.federatedinsurance.com/ws/fi/InsuranceResources/FIRE-PREVENTION.

Source: Federated, October 17, 2017

Passare® Launches Two-Way Integration with Answering Service for Directors

Passare is pleased to announce the launch of a two-way integration program with Answering Service for Directors (ASD) that is helping funeral professionals improve operational efficiency and service to families.

Passare is an innovative collaboration platform along with a robust funeral home administration solution, accessible anytime, anywhere, from any Internet-connected device. The collaboration platform also provides the industry's only software solution that allows families to communicate with one another and their funeral director in real time, which enhances customer satisfaction and gives families the tools and flexibility to enter information at their own pace.

Through the integration with ASD, Passare is eliminating the need for duplicate data entry into different systems. In addition, first call information gathered from ASD will be transferred into Passare's case management system automatically, ensuring that funeral home clients always have the most up-to-date information at their fingertips.

Source: FDL News Release October 18, 2017

Funeral Directors Life Announces a Complete Digital Continuum of Care for Families

Funeral Directors Life recently completed development of a complete digital Continuum of Care program to help funeral homes connect, communicate, and collaborate with families in the way they prefer-—digitally.

Funeral Directors Life's Continuum of Care allows funeral professionals to interact with families digitally, through social media, email marketing, customer relationship management, professional web profiles, digital contracts, and even integrations with at-need services such as Passare and insurance assignment services.

To learn more about Funeral Directors Life's complete Continuum of Care, visit https://vimeo.com/237773717.

Source: FDL News Release, October 25, 2017


HB 1019

Amends Title 9 (Burial Grounds), in general provisions relating to burial grounds, further providing for definitions; and providing for transfer of ownership of cemeteries & for reasonable access to burial grounds. The bill has passed both chambers unanimously and is on the Governor's desk for him to sign.


Funeral Director Arrested for Abuse of Corpse

Angeliegha Stewart, a funeral director at Lanterman and Allen Funeral Home in East Stroudsburg, has been charged with abuse of a corpse and marijuana possession. Allegations against Stewart include taking pictures of herself with corpses in the background and photos of faces of two dead people and sharing them with her friends and family.

Former Cemetery Owner Pleads Guilty

James Delany, the former owner of Oak Lawn Memorial Gardens in Gettysburg pleaded guilty to two counts related to mishandling the cemetery's operations. The charges include theft by deception or false impression, which could lead to two to seven years in state prison; and a misdemeanor charge of violation of Cemetery and Funeral Merchandise Trust fund law, which could lead to an additional six months to a year in prison.


Funeral Directors Can Be A Lifeline In The Aftermath of Suicide

More than 41,000 people die by suicide each year, leaving behind grieving friends and family with a lot of questions and confusion. How can funeral directors help? Suicide has been a taboo subject and one that isn't always talked about. However, funeral directors can change that by sharing stories about loss, grief and suicide, which will then help people learn more about this loaded topic and talk about it openly. Funeral directors should also put together helpful resources about suicide on their websites, making it easy for those grieving family and friends to get the support they need. Funeral directors should be the listening ear that those in pain need, without being judged, because there is so much to talk about after a suicide. Share your knowledge on suicide, loss and grief with other community members like: religious leaders, counselors and support groups, so they too can help survivors of suicide loss.

Source: funeralOne Blog, September 29, 2018


PFDA's Donation to Highmark Caring Place

With the addition of $8,202 in proceeds from its Annual Benefit Golf Classic held during the Annual Convention in April 2017, and Highmark Blue Shield's match of dollar-for-dollar, PFDA has raised a total of $322,047 for The Highmark Caring Place since its inception in 2004. PFDA President Deron Youse presented this year's donation to Caring Place's John Kajic on October 18, 2017 at the PFDA Board of Governors meeting. Once again, we want to thank everyone for their support of this year's golf classic.

PFDA Welcomes Our New Members

Join PFDA in welcoming our newest members: Furlong Funeral Home, Summerville and Redmond Funeral Home, Inc., Freeport. We welcome back Cheryle L. Hearn Funeral Services, LTD, Warminster.

Hurricane Disaster Relief Update

On November 7th, an FDLIC Market Center Manager, delivered a check for over $20,000 to the Freund Funeral Home in Cuero, Texas. We recently received a thank you from Eric and Dawn Draper, Owners of the Freund Funeral Home:

"We would like to thank Kathy Ryan, the Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association, and every person who donated toward the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund from the bottom of our hearts. We have been blown away by your amazing generosity. Your heart for helping others in need will never be forgotten! We would like to thank you for your support and generosity toward our small South Texas community. As you know, a funeral home is only as healthy and strong as the people we serve. We are honored to steward the donated funds that you have so generously provided in order to get it to those who are in the most need, and so, strengthen our community as a whole. As I think about the way the PFDA and funeral homes across the Northeast have responded to the needs of others, we can't help but think of the verse from Galatians 6:9, which says 'Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.' My friends, I am certain that you will be rewarded for your generous spirits many times over."

PFDA Office Closed

The PFDA office will close at noon on December 22nd and 29th. The office will be closed on December 25th, 26th and January 1st. Happy Holidays!


End of Renewal Period Continuing Education

All Funeral Directors must have the six continuing education credits, which must include two child abuse credits, to renew their license by January 31, 2018. PFDA is offering all six credits in December and January. Registration forms are enclosed. Additional information can be found under "Upcoming Events" at www.pfda.org.

2018 Mid-Winter Conference-Save the Date!

PFDA is having a Mid-Winter Conference, February 6-8, 2018 at Bear Creek Resort in Macungie, PA. To book hotel reservations please call the hotel directly at (610) 641-7101 or toll free at 1-(866)-754-2822. Pending approval, six (6) credits will be offered.

2018 Convention and Expo

The 2018 PFDA Annual Convention and Expo will be held June 3-6, 2018 at Kalahari Resorts, Pocono Manor, PA. To book hotel reservations visit: https://book.kalahariresorts.com/poconos/groups.asp and use group ID: 498 or call 877-525-2427. Pending approval five and half (5½) credits will be offered.


Peter John "Jack" Soltis, Jr., 79, of Yardley, passed away on November 13, 2017. He was a licensed funeral director and owner of J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel, Morrisville.

C. Richard McCauley, 84, of Youngwood, passed away on November 15, 2017. He was a licensed funeral director, prior owner of J.W. Martin Funeral Home, Youngwood, and past president of Westmoreland-Indiana-Armstrong County Funeral Directors Association. He is survived by his son C.R. McCauley, a licensed funeral director and owner of the family business C. Richard McCauley Funeral Home, Inc., Youngwood.

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