|Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers|
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Colorado Summarily Suspends the Registration of Heritage Cremation Provider, LLC.
The State of Colorado’s Office of Funeral Home and Crematory Registration has summarily suspended the funeral establishment registration of Heritage Cremation Provider, LLC. This entity is owned by Joseph Damiano and A. J. Damiano. A copy of the Order can be found here.
Of note, one of the allegations in the Order is as follows:
As grounds for aggravation, Respondent is using the aforementioned advertising and/or its Colorado registration to conduct unlicensed funeral practice in several states including, but not limited to, Florida, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Virginia, California, North Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin. A number of these states have either issued Cease and Desist Orders or issued Advisory Notices to its consumers. Several other states are conducting investigations. Approximately 30 complaints have been registered with the Federal Trade Commission.
Heritage’s alleged unlicensed practice could pose a risk for consumers, it may also put subcontracting funeral homes and crematories at risk of aiding and abetting unlicensed activity.Licensees are encouraged to review the Virginia Board’s Guidance Document, 65-4 regarding Aiding and Abetting Unlicensed Practice.
Opioid Addiction Crisis Declared a Public Health Emergency in Virginia
On November 21, 2016 Governor McAuliffe issued a News Release stating that State Health Commissioner Marissa Levine has declared Virginia’s opioid abuse crisis a Public Health Emergency in the Commonwealth.
Important Information – Recent Board Adopted Guidance Documents!
During the January 10, 2017 Board Meeting, the following Guidance Documents were newly adopted by The Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers:
- 65-8, Permission to Embalm, adopted January 10, 2017
- 65-18, Refrigeration of Dead Human Bodies, adopted January 10, 2017
The following Guidance Document was revised by the Board:
Please visit our Guidance Documents page to find all other guidance documents related to your profession.
Death Certificates with "Pending" Cause of Death
Death certificates must be filed with Vital Records within three days. There is no exception for death certificates which have a “pending” cause of death. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) notified the Board that when they send the final cause of death to Vital Records, they are often finding that the “pending” death certificate was never filed. The OCME states that they will be referring these incidents to the Department of Health Professions (DHP) for investigation.
Please keep in mind, a filed death certificate that has a “pending” cause of death can meet many of the needs of the families that you are serving, so a delay in filing these death certificates may cause undue hardship and stress on families.
Electronic Death Registration System Announcement
Click here to read the letter and information regarding the Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS) from Janet Rainey, Director and State Registrar, Division of Vital Records.
For questions regarding the EDRS, please contact the Office of Vital Records. The EDRS website provides the following support and contact information:
VVESTS support is available during the normal business hours of VDH-DVR; Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. with 24/7 online support for EDRS.
VDH-DVR Contact Information:
Telephone number: (804) 662-6200, press option 5
Fax: (804) 662 - 7269
Read the letter from the State Health Commissioner and the Board of Medicine's Executive Director on the Completion of Death Certificates.
Death Certificate Information:
Letters from Karen Remley, MD, MBA, FAAP, State Health Commissioner:
* June 27, 2011, letter regarding death certification-related regulations taking effect July 1, 2011
* August 3, 2010, letter to physicians regarding timely completion of death certificates
* August 3, 2010, letter to funeral service providers regarding development of a plan to improve the death certification process
Change in Exam Vendor – Virginia State Exam (Laws, Rules & Regulations)
Effective January 1, 2017, the Virginia state exam (Laws, Rules, and Regulations “LRR”) for Funeral Service Licensees is administered by the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards. For more information, exam candidates may click here to visit their website or click here to access the “LRR” Candidate Handbook. The fee for the state exam is $160.00, also effective January 1, 2017.
For more information or questions about the exam process, please contact the Board at firstname.lastname@example.org or (804) 367-4479.
Licensure Verification and Change of Name/Address Information
Please click here for information on how to request a verification of licensure.
Please click here for information on how to change your address or make a name change.
Accredited Mortuary Science Schools
Please click here to view a list of accredited Mortuary Science Schools.
FYI on Crematory Training
18VAC65-20-435 requires that all persons who operate the retort in a crematory shall have certification by CANA, ICCFA, or other certification recognized by the board. Please note that our regulations do not require any type of recertification even though some certifying organizations show an expiration date on the certificate. Please contact the Board office if you have any questions.
Bloodborne Pathogen Traning: Click here to view a list of training opportunities on Bloodborne Pathogens.
ATTENTION CONTINUING EDUCATION PROVIDERS and LICENSEES
The Board will only accept for credit Continuing Education courses that are directly related to the scope of practice of funeral service. The practice of funeral services is defined in §54.1-2800 as “engaging in the care and disposition of the human dead, the preparation of the human dead for the funeral service, burial or cremation, the making of arrangements for the funeral service or for the financing of the funeral service and the selling or making of financial arrangements for the sale of funeral supplies to the public.
Classes for credit must emphasize the ethics, standards of practice, preneed contracts and funding, or federal or state laws and regulations governing the profession. Courses for which the principal purpose is to promote, sell or offer goods, products or services to funeral homes are not acceptable for the purpose of credit toward renewal. (18VAC65-20-151)
Consumer Information about Funeral Planning. Click here to read the article on FTC's website.
Click here to read the FAQ's on Preneed Funeral Contracts.
FTC Warns Small Businesses: Don’t Open Email Falsely Claiming to be From FTC. Click here to read the article on FTC's website.
FTC Warns Consumers: Scammers Hit New Low by Sending Fake Funeral Notices. Click here to read the article on FTC's website.
Funeral Rule ALERT: Click here to read information provided by the FTC dated March 18, 2009.
The FTC and the Board Settle Antitrust Charges Regarding Price Advertising Rules. Click here to view documents.
Virginia Wounded Warrior Program
Memorial contributions can now be designated for assistance to Virginia veterans and their families by donating to the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program.
Here is the link to the brochure on the website.
Extension of renewal requirements for deployed military and spouses
Virginia law allows active duty service people or their spouses who are deployed outside the U.S. to have an extension of time for any requirement or fee pertaining to renewal until 60 days after the person’s return from deployment. The extension cannot last beyond 5 years past the expiration date for the license. For more information, please read attached policy and contact the applicable board for your license.
Virginia Department of Veterans Services
To implement the 2012 legislation passed regarding Unclaimed Remains of Veterans, the Department of Veterans Services (DVS) requests the assistance of funeral homes in identifying the unclaimed veterans remains. Please see the following from DVS:
Public Health Information
Duty to Report Adult Abuse, Neglect or Exploitation - More
The Adult Protective Services Program at the Virginia Department of Social Services is pleased to announce the availability of a new online educational opportunity for mandated reporters of abuse, neglect and exploitation of older or incapacitated individuals. This online training course has been developed for, and with the assistance of, mandated reporters and APS professionals to assist mandated reporters in understanding adult abuse and their responsibilities as mandated reporters. Read More...(word .doc)
Laws & RegulationsKeep in the know about important laws and regulations:
Laws and Regulations Governing Funeral Directors and Embalmers
Laws Governing All Health Professions
View the list of Professions regulated by the Board.
Frequently Asked Questions
Find the answers to common questions. Includes information regarding Continuing Education.