Latest News

New Forms to Assist with Insurance Assignments

By: T. Scott Gilligan, OFDA General Counsel

Conducting Background Checks for Prospective Employees

By: T. Scott Gilligan, OFDA Legal Counsel

Update from the Department of Veterans Affairs

OWRNC is approaching capacity in columbarium

VA National Cemeteries Now Offering Pre-Need Eligibility Determinations

Submitted by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Annual Preneed Contract Changes

Submitted by the Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors

Keith Walker awarded excellence in addictions treatment

From the National Council for Behavioral Health

Scam Alert: Cybercriminals Target Employees W-2 Information

by T. Scott Gilligan, OFDA legal counsel

Complying with the FTC's Funeral Rule

Provided by the Federal Trade Commission

Federal court halts DOL’s new white collar regulation

by T. Scott Gilligan, OFDA legal counsel

OFDA 2016 General Election Summary

Courtesy of John McGough

EDRS enhancements announcement

EDRS; EDRS enhancement; EDRS update

Q&A on new white collar exemption rule

by T. Scott Gilligan, OFDA legal counsel

July Legal Report

Prepared by T. Scott Gilligan

July Legislative Update

Courtesy of John McGough

Scott Gilligan Legal Quiz

Digital Director answer of the week!

Body Donations by Government Officials

By T. Scott Gilligan, OFDA General Counsel

The obligation for townships and municipalities to pay disposition costs for deceased indigent residents is statutory; it is not discretionary.

Coroner or No Coroner, How Do You Know?

by: Mark Kassouf, Assistant State Registrar/Chief Fraud Officer, ODH

How do we know if a death should be a coroner's case?

NFDA Special Bulletin - TSA "Known Shipper" Regulations

Provided by NFDA

Effective July 1, 2009, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) mandated that all human remains shipments originating in the U.S. or its territories must be tendered by a "known shipper."

Preneed Compliance Manual for Ohio's New Preneed Statute

By: T. Scott Gilligan, OFDA General Counsel

BECAUSE OF THE NEW CONTRACT DISCLOSURES AND MANDATORY NOTICES REQUIRED BY THE LAW, A FUNERAL HOME THAT DOES NOT REVISE ITS PRENEED CONTRACTS BEFORE JULY 5, 2009 WILL BE IN VIOLATION OF THE LAW

Master Trust Update

By: Stephen J. Gehlert, Excecutive Director

The Master Trust continues to protect your pre-need investment with a minimum crediting rate that is unique, safe and extremely valuable in today's economy.

Legislative Update

Prepared by John T. McGough

REVIEW OF 2007-2008 LEGISLATIVE SESSION

Executive Director's Message - A New Year & New OFDA Communications

By: Stephen J. Gehlert, Excecutive Director

As we begin a new year, OFDA's unveiling new initiatives we believe will dramatically enhance our communication with our members.

Young Funeral Directors Committee Guest Column

by Jill Pugh, Schoedinger Funeral Service, Columbus

Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
Won't you be my,mentor?

Resource Center

By: Janet Blankenship, Resource Coordinator

Mark Your Calendars for the Following Events/Seminars in 2009!

Ohio Enacts New Pre-Need Law

By: T. Scott Gilligan, OFDA General Counsel

SB 196, which was signed by Governor Strickland on January 6, 2009, will go into effect on April 6, 2009.

Required Forms for Posting in your Funeral Home

There are some new forms for 2009

Funeral homes are getting mail from companies that are trying to sell the required posters for large fees. Download them here for free.

OFDA Master Trust Update

Stephen J. Gehlert, OFDA Executive Director

Despite an unusually volatile market in 2008, the Master Trust continues to protect your pre-need investment with a minimum crediting rate that is unique, safe and extremely valuable in today's economy.

Issues Under The Right of Disposition Law

By T. Scott Gilligan, OFDA General Counsel

With the second anniversary of the Ohio Right of Disposition law having just occurred, it may be worthwhile to take a look at certain issues that have arisen under the new law.

Young Funeral Directors Committee

Guest Column by Rick Kaufhold, CFSP, Routsong Funeral Home, Kettering

"It's the most wonderful time of the year..."

No, I don't mean the holidays are upon us. I mean it's politics season!

Proper Glove Storage and Life Expectancy

By Barb Garrison, M.S., CHMM, CET

"Did you know some glove manufacturers have assigned expiration dates for their gloves?"

Our Financial Strength In Troubling Financial Times

Kris Seale, President and CEO - FDLIC

Our conservative investment philosophy allows us to withstand uncertain economic times and the emotional ups and downs of Wall Street.

Resource Center

By: Janet Blankenship, Resource Coordinator

I've just returned from the annual fall conference of the Ohio Hospice & Palliative Care Organization and would like to share a few things I found there.

Market Overview

JPMorgan Asset Management

The past several months have brought sweeping changes to the financial services industry that continue to reverberate throughout the global financial system.

Executive Director's Message

By: Stephen J. Gehlert, Executive Director

Not Just Returning Home; Returning Home with Honor

Young Funeral Directors Committee Guest Column

By Amanda Crates, Coldren-Crates Funeral Home, Findlay

With the Holiday Season ever approaching, we as funeral professionals look to the care of our clientele during this ever emotional time of the year.

Ohio Law Restricting Location of Crematory Does Not Apply to Funeral Home

By T. Scott Gilligan, OFDA General Counsel

"Prior to the retort being installed in the funeral home, the objecting neighbor threatened legal action if the crematory was installed."

What Does OSHA Mean by a "Suitable" Emergency Shower and Eyewash?

By Barb Garrison, M.S., CHMM, CET

A good question that doesn't have a clear answer!

Resource Center

By: Janet Blankship, Resource Coordinator

Looking for remembrance items to give to a family or for a family to hand out at visitation or a service?

MAKING CLAIMS ON NPS PRENEED INSURANCE POLICIES

By T. Scott Gilligan, OFDA General Counsel

"The wording in some of the releases and instructions has caused confusion and consternation to funeral homes holding NPS preneed contracts. In this update, we attempt to clarify the confusion."

Executive Director's Message - Honor the Past; Manage the Present; Create the Future

Don't reject the wonderful traditions that make funeral service so valuable to our families. Rather, find new ways to enhance these experiences for families living in a web-based culture.

President's Message: Are You Taking Full Advantage of Your OFDA Membership?

By: Walt Lindsey, CFSP, OFDA President

Why not look into some of these services and see how they can help funeral directors and the families we serve?

Should you be Storing Your Chemicals in a Flammable Cabinet?

By Barb Garrison, M.S., CHMM, CET

"You might check to see what other potentially flammable materials you have onsite and check the products' MSDSs."

IRS Increases Business Mileage Rate

By T. Scott Gilligan, OFDA General Counsel

Due to the unprecedented increase in gas prices, the IRS has created an exception this year and calculated a new mid-year increase.

Young Funeral Directors Committee Speaks at CCMS

Guest Column By Young Funeral Directors Committee Member Erika Unzner, Rutherford Funeral Homes

Deciding to enter the funeral profession should be looked at as a calling and not as an inheritance.

Indigent Funeral Statute Renumbered

By T. Scott Gilligan, OFDA General Counsel

In the 2007 budget bill (HB 119), 5101.521 was renumbered and taken out of Chapter 51. It is now located in 9.15 of the General Provisions preamble to the Ohio Revised Code.

How to Evaluate Internet-Based Continuing Education Services

By: Gary Henkel, CEO of FuneralCE

Although potential benefits of online CE services are great, not all companies offer the same levels of service.

Fire Extinguisher Inspections

By Barb Garrison, M.S., CHMM, CET

Let Barb help your firm avoid an OSHA citation.

URGENT UPDATE

By: T. Scott Gilligan, OFDA General Counsel

The problems confronting National Prearranged Services, Inc. (NPS) and its affiliated insurance company, Lincoln Memorial Life Insurance Company (Lincoln Memorial), continue to mount.

Resource Center

by Janet Blankenship - Resource Coordinator

Meet the speakers after their presentations and have your book(s) signed Wednesday & Thursday at the OFDA Booth.

President's Message - The Difference Between 211F and 212F

by Keith Walker, CFSP, OFDA President

"With all I have to be thankful for, am I doing all I can do to be the best I can be in each of the roles I fill in life?"

President's Message - Either Way, the Decision Should Be Deliberate

by Keith Walker, CFSP

We have all been granted just so many years. Let's make sure we live the years we have as deliberately and with as much purpose as possible.

Executive Director's Message - Seeking Hidden Treasure

By Stephen J. Gehlert, Executive Director

There seems to be recurring interest in the concept of Pirates and their constant search for treasure.

UPDATE ON PRENEED ISSUES

By: T. Scott Gilligan, OFDA General Counsel

In the past few months, there have been new and renewed regulatory initiatives that could impact the methods that Ohio funeral homes use in selling preneed funeral goods and services to consumers.

SSA-721 FORM NOT REQUIRED BY SSA FOR OHIO DEATHS

Due to the success of EDRS, the Social Security Administration (SSA) no longer requires an SSA-721 form to report an Ohio death.

SCAM ALERT

Summer Scams are back

Our office has recently learned that funeral related scams are on the rise again.

OHIO'S INDOOR SMOKING BAN GOES INTO EFFECT

By: T. Scott Gilligan, OFDA General Counsel

ATTENTION: OFDA just received the following information from our Legal Counsel, Scott Gilligan regarding Ohio's Smoking Ban. Please take note as this IS EFFECTIVE Thursday, May 3, 2007.

New Minimum Wage Poster Requirements

By Barb Garrison, M.S., CHMM, CET

Have you been approached by companies trying to sell you posters that they say you are required to post in your workplace, including the new minimum wage poster? Maybe we can help clarify things for you.

ODH EDRS Online Help

Visit the Ohio Department of Health online resources for EDRS assistance.

Executive Director's Message - Ducks on Roller Skates

by Stephen J. Gehlert, Executive Director

Recently I heard a story I believe has great value to think about as we begin a new year.

Disinfectant Survey Please Participate!

By Barb Garrison, M.S., CHMM, CET

Is the disinfectant you're using in the prep room appropriate? Maybe, maybe not.

Resource Center - Upcoming Events

by Janet Blankenship - Resource Coordinator

Mark Your Calendars for the following Events/Seminars!

EDRS Help Desk

Ohio Department of Health

Contact information for the new Electronic Death Registration System Help Desk

DEALING WITH UNCLAIMED REMAINS

By: T. Scott Gilligan, OFDA General Counsel

Ohio law requires funeral directors to certify in writing that they made a good faith effort to locate relatives.

Follow-Up Information To Ohio's New Smoke Free Law

By: T. Scott Gilligan, OFDA General Counsel

Since the previous article was posted, many members have posed several questions regarding the new Smoke Free Law. In this article, we address those questions.

OHIO'S NEW SMOKE FREE LAW

By: T. Scott Gilligan, OFDA General Counsel

"As places where the public is invited and where individuals are employed, Ohio funeral homes are subject to the new smoke free law."

Executive Director's Message - The Value of Community

by Stephen J. Gehlert, Executive Director

I would like to address another aspect of Association activity we don't often consider. That is the incredible Value of Community available to each of us through our Association commitment.

President's Tour

May 16-24, 2007

Join us for a wonderful trip to Switzerland - 4 Countries from One Hotel!

Create a Health Portrait of Your Family!

By Barb Garrison, M.S., CHMM, CET

The U.S. Surgeon General's Office has developed a FREE web-based tool called My Family Health Portrait that allows you to create a personalized family health history report.

Resource Center

by Janet Blankenship - Resource Coordinator

Traumatic loss & sudden death resources are highlighted.

President's Message - A Meaningful Invitation

By: Jon Deitloff, CFSP, OFDA President

"Very few of us in funeral service have trouble understanding the reward involved in serving others."

President's Message: Every Voice Is Important

By Jon Deitloff, CFSP, OFDA President

Your association values your opinions and listens to all comments.

President's Message - So What's Your Story?

By Jon Deitloff, CFSP, OFDA President

Funeral service has a wonderful story to tell but unfortunately it gets told far too seldom.

Legislative Update

A report on HB 426

BioGift ALERT

OFDA members have notified us of correspondence they have received from a company called BioGift. Scott Gilligan, OFDA Legal Counsel, has researched this company and suggests that funeral homes do not respond to the requests from this company.

CREMATION JEWELRY SCAM ALERT

By: T. Scott Gilligan, OFDA General Counsel

OFDA members are strongly urged to ignore and disregard any cremation jewelry orders from outside of the country, especially Nigeria

President's Message - Hit the Ground Running And Didn't Look Back!

By: Kenneth A. Cahall, OFDA President

It seems that it was only yesterday that I became the President of OFDA at the 125th annual convention, but a year has come and gone.

Safeguards Against Preneed Fraud

By: T. Scott Gilligan, OFDA General Counsel

OFDA members should ensure that the following three requirements are strictly followed in all preneed transactions by the funeral home.

Summer Camps for Grieving Children

We encourage you to contact the camp hosts directly, should you desire to support their efforts financially or with your gift of time.

Funeral Directors Flock to EDRS

Ohio Department of Health

Since the Ohio Department of Health, Office of Vital Statistics began offering the Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS); funeral directors have registered in record numbers.

CLARIFICATION ON SALES TAX OF PRENEED CONTRACTS

By: T. Scott Gilligan, OFDA General Counsel

The March, 2006 OFDA Newsletter contained an article on sales tax compliance by Ohio funeral homes. The issues discussed in the article generated quite a few calls to OFDA so Scott Gilligan provides additional information.

It's Not About Your Product - It's About the People Who Use It!

by Stephen J. Gehlert, Executive Director

Learn about the "Fundamental Disconnects of Business today"

Ohio Sales Tax Compliance by Funeral Homes

By: T. Scott Gilligan, OFDA General Counsel

Within the tax rules there are several exceptions which funeral homes must be aware of to avoid liability for unpaid sales tax and to avoid collecting sales tax when it is not due.

OFDA's126th Annual Convention & Exhibition

May 10-12, 2006

Join us for "An Event to Remember"

Resource Center

By: Janet Blankenship, Resource Coordinator

Items have been added to the Sale!

President's Message - No Script for Fulfilling The Family's Wishes

By: Kenneth A. Cahall, OFDA President

As we work with families in our funeral homes, we are ever conscious of letting families express themselves and of conforming to their wishes.

Handling Remains That Contain Drug-Resistant Acinetobacter

By: Erin Brown, Industrial Hygienist, Safex

Though Acinetobacter infections rarely occur outside of healthcare settings, embalmers and those who handle remains should be aware of this drug-resistant group of bacteria.

Resource Center

By: Janet Blankenship, Resource Coordinator

Death, Dying & Bereavement Events/Seminars for 2006

Executive Director's Message - The Power of Legacy

by Stephen J. Gehlert, Executive Director

"The big question is whether we are working on inspiring, mentoring, and encouraging the future generations of caregivers in this unique profession."

Right of Disposition Case Underscores Need for New Law

By: T. Scott Gilligan, OFDA General Counsel

OFDA has been working over the last year with the Ohio Bar Association to put together a right of disposition law.

FTC Sweep in Ohio

FTC Sweep of 12 Columbus Area Funeral Homes Finds 6 Homes In Full Compliance with Consumer Protection Law

New Master Trust Investment for the New Year!

All of the Upside Potential with Downside Protection

A new, professionally managed Trust Product by Bank One/JP Morgan Asset Management for Master Trust II is available January 1, 2006.

Member Reponse Needed

For Ohio Department of Health - Pandemic Flu Planning

In order to obtain some baseline numbers for the Ohio Department of Health, we are asking ALL of our members to complete a survey.

President's Message- A Tiny Bit Of What We Owe

By: Kenneth A. Cahall, OFDA President

Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S. service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities.

Executive Director's Message - Time to Reflect on Our Many Blessings

by Stephen J. Gehlert, Executive Director

As another Holiday Season approaches, and as we contemplate the arrival of a new year, let's all take a moment to reflect on the many blessings we have to be thankful for.

Issues Surrounding the Authorization of Cremation

By: T. Scott Gilligan, OFDA General Counsel

Since cremation is an irreversible process and wrongful cremation cases involve liability awards averaging $350,000, it is prudent for funeral homes to check and confirm their interpretation of the statute

Resource Center

By: Janet Blankenship, Resource Coordinator

A free brochure on how to plan a candle lighting service; poster and additional information are available to you.

Mission Statements Are Not Just for Businesses

by Stephen J. Gehlert, Executive Director

"We have to be completely dedicated to living our Mission Statements everyday."

Are You Ready for the Bird Flu?

By Barbara K. Garrison, M.S., CHMM, CET, Safex

We have been hearing a lot about the threat of a bird flu pandemic have you thought about what implications such an event would have on funeral home operations?

Ohio Introduces its New Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS)

by Mark Kassouf, Assistant State Registrar

The State of Ohio is making the Web based EDRS system available free of charge to all funeral directors.

IMPORTANT NOTICE TO ALL LICENSEES

From the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors

Electronic Death Registration System Announcement

President's Message - People are Mending But Need Our Help

By: Kenneth A. Cahall, OFDA President

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita were very devastating storms that wreaked total destruction over such a vast area. OFDA extends our deepest concerns and sympathies to those that have lost loved ones, homes and businesses. In disasters, funeral service is always there to serve.

Workplace Wellness Promotes Healthy Lifestyle for Employees

By Gary Hanson, President, American Safety & Health Management Consultants, Inc.

Obesity is an important issue among the American workforce, and the declining health of employees should be a concern to all employers.

Flesh-Eating Bacteria: Another Good Reason to Observe Universal Precautions!

By Barbara K. Garrison, M.S., CHMM, CET, Safex

If you are an embalmer or assist in the handling of remains and you need another good reason why you should observe universal precautions: necrotizing fasciitis (NF).

Executive Director's Message - The Qualities of Leadership

by Stephen J. Gehlert

Last month, the Executive Committee of OFDA and myself had the opportunity to attend the Annual NFDA Leadership Conference. Bob Ash, one of these keynote speakers, gave a powerful presentation on the final day of the conference and I would like to share some of his ideas with you.

Protecting Bereaved Families from Fraud

By: T. Scott Gilligan, OFDA General Counsel

Many funeral homes routinely alert families about the risks of fraudulent acts that may be directed against them during the time of a funeral. Learn more here.

President's Message - I Will Always Have a Voice And So Will You

By: Kenneth A. Cahall, OFDA President

In July's newsletter the OFDA committee rosters were listed. On those two full pages, there were sixteen different committees made up of our dedicated colleagues, who serve our best interests. To me, this is what makes an association strong.

OFDA Legislative Update

July 2005

Learn about many new changes with the new State of Ohio budget

Do You Really Have to Weigh Your Infectious Waste?

By Barbara K. Garrison, M.S., CHMM, CET

Yes, you really do. The requirement is found in the Ohio Administrative Code 3745-27-30. Learn more here.

President's Message - An Honor to Be President of OFDA

by Bob VanHorn, OFDA President

I'd like to share some of my experiences and projects the executive committee has been able to accomplish this year.

Incoming President's Message - Let's Make a Difference!

By OFDA President, Kenneth A. Cahall, CFSP

The stakes were high at the 125th Annual Ohio Funeral Directors Convention and Exhibition April 13 15 in Columbus.

Executive Director's Message - Blessed To Be a Blessing

by Stephen J. Gehlert, Executive Director

Excerpts from the 2005 Convention Message including "Remember that we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we GIVE!"

Motivating Employees is Key to Successful Safety Program

By Gary W. Hanson, President of American Safety and Health Management Consultants, Inc.

One of the most important aspects of any safety program is developing the proper attitude toward safety.

Resource Center Corner

Janet Blankenship, Resource Coordinator

Thanks to All Who Stopped by the OFDA Booth During Convention! Convention Specials available until May 31, 2005

Executive Director's Message - Servant Leadership is Key

by Stephen J. Gehlert, Executive Director

As we begin a new year, it is a great time to reflect on the accomplishments of the past and to prepare a plan for continued success in the future.

Presidents Message

by Bob VanHorn, OFDA President

The magic of the holiday season is here once again. It's time for the annual miracle to occur. You'll see and hear it everywhere, mirrored in a child's eyes in a friendlier greeting a warmer handshake a brighter smile.

Master Trust is now ONLINE

Access your account balances via the new features at the ASI website: www.administrativesystems.com

President's Message - Today Is Built On Yesterday

by Bob Van Horn, CFSP, OFDA President

Our past traditions mold us into what we are today. The people who have been in our lives have taught us and guided us along the way.

The OSHA Website A Valuable Tool

Kathleen Murdock, Safex, Inc.

OSHA plays a vital role in preventing on-the-job injuries and illnesses through outreach, education, and compliance assistance and all of this is offered through the OSHA website. Learn more about what it can do for you here!