2019-PIMS Best Practices 101 – March 15,2019

Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science (PIMS) is pleased to present 2019-PIMS Best Practices 101.

This year’s program is intended for both embalmers and arrangers alike. The morning session addresses serving the families of perpetrators who carry out mass shooting incidents and dealing with effective communication. The afternoon session introduces the funeral director and organ procurement – specifically tissue retrieval. An embalming demonstration of a tissue donor will be conducted.


PIMS is pleased to offer this 6 hour seminar which includes all program materials and refreshments.

  • $120 (received before March 1)
  • $135 (received March 2 – 14)
  • $150 for onsite registration (space permitting)


Seating for this program is limited to funeral service students, funeral service interns, licensed embalmers and licensed funeral directors. (PIMS students are welcomed to participate at no charge. Other funeral service students and interns will be admitted at a nominal $30 charge).


A full refund will be issued if registration is cancelled by March 8, 2019. No refund will apply after that date.

The Program

SESSION I (3 hours)

“Serving the Family of a Perpetrator”

  • Define “Mass Killing Event”
  • Review The Columbine Massacre
  • Discuss stereotypes about perpetrators and their families
  • Learn how to identify which funeral director should meet with the family
  • Identify special considerations while making arrangements and directing the service
  • Explore the complicated grief of the perpetrator family

SESSION II (3 hours)

“The Funeral Director and Organ Donation”

  • History of organ and tissue donation
  • How donation affects the funeral director
  • Interactive presentation of concerns
  • How tissues are recovered
  • Live recovery performed
  • Embalming demonstration of a tissue donor

The Speakers

Ms. Martha Thayer, shares 30+ years of professional funeral service. She serves as department chair of the mortuary science program at Arapahoe Community College in Colorado. Ms. Thayer is an End-of-Life advocate in the Colorado state legislature and has been called upon as an expert witness in legal cases related to funeral service issues.

Ms. Thayer has a personal connection to the Columbine high school mass shooting and the Aurora movie theatre massacre. Ms. Thayer holds an MA and BS from Colorado Christian University and her mortuary science diploma from Dallas Institute of Funeral Service.

Mr. T. J. Roser, F.D., currently serves as Funeral Director/Coroner liaison with the Center for Organ Recovery and Education (CORE). A PIMS alumnus, TJ continues trade work and is a deputy coroner with the Indiana County Coroner’s office. Mr. Roser has served as an owner/partner of a family funeral home and operated a crematorium that served 7 counties in PA. He was a key player in updating the PA Uniform Anatomical Gift Act and works continuously to improve working relationships with funeral directors/coroners with donation.


FRIDAY, March 15, 2019

  • 8:00 A.M. – 3:15 P.M.
  • 7:15 AM Registration & Refreshments
  • 8:00 – 9:30 Session I
  • 9:30 – 9:45 Break
  • 9:45 – 11:15 Session I (con’t)
  • 11:15 – 12:00 PM Luncheon (included)
  • 12:00 – 1:30 Session II
  • 1:30 – 1:45 Break
  • 1:45 – 3:15 Session II (cont’d)
  • 3:15 CE Sign-out

Program Approvals

Application has been made for approval of 6.0 CEUs to the following organizations:

  • Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice (APFSP)
  • West Virginia Board of Funeral Service Examiners
  • Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors of Ohio
  • Maryland Board of Morticians
  • New York Bureau of Funeral Directing
  • Pennsylvania State Board of Funeral Directors

Apply in the Form Below

  • Price: $120.00 Quantity:
    $120 until March 1, $135 received March 2-14. $150 for onside registration (space permitting)
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