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October 2013

Dear Members,

Former Mechanicsburg Funeral Director Pleads Guilty to More than 500 Charges Boyd Myers, Jr. formerly of the Myers Funeral Home in Mechanicsburg pleaded guilty to all 558 charges against him in Cumberland County Court on September 12, 2013. The charges stem from misappropriation of preneed funeral funds when Myers was the supervisor of the funeral home. The issues came to light during the audit of the business while it was in negotiations for sale. Myers is scheduled for sentencing on November 26. According to First Assistant District Attorney James Keating, Myers could be facing 2,040 years in prison on one single charge alone if all ran consecutively.

Can a Certified Nurse Practitioner Complete the Cause of Death on the Death Certificate? The physician's or certified registered nurse practitioner's principal responsibility in death registration is to complete the medical part of the death certificate, items 23a through 39c. Among their responsibilities, the physician or certified registered nurse practitioner is to "... Complete the cause of death section ...." The 2012 Death Certificate Registration Manual Revised March 13, 2013) is available on the PFDA website at www.pfda.org/death-certificate/registration/. Source: Debra Romberger, Director, Division of Vital Records

Scam Alerts In recent weeks, members have alerted PFDA to suspicious billing and calls and emails from individuals. We heard from a member funeral home in the Philadelphia area that a client family received an invoice addressed to them after the funeral from "Floral Arrangement Specialists" in Cape Coral, Florida charging for flowers ordered by the funeral home for a service on September 21, 2013. The invoice had a post office box number in Cape Coral but no telephone number. It requested that checks be made payable to equistats, LLC c/o FAS and sent to a P. O. Box in Cape Coral, or credit information be provided to that address. The funeral home nor the family ordered those flowers.

You should also be aware of a company known as "Federal Safety Compliance". The company claims to have an official connection to OSHA, but no evidence has been found to support that claim. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, Federal Safety Compliance contacts businesses to sell an OSHA compliance kit. Even though no order is placed, a kit is sent along with a bill for nearly $270. This company has an "F" rating from the BBB.

Discover and American Express Surcharges Since January 27, 2013 you can impose surcharges on VISA and MasterCard users, as well as on Discover and American Express users.

Northampton Community College Appoints New Director of Funeral Service Education Tony L. Moore, CFSP has been hired by Northampton Community College (NCC) as its new director of funeral service education. Tony earned an associate degree in funeral service from Holmes Community College, bachelor's and master's degrees of music from Mississippi College, and a master's of arts in religious education and administration from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. In addition to being a music director in churches and community theatre for 20 years, Tony served as a licensed funeral director at Chancellor Funeral Home in Byram, MS and director of funeral service technology at Holmes Community College in Ridgeland, Mississippi. He looks forward to networking with fellow funeral directors across the state. Tony can be reached at tmoore@northampton.edu or 610-861-5576.


PFDA UPCOMING CE PROGRAMS:

November 13 - Four Points Sheraton in Mars - 1-6 CE Credits
November 19 & 20 - Joseph Levine & Sons Memorial Chapel in Trevose - 3 CE credits each day
December 3 - Holiday Inn/Grantville - 1-6 CE credits

Call PFDA at 800-692-6068 to REGISTER NOW! Seats are limited.


PA Department of Health Volunteer Database SERVEPA is a statewide volunteer database that allows volunteers to register for possible deployment to support an emergency response. They are working to create a separate "Funeral Director" category in SERVEPA. Registering in the database would allow them to notify all the registered funeral directors when there is a need for their services due to a large fatality event. SERVEPA would deploy the available members based on their location and the number of funeral directors requested by the county. It does not guarantee that you will be called upon, nor does it mean that you must participate if called. If you are called to volunteer, you will have the opportunity to learn more about the specific event and the commitment required. You can then choose if volunteering for the specific event is right for you. Legal representation and indemnification would be provided under specific conditions while you are volunteering and also accidental injury benefits. For more information and to register go to www.health.state.pa.us.

Submit your news to The Reporter Share with your colleagues what you are doing in your funeral home, outreach in your community and/or on your website to educate and inspire consumers about the value and importance of funerals and memorialization and to have Have the Talk of a Lifetime with loved ones. Send it in along with photos to joann@pfda.org.

Visit www.pfda.org/indexphp?pID=484 to download the promotion materials, including the important brochure, a video, four print ads designed to target different audiences, digital ads, press release and social media tools. FAMIC charges a one-time fee of $50 to download a print ready file for the brochure. All the other campaign materials that you can use are free.

December 1, 2013 Training Requirements for the Revised Hazard Communication Standard OSHA revised its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to align with the United Nations' Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). Two significant changes contained in the revised standard require the use of new labeling elements and a standardized format for Safety Data Sheets (SDSs), formerly known as, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs). The new label elements and SDS requirements will improve worker understanding of the hazards associated with the chemicals in their workplace. To help companies comply with the revised standard, OSHA is phasing in the specific requirements over several years (December 1, 2013 and June 1, 2016).

The first compliance date of the revised HCS is December 1, 2013. By that time employers must have trained their workers on the new label elements and the SDS format. This training is needed early in the transition process since workers are already beginning to see the new labels and SDSs on the chemicals in their workplace.. To ensure employees have the information they need to better protect themselves from chemical hazards in the workplace during the transition period, it is critical that employees understand the new label and SDS formats.

OSHA's Hazard Communication website (http://www.osha.gov/dsg/hazcom/index.html) has QuickCards and OSHA Briefs to assist funeral homes with the required training. Please call us if you have any questions about the revised HCS at 1-800-692-6068.


...... Coming in February ......

PFDA Mid-Winter Management Conference

February 11 – 13, 2014

Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, PA

The luxurious hotel
FORBES TRAVEL GUIDE

2013 Four-Star Award Winner

is offering our group a discounted rate!

The complete program and registration details will be available soon.


Young Funeral Directors Group We need your help to update our database of funeral directors under age 40 working at member firms. Please complete the enclosed form and return it to PFDA. We look forward to re-activating this group and in spring 2014 holding a special event for young funeral service professionals.

2013 Fall District Meetings More than 750 funeral directors attended the eight recently held regional meetings across the state. Board members from the Pennsylvania Hospice Network presented an educational program at each location to create awareness and appreciation of the two professions on a local level, and provided us with direction on future collaborative efforts to help our organizations build stronger relationships with each other. Shaun Gaffney and Todd Carlson of the Funeral Directors Life Insurance Company shared their thoughts on Arranging for Generations to Come. In another session, John Eirkson focused on specific steps on what funeral directors need to do to measure and monitor customer satisfaction. We thank Michael Parks & John O'Donnell of Parks Superior Sales for sponsoring the reception following several of the meetings.

PA Funeral Homes 2013 Pursuit of Excellence Winners The NFDA Pursuit of Excellence award is presented to firms that have demonstrated a commitment to raising the bar on funeral service excellence by adhering to strict ethical and professional standards and providing outstanding service to families and communities. Information about this program along with registration and application materials for 2014 can be found at www.nfda.org/pursuitofexcellence.

The following members of PFDA received this year's award:

Coston Funeral Homes Inc. (Pittsburgh)
E. Blake Collins Funeral Home (Wilkes-Barre)
Panebaker Funeral Home Inc. (Hanover)
Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home* (East Pittsburgh)
Savolskis-Wasik-Glenn Funeral Home Inc. (Munhall)

* Previously inducted into the NFDA Hall of Excellence upon receiving its 10th Pursuit of Excellence Award.

Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science has named its Dean's List for the summer trimester ending September 6, 2013. This academic honor goes to those full-time students who have achieved a grade point average of 3.50 or better in this trimester of studies. Students recognized were Nicole Evanoski (New Castle), Billie Gresock (Lexington, SC), Claire Hawkins (Pepper Pike, OH), Tessa Walters (Pittsfield), Melissa Cameron (North Huntingdon), Christie Frachioni (Pittsburgh), and Christopher Ross (Monroeville). And from the Associate in Specialized Business Degree class: Jonathan Pugh (Canfield, OH) and Elizabeth Shafer (Everett).

StoneMor to Manage 13 Catholic Cemeteries StoneMor has entered into a lease and management agreement with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to operate 13 archdiocesan cemeteries located in Chester, Delaware, Bucks, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties for 60 years. The 13 cemeteries will continue to be owned by the Archdiocese throughout the term of the arrangement. There are three currently employed sales personnel by the Archdiocese for the cemeteries. StoneMor expects to increase the sales force by adding up to 100 additional sales personnel for the cemeteries.

Approximately $30 million in perpetual care funds, as well as its future earnings, will remain with the Archdiocese in a separate trust. According to the terms of the lease, StoneMor will make an initial lease payment of $53 million to the Archdiocese, and $36 million in future annual rent payments, which will begin to accrue in year six of the arrangement. According to a 2012 audit, the archdiocese has racked up liabilities in excess of $350 million.


In Memoriam

Lewis B. Ziman, age 93, of Palm Beach Gardens, FL, died September 1, 2013. He was a retired funeral director and had owned and operated the Ziman Funeral Home in Scranton.

Wilson G. Varcoe, age 78, of Sellersville died on September 3, 2013. He was the former owner of the Varcoe Funeral Home in Doylestown.

Robert J. Burns, Sr., age 67, of Philadelphia died on September 9, 2013. Bob was a funeral director, owner and partner at the Burns Funeral Home in the Fishtown area of Philadelphia. He is survived by his three partners and brothers, Martin J. Jr., Gerard J., and Joseph J. Burns.

Patrick F. "Bucky" Guido, a prominent West Scranton funeral director died September 20, 2013. He served for many years as the secretary of the Lackawanna County Funeral Directors Association.

Lawrence A. Gabriel, age 82, of Carbondale, died on September 27, 2013. He was a funeral director in the Carbondale area for more than 45 years as owner and operator of the Lawrence A. Gabriel Funeral Homes. His son, Lawrence A. Gabriel Jr., a licensed funeral director, will continue to operate the family businesses.

Complete obituaries are available on the PFDA website at www.pfda.org

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