News/Press Releases



Compliance Update for October 13, 2017
President Signs Executive Order on Health Plans

Yesterday, President Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) directing federal Departments to consider adopting rules that would loosen certain regulations on health plans.

Please note: These rules are not yet final. The Departments involved (Labor, Treasury, and Health & Human Services) must issue regulations related to this EO before anything can go into effect. Furthermore, this EO does not affect your 2018 group health plan’s renewal. 

Specifically, the EO directs the Departments to consider the following:

  • Expand access to Association Health Plans (AHPs), which would allow employers in the same line of business anywhere in the country to band together for the purpose of offering their employees health coverage; this would allow them to avoid ACA small group mandates, purchase insurance across state lines, or even set up self-funded group health plans
  • Allow the sale of short-term limited duration insurance (SLDIs) in the individual market, which would be exempt from certain ACA mandates and potentially cost less
  • Ease restrictions on Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) to allow employers and participants to use them with greater flexibility

The Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health & Human Services will now work on drafting, finalizing, and publishing regulations in response to this EO. This may take some time. As such, there is no impact on your current or renewing benefit plans. However, we will stay abreast of all developments sand will advise on any potential impact this may have on your benefit plans in the future.


You can read the Executive Order here:

Please stay tuned for further updates. As always, we stand ready to assist you in any way we can.



Tony Hines

Client Executive

OneDigital | Health and Benefits


office: 703-429-1032

toll free: 877-904-1713 x 5163

fax: 844-532-7152


Customer Service/Advanced Resolution Team:






Dear Funeral Service Practitioner: 

Each year, John Tyler Community College’s Funeral Services Department assesses graduate outcomes in the form of a survey. This survey is designed to help the program determine the strengths and areas for improvement for our program. All data will be kept confidential and will be used for program evaluation purposes only. We request that the graduate’s immediate supervisor complete this survey.

The survey should take less than 10 minutes of your time. In order to take the survey, simply click or paste the below link into your browser:

Feel free to include any additional comments you deem necessary or relevant to improving the program. If you would please complete the survey by Tuesday, October 31st. Your response and time is greatly appreciated!



VFDA and MSV Joint Newsletter – October 2017


******SCAM ALERT******
Equifax will not call you regarding the recent data breach.  Do not give out any personal information over the phone.  Please read more information that the Federal Trade Commission  (FTC) has published about this recent scam.


When love and loss are multiplied – remembering a brother at Twins Days: Andrea Simakis


Funeral fraud case took more than a year for slap on wrist, legislative report concludes


Federated Mutual Group named to 2017 Ward’s 50® Top Performers


Virginia Funeral Directors Donates to the American Red Cross


2017 NFDA Pursuit of Excellence Awards: Funeral Homes Honored for Excellence in Service to Families and Communities 

NFDA Members to Select Best of the Best Award Recipients

Brookfield, Wis. – The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) is pleased to announce that more than 160 funeral homes have earned the 2017 Pursuit of Excellence Award. This award is presented by NFDA annually 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. 

To earn an NFDA Pursuit of Excellence Award, a funeral home must demonstrate proficiency in key areas of funeral service, including compliance with state and federal regulations; providing ongoing education and professional development opportunities for staff; offering outstanding programs and resources to bereaved families; maintaining an active level of involvement in the community; participating and actively serving in the funeral service profession; and promoting funeral home services through a variety of marketing, advertising and public relations programs. Participants are also required to adhere to a Pledge of Ethical Practices. 

NFDA will honor the 2017 Pursuit of Excellence Award Recipients on October 30 during the All-Star Recognition Ceremony, which will take place during the 2017 NFDA International Convention & Expo, October 29 through November 1 in Boston, Mass. 

Information about the NFDA Pursuit of Excellence program can be found by visiting Registration and application materials for 2018 will be available in late-October 2017. 

Best of the Best Award Finalists Announced – NFDA Members to Select Winners

All Pursuit of Excellence applicants submitted an essay describing the development and execution of a program or service that had a positive impact on the families they serve or their community, qualifying them for the Best of the Best Award, which recognizes the most novel and innovative programs and services in the profession.   

After a thorough review, the Pursuit of Excellence Committee has selected the five finalists for the Best of the Best Award: 

NFDA members will, once again, select the recipients of the Best of the Best Award. After reviewing the finalists’ essays, association members will vote for the idea they think is most worthy of the Best of the Best Award. The three firms that earn the most votes will be named the 2017 recipients of the Best of the Best Award.  

The 2017 Best of the Best Award finalists are:

·         Arlington Memorial Chapels, Inc., Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines

·         Chambers & James, Funeral, Pet & Cremation Services, Wellsburg, W.Va.

·         Old Bridge Funeral Home, Old Bridge, N.J.

·         Reynolds Jonkhoff Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Traverse City, Mich.

·         Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Homes and Crematory, New Castle, Del.

Association members should visit to read finalists’ essays and cast their vote. Voting for the Best of the Best Award closes September 8.

NFDA Hall of Excellence Inductees

NFDA-member funeral homes are inducted into the Hall of Excellence upon receiving their 10th Pursuit of Excellence Award. In recognition of their consistent display of professional and ethical excellence, four funeral homes will be inducted into the NFDA Hall of Excellence in 2017:  

·         Lentz Funeral Home, Algona, Iowa

·         Roller-Owens Funeral Home, North Little Rock, Ark.

·         Shaughnessey Banks Funeral Home, Fairfield, Conn.

·         Worlein Funeral Home, Austin, Minn.

2017 NFDA Pursuit of Excellence Award Recipients

*Previously inducted into the NFDA Hall of Excellence

***First-time Award Recipient 

Abels & French-Hand Funeral Homes, Grundy Center, Iowa

*A.H. Peters Funeral Home of Grosse Pointe, Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.

A.H. Peters Funeral Home, Warren, Warren, Mich.

*A.J. Desmond & Sons Funeral Directors, Troy, Mich.

Anderson & Sons Mortuary, Inc., American Fork, Utah

***Anderson Funeral Home, Alexandria, Minn.

***Anderson Funeral and Cremation Services, Belvidere, Ill.

Anderson-Burris Funeral Home & Crematory, Enid, Okla.

Arlington Memorial Chapels, Inc., Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines

*Arnett & Steele Funeral Home, Inc., Pineville, Ky.

Arrington Funeral Directors, Jackson, Tenn.

*A.S. Turner & Sons Funeral Home & Crematory, Decatur, Ga.

*Baird Funeral Home, Troy, Ohio

Ballard-Durand Funeral & Cremation Services, White Plains, N.Y.

Baskerville Funeral Home, Wilmington, Ill.

Bass Funeral Home, Inc., Gordonsville, Tenn.

***B.C. Bailey Funeral Home, Wallingford, Conn.

Brandon G. Thompson Funeral Home, Hammond, La.

Brunswick Memorial Home, East Brunswick, N.J.

Butler Funeral Home, Bolivar, Mo.

*Caldwell & Cowan Funeral Home, Covington, Ga.

Cannon Cleveland Funeral Directors, McDonough, Ga.

*Cassaday-Turkle-Christian Funeral and Cremation Service, Inc., Alliance, Ohio

Chambers & James Funeral, Pet & Cremation Services, Wellsburg, W.Va.

Christopher Mitchell Funeral Homes, Inc., Albion, N.Y.

Copeland Funeral Service, Beaufort, S.C.

***Cosmopolitan Memorial Chapels, Inc., Cebu City, Philippines

*Cozean Memorial Chapel & Crematory, Farmington, Mo.

*Cozine Memorial Group, Wichita, Kan.

C.R. Lyons & Sons Funeral Directors, Danvers, Mass.

Dalin-Hantge Funeral Chapel, Winthrop, Minn.

*David C. Brown Funeral Home, Belleville, Mich.

*Davis Funeral Home, LLC, Nashua, N.H.

Deiters Funeral Home & Crematory, Washington, Ill.

*D’Esopo East Hartford Memorial Chapel, East Hartford, Conn.

*D’Esopo Funeral Chapel, Wethersfield, Conn.

*Dobratz-Hantge Funeral Chapel, Hutchinson, Minn.

Duksa Family Funeral Homes at Burritt Hill, New Britain, Conn.

*Duksa Family Funeral Homes at Newington Memorial, Newington, Conn.

*Dwayne R. Spence Funeral Home, Canal Winchester, Ohio

E. Blake Collins Funeral Home, Wilkes Barre, Penn.

Emerald Hills Funeral Home and Memorial Park, Kennedale, Texas

Emmanuel Johnson Funeral Home, Philadelphia, Penn.

***Ever Rest Funeral Home and Chapel, Muskegon, Mich.

Falco Caruso & Leonard Camden Funeral Home, Camden, N.J.

Falco Caruso & Leonard Funeral Home, Pennsauken, N.J.

Farris Funeral Service and Crematory, Abingdon, Va.

Finch & Finch Funeral and Cremation Service, Altavista, Va.

Freitas Rupracht Funeral Home, Yerington, Nev.

French Funeral Home, Brazil, Ind.

Funeraria Hernandez, Pennsauken, N.J.

Funeraria La Esperanza S.A., Medellín, Colombia

Funeraria San Vicente S.A., Medellín, Colombia

*Gamble Funeral Service, Savannah, Ga.

Gardinier Funeral Home, Inc., Franklin, Penn.

Geisen Funeral Homes, Crown Point, Ind.

Geisen-Carlisle Funeral & Cremation Services, Michigan City, Ind.

George I. Green Funeral Home, Inc., Munhall, Penn.

G.H. Herrmann Funeral Homes, Indianapolis, Ind.

*Gorsline-Runciman Funeral Homes, Lansing, Mich.

*Gunderson Funeral Home, Madison, Wis.

***Halpin-Bitecola Brookdale Funeral Home, Bloomfield, N.J.

Heath Funeral Chapel & Crematory, Lakeland, Fla.

*Henderson Funeral Home & Crematory, Pekin, Ill.

*Heritage Funeral Home, Nipawin, SK, Canada

Holman-Howe Funeral Home, Lebanon, Mo.

Howard K. Hill Funeral Services, New Haven, Conn.

Hughes Family Tribute Center, Dallas, Texas

Hughes-Hantge Funeral Chapel, Hector, Minn.

Inglesby & Sons Funeral Home, Pennsauken, N.J.

***Irvin Macz Funeral Homes, Centralia, Ill.

James Funeral Home & Northlake Memorial Gardens, Huntersville, N.C.

Jennings-Calvey Funeral & Cremation Services, Inc., Clarks Summit, Penn.

J. Garcia Lopez Casa Pedregal, Mexico City, Mexico

*Johnson-Hagglund Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Litchfield, Minn.

Johnson-McBride Funeral Chapel, Glencoe, Minn.

*Jones-Wynn Funeral Home & Crematory, Douglasville, Ga.

*Jones-Wynn Funeral Home & Crematory, Villa Rica, Ga.

*Joseph Vertin and Sons Funeral Home, Breckenridge, Minn.

Karrer-Simpson Funeral Home, Port Huron, Mich.

*Kerrville Funeral Home, Kerrville, Texas

*Kilpatrick Funeral Homes, West Monroe, La.

Kimble Funeral Home, Junction, Texas

Kok Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Cottage Grove, Minn.

***Kramer Funeral Home – Palouse, Palouse, Wash.

***Krestridge Funeral Home, Levelland, Texas

Lakeshore Memorial Services, a Dignity Memorial Provider, Holland, Mich.

Lakeside Memorial Funeral Home, Hamburg, N.Y.

***Langley Funeral Home, Camp Hill, Ala.

Lentz Funeral Home, Algona, Iowa

Leo P. Gallagher & Son Funeral Home, Stamford, Conn.

Lord & Stephens Funeral Home, Athens, Ga.

Martin & Hightower Funeral Home, Carrollton, Ga.

*Martin Funeral, Cremation & Tribute Services – Fairgrove, Fairgrove, Mich.

Martin Funeral, Cremation & Tribute Services – Grand Blanc, Grand Blanc, Mich.

*Martin Funeral, Cremation & Tribute Services – Mt. Morris, Mount Morris, Mich.

*Martin Funeral, Cremation & Tribute Services – Vassar, Vassar, Mich.

*Memorial Funeral Home, San Juan, Texas

*Memorial Funeral Home, Edinburg, Texas

Mercer-Adams Funeral Service, Bethany, Okla.

Meredith-Clark Funeral Home, Cremation and Personalization Center, Morgantown, Ind.

***Mililani Memorial Park & Mortuary Chapel, Waipahu, Hawaii

*Milward Funeral Directors, Lexington, Ky.

***Molden Funeral Chapel, Bristol, Penn.

***Morada Da Paz, Paulista, PE, Brazil

Morgan & Nay Funeral Centre, Madison, Ind.

Morris-Baker Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Johnson City, Tenn.

Morrissett Funeral & Cremation Service, North Chesterfield, Va.

*Myers Mortuary – Roy, Roy, Utah

*Myers Mortuary of Brigham City, Brigham City, Utah

*Myers Mortuary of Layton, Layton, Utah

*Myers Mortuary, Ogden, Utah

O’Brien Funeral Home, Brick Location, Brick, N.J.

O’Brien Funeral Home, Wall Location, Wall Township, N.J.

Oceanside Memorial Home, Lake Como, N.J.

*Ochiltree Funeral Service, Winterset, Iowa

Old Bridge Funeral Home, Old Bridge, N.J.

Oliverie Funeral Home, Manchester, N.J.

*Olson Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Sheboygan, Wis.

*Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, East Pittsburgh, Penn.

Pedersen Funeral & Cremation Service, Morris, Minn.

*Pixley Funeral Home, Rochester, Mich.

*Pray Funeral Home, Inc., Charlotte, Mich.

Radney Funeral Home, Alexander City, Ala.

Ransford Collon Funeral Home, Caro, Mich.

*Reeves Funeral Homes, Ltd., Coal City, Ill.

Reichmuth Funeral Home, Elkhorn, Neb.

*Reynolds Jonkhoff Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Traverse City, Mich.

Roller Coffman-Crouch Funeral Home, Mountain View, Ark.

Roller Funeral Home – Paris, Paris, Ark.

*Roller Funeral Home, Mountain Home, Ark.

*Roller-Chenal Funeral Home, Little Rock, Ark.

Roller-Cox Funeral Home, Clarksville, Ark.

*Roller-Daniel Funeral Home, Searcy, Ark.

*Roller-McNut Funeral Home, Conway, Ark.

Roller-McNutt Funeral Home Clinton, Clinton, Ark.

Roller-Owens Funeral Home, North Little Rock, Ark.

***Savage-DeMarco Funeral Service, Endicott, N.Y.

Seaver-Brown Funeral Service & Crematory, Marion, Va.

*Sharer-Stirling-Skivolocke Funeral Home, Alliance, Ohio

Shaughnessey Banks Funeral Home, Fairfield, Conn.

Smith Family Funeral Home – North Little Rock Funeral Home, North Little Rock, Ark.

Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Homes and Crematory, New Castle, Del.

St. Peter Chapels, Quezon City, Manila, Philippines

*Staab Polk Memorial Home/Cremation Services of Central Illinois, Chatham, Ill.

Sunset Funeral Home, Danville, Ill.

***Tetrick Funeral & Cremation Services, Johnson City, Tenn.

Tetrick Funeral Home, Elizabethton, Tenn.

***Thomas L. Neilan & Sons Funeral Home, New London, Conn.

*Thomas McAfee Funeral Home – Downtown Chapel, Greenville, S.C.

Thomas McAfee Funeral Home – Northwest Chapel, Greenville, S.C.

Thomas McAfee Funeral Home – Southeast Chapel, Simpsonville, S.C.

Titus Funeral Home, Warsaw, Ind.

*Twiford Funeral Home, Elizabeth City, N.C.

Waid Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Merrill, Wis.

Waitt Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Morganville, N.J.

Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park & Mortuary, Salt Lake City, Utah

Watson Thomas Funeral Home and Crematory, Galesburg, Ill.

Weeks’ Dryer Mortuary, Tacoma, Wash.

*Weeks’ Enumclaw Funeral Home, Enumclaw, Wash.

*Weeks’ Funeral Home, Buckley, Wash.

Wieting Family Funeral Home, Chilton, Wis.

*Wm. Sullivan & Son Funeral Home, Royal Oak, Mich.

*Wm. Sullivan & Son Funeral Home, Utica, Mich.

Worlein Funeral Home, Austin, Minn.

NFDA is the world’s leading and largest funeral service association, serving 19,700 individual members who represent more than 10,000 funeral homes in the United States and 49 countries around the world. NFDA is the trusted leader, beacon for ethics and the strongest advocate for the profession. NFDA is the association of choice because it offers funeral professionals comprehensive educational resources, tools to manage successful businesses, guidance to become pillars in their communities and the expertise to foster future generations of funeral professionals. NFDA is headquartered in Brookfield, Wis., and has an office in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit 

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Note: For your convenience, click here for a list of award recipients by state


LifeNet Health to expand global headquarters in Virginia Beach


Dear VFDA Members: 

A White House commission is urging the president to declare an opioid state of emergency. “America is enduring a death toll equal to September 11th every three weeks,” the commission’s report notes, saying a state of emergency would “force Congress to focus on funding” ways to combat the growing epidemic. The opioid crisis, which now kills over 100 Americans a day, is also having a devastating effect on business: Companies across the country call it one of the biggest problems they face, particularly when it comes to hiring and retaining workers. • Share your thoughts: #WhiteHouseOpioid

      Critical Issue:  A 50 State View of the Opioid Epidemic, the NFDA has the video available at: 

The VFDA will continue to share information on this epidemic with our members.


July 2017 Legislative Report and Updates


Click here for a Press Release on VFDA President, Robert Gallagher


Press Releases

Please click here for an NFDA update from our NFDA Policy Board Representative


The Flagship : Honoring our shipmates: The heritage of the military funeral and burial at sea

Click here to read up about the heritage of the military funeral and burial at sea


New Rule Expands Overtime Pay to Millions of Workers

Click here to read up about the new rule that expands overtime pay to millions of workers


Please click here to read about how the OCME has a new Payment Reimbursement System

Please click here to read about how there are more women funeral home directors


The Virginia Funeral Directors Association (VFDA) is supporting The Dogwood Project initiative and mission to help children who lose a parent or primary care-giver as they go through the grieving process by giving them opportunities to talk.  We are sharing this information with you in hopes you will pass this information onto families you serve who may have children between the ages of 5-12 years old who are grieving the loss of a loved one.

The Dogwood Project will send the youngest children a teddy bear and send children between the ages of 5-12 years old a dogwood tree as a “living memorial” to plant with a trusted adult as a way for conversation to begin.  The Dogwood Project also assists in helping the child’s care-giver find a local grief counselor for the child.

This is a free service and is no cost to your funeral home.  We ask that you make this information available to families you serve with young children.  Additional information or to request assistance, please visit or contact Linda Schlapman, or 434-515-1566.


Ebola Strategy Meeting Minutes from the Virginia Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers

Ebola Virus Update

Information from the OCME regarding managing dead bodies with Ebola:

Guidance for Safe Handling Human Remains of Ebola Patients in U.S. Hospitals and Mortuaries

OCME Recommendations Ebola

Ebola FAQ

Electronic Death Registration System

US Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Survivors Assistance Brochure