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June/July 2019 Reporter

June/July 2019

Dear Members,


PA State Board of Funeral Directors Provision of Food in the Funeral Home

The State Board of Funeral Directors met on Friday, June 14, 2019. They have issued a "policy statement" which provides that food may be served in areas of the funeral home where the practice of funeral directing is not occurring. So, for example, food could be served in the arrangement room or even the viewing room so long as there are not human remains or cremated remains present. Food is not permitted in the embalming room. Funeral homes are at liberty to adopt their own policy for service of food within the parameters of the State Board policy statement. The actual policy statement from the State Board is on the PFDA website - http://www.pfda.org/pfda-breaking-news/.

Tip of the Month- "Cancel Drop to Paper Function"

Drop to paper is a process used to support the reporting of a hybrid report of death. A hybrid report of death is a case where one reporting entity submits information on the death through EDRS and the second reporting entity reports their information on paper.

This tip of the month outlines how to cancel drop to paper (DTP) on a case when it is discovered that both reporting entities are reporting through EDRS after the case has been DTP.
Drop to Paper is used to support the following workflows: A,) By funeral directors when the medical certification is completed through the fax attestation process. DTP is the last step in the process for the funeral director while waiting for the medical certification to be entered by the Bureau of Health Statistics and Registries (BHSR) after the medical certification is faxed to us; and B.) By medical certifiers who are using EDRS to certify deaths but where the funeral home is not yet using EDRS and is, therefore, reporting the death on paper.

Read more of the tip of the month article at http://www.pfda.org/_files/live/SRN_2019-09_EDRS_Tip_of_the_Month-Cancel_Drop_to_Paper_Function.pdf.

Source: State Registrar Notice, May 13, 2019

Updated EDRS Contact Information

Please see below a link to the most updated list of contacts for EDRS – https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/Documents/Reporting-Registries/EDRS_Contact_Information.pdf.

Pennsylvania State Board of Funeral Directors Board Meeting

The next State Board of Funeral Directors meeting will be July 17, 2019. All meetings are held at the PA Department of State, 2601 N. 3rd Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110, unless otherwise noted. The public session meeting starts at 10:30am. Agendas for each meeting can be found at https://www.dos.pa.gov/ProfessionalLicensing/BoardsCommissions/FuneralDirectors/Pages/General-Board-Information.aspx.

West Branch Valley Survivors of Suicide Loss

In response to an "uptick" in suicides in central PA over the past couple years, the West Branch Valley Survivors of Suicide Loss, who already operate loss-survivor support groups in Watsontown, Mifflinburg and Williamsport, have launched a new one to serve residents in Montour and Columbia Counties. This new group will meet monthly at the Bloomsburg Public Library. Details and meeting times may be obtained by calling (570) 974-3958. Anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide is encouraged to attend.


Washington is First State to Allow Composting of Human Bodies

The Governor of Washington State recently signed legislation making Washington the first state to approve composting as an alternative to burying or cremating human remains.

This allows licensed facilities to offer "natural organic reduction," which turns a body, mixed with substances such as wood chips and straw, into about two wheelbarrows' worth of soil in a span of several weeks. Loved ones are allowed to keep the soil to spread, just as they might spread the ashes of someone who has been cremated -— or even use it to plant vegetables or a tree.

To read more on this story go to: https://komonews.com/news/local/washington-is-1st-state-to-allow-composting-of-human-bodies.

Source: KomoNEWS, May 21, 2019

NFDA Officers Elected by Acclamation

The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) announced the following individuals were elected by acclamation to serve as officers on the 2019-20 Board of Directors: President R. Bryant Hightower Jr.;CFSP; President-elect Randall P. "Randy" Anderson, CFSP, CCO; Treasurer John O. "Jack" Mitchell, IV, CFSP, CCO, CCSP; and Secretary Douglas R. "Dutch" Nie II, CFSP, CCO; and immediate past president Charles T. "Chuck" Bowman, CMSP, CFSP, CCO. The officers will serve one-year terms of office that begin following the 2019 NFDA International Convention & Expo in Chicago.

During their meeting in July, the NFDA Policy Board will elect two individuals to serve as at-large representatives. The successful candidates will serve two-year terms (2019-21) that commence following the 2019 NFDA Convention. The at-large representative candidates are:

Linda L. Allan, Allan & Ciuferi Funeral Home, Collinsville, IL.
Daniel J. Ford, CFSP, CCSP, Alderson-Ford Funeral Homes Inc., Cheshire, CT.
Beatrice E. "Bea" Lewanduski, CFSP, D'Andrea Brothers Funeral Home, Copiague, N.Y.

Source: NFDA Bulletin, April 29, 2019

Funeral Service Foundation Scholarships to the 2019 NFDA Convention

The Funeral Service Foundation has announced that its Foundation '45 Awards now include up to 10 scholarships for licensed funeral directors to attend the 2019 NFDA International Convention & Expo in Chicago, October 27-30, 2019. Scholarships cover registration and event fees, and three nights standard accommodation in a convention hotel.

Scholarships are open to both NFDA member and non-member licensed funeral directors, who plan to attend the entire convention. All interested candidates are asked to submit a brief video and essay by August 1.
To learn more and about the requirements, terms and guidelines, go to: http://www.funeralservicefoundation.org/foundation45awards/convention_scholarships/

Source: NFDA Bulletin, May 6, 2019

New VA Program Aims to Prevent Veteran Suicide

The VA, in collaboration with PsychArmor Institute, recently launched an online suicide-prevention training video, titled "SAVE." The training offers simple steps anyone – whether a treatment provider, clinician, friend or family member – can take when talking with a veteran at risk for suicide.

More information on the training can be found at:


Turning the Tide in Funeral Service: The Wolfelt Experience

That moment when a family is working with a funeral director who is able to help them "see the light" and imagine a ceremony that honors a loved one's life in a personal and meaningful way is absolutely magical. The problem is that many funeral directors don't know how to guide families to those magical moments. As a result, the families we serve are missing out on the opportunity to experience a healing and meaningful funeral event and our businesses suffer along the way because of lower profitability and a lower referral rate from satisfied families. In this article, DJ Jons, Director of Learning & Development Programs with Funeral Directors Life, shares how many funeral directors she trains are seeing a turning of the tide toward healing and meaningful events. To learn more, go to http://www.pfda.org/_files/live/June19Article.pdf.

Source: DJ Jons, Director of Learning & Development Programs, Funeral Directors Life


Emphasize Safety with Regular Meetings

Workplace safety has no end point -— only a goal: to reduce the frequency of unsafe practices that threaten employees' wellbeing and a business's ability to complete its work. Businesses should emphasize safety as a priority and educate workers on how to avoid workplace accidents. One of the most common and effective methods of accomplishing this objective is the safety meeting, a short, regular gathering of managers and employees that addresses potential hazards on the job.

Timing is important. Hold safety meetings as often as it makes sense, but not so often that you lose your employees' engagement. Keep the meetings short. Take enough time to make sure your message is understood. Focus your agenda. Don't try to cover too much in each meeting. Choose a topic that is timely and relevant and addresses hazardous operating practices. Make it interesting. Know your material -— don't just read from a clipboard. Wrap it up. After you've delivered your main message, summarize the main points to reinforce the importance of what they just heard. Keep an attendance record. This is not for discipline. Knowing who was at the meeting will help you ensure that everyone receives your message. If an employee missed the meeting, follow up later. More information on this article can be found at: https://www.federatedinsurance.com/posts?cat=1450714036841.

Source: Federated Insurance, May 2019 Educational Articles

Passare News

Passare, Inc. is excited to announce the release of trade cases, a new type of case that will allow customers to track trade work including trade embalming, removals, and cremations. Trade cases can now be tracked individually and used for custom reporting to help funeral professionals understand business trends and prepare for the future needs of the business.

Source: Passare News Release, April 25, 2019

Passare, Inc. and Everdays, Inc. bring together two innovative platforms in one seamless integration. With the push of a button, Passare clients can access the power of the Everdays Memorial Announcement to help their client families easily reach everyone they need during a most difficult time. Available at no cost to Passare clients, this union streamlines access to Everdays, giving funeral homes a new way to bring value to the family well beyond the services and build a relationship with everyone touched by a loss, through cutting-edge technology.

Source: Passare, News Release, May 15, 2019

Passare, Inc. is proud to announce that clients can now run electronic check payments through Passare's case management software, which allows for instant ACH transactions anytime, anywhere, using any device. Checks are processed through Passare's integration with WePay, a leading online payment service provider.

Source: Passare, News Release, May 28, 2019


2019 District Meetings – Save the Date

PFDA's Annual District Meetings will be held during the weeks of September 9-12 and September 16-19, 2019. The continuing education seminars will be: The Secret of Great Business Partnerships presented by George Foley for 1 CEU and Million Dollar Mistakes: Working Backward to Minimize the Risks of Mortuary Litigation presented by Emily Ann Albrecht for 2 CEUs.

Save the Date – Insurance CE Classes

PFDA in conjunction will Funeral Directors Life Insurance (FDLIC) will be hosting two days of Insurance CE classes. Each day 6 Continuing Education Credits will be offered. The classes will be October 9 & 10th in Harrisburg and will run 8am-5pm each day. Pending approval, the first day the topics will be Ethics in the Workplace and Generational Ethics. On day two, Consumer Protection Law and Meeting the Needs of the Growing Insurance Market will be covered. FDLIC became a Pennsylvania approved provide for Insurance CE in late 2018. More details to follow.


Make your Funeral Home Outstanding in the Community!!

Do you want your consumers to recognize you as the best of the best? If so, enter now to compete to achieve PFDA's Funeral Home of Distinction Award. The competition began June 1. You can enroll now and take the next 11 months to complete the steps to be a leader in funeral service. Visit www.pfda.org for details.

PFDA Office Closed

The PFDA office will be closed on Thursday, July 4th, 2019 in observance of the 4th of July holiday and will reopen on Friday, July 5th, 2019.


Sarah E. Kaufman, 29, of Williamsport, died on April 19, 2019. She is survived by her dad Scott Kaufman, owner of Kaufman Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc., Williamsport.

James W. Goldsboro, 98, of Fairchance, died on May 1, 2019. He was a PA Licensed Funeral Director, and previous owner of James W. Goldsboro Funeral Home, which is now Goldsboro-Fabry Funeral Home Inc., Fairchance.

The Most Reverend Joseph A. Galante, 80, died on May 25, 2019. He is survived by his brother Francis "Frank" Galante, a PA Licensed Funeral Director, and a PFDA Past President.

Paul H. Scheid, Jr., 89, of Millersville, died on June 3, 2019. He is survived by his son Andrew T. Scheid, a PA Licensed Funeral Director and owner of Andrew T. Scheid Funeral Homes in Millersville and Lancaster.

Timothy "Timmy" Filburn, 52 of Newport, died on June 4, 2019 at Claremont Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, Carlisle. He is survived by his brother, Robert A. Filburn, a PA Licensed Funeral Director working at Hollinger Funeral Home & Crematory, Inc., Mt. Holly Springs.

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