2019-PIMS Best Practices 102

Friday, December 6

Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science (PIMS) is pleased to present 2019-PIMS Best Practices 102.

This year’s program is intended for both embalmers and arrangers alike. The three hour morning session addresses adapting to change in today’s changing marketplace and cremation strategies and best practices for handling cremation telephone inquiries. The afternoon session includes an hour program on Ethical Funeral Service practice; and two hours on Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting.

Cost :

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


  • $120 (received before November 22)
  • $135 (received Nov. 23 – Dec. 5)
  • $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 November 29, 2019. No refund will apply after that date.

Session 1 (3 hours) “Thriving in Today’s Changing Marketplace”

  • Why we resist change; a formula for adapting to change
  • Establishing value through personalization
  • Serving non-religious families and helping them to find meaning
  • Changing needs of the generations and common challenges in working with other generations
  • Cremation Strategies
  • Best practices for handling cremation telephone inquiries

Session 2 (1 hour) “Ethical Funeral Service Practice”

  • Case studies of notable and specific ethical issues in funeral service
  • Breakdown of how/why such ethical issues occur
  • Preventive or rehabilitative measures to handle unethical cases
  • Self-assessment of common areas in funeral service where ethical issues may arise

Session 3 (2 hours) “Child Abuse Recognition & Reporting”

  • Identify Perpetrators
  • How to report child abuse
  • Discuss the Child Protective Services Law of 1975
  • Identify the categories of Child Abuse
  • Recognize the signs of Child Abuse
  • Discuss the role of funeral directors as Mandated Reporters


Mrs. Mary Andres Russell shares 30+ years experience in training & marketing in funeral service and non-profit organizations. She is the Professional Development Director for Matthews-Aurora and has delivered hundreds of programs throughout the United States, Canada and Australia. Mary helped establish a charitable foundation to support hospice care for children. Her first exposure to funeral service began early in her career where she produced grief support resources and helped roll out cremation products where she became a sought-after speaker.

Dr. Barry T. Lease shares 35 + years of professional funeral service and currently serves as Program Director at PIMS. He will provide training on how to identify potential areas of funeral service where ethical lapses occur; instruction on proactive strategies to avoid such lapses; and how to apply ethical standards to everyday funeral service situations.

Dr. Joseph A. Marsaglia shares 35 + years of professional funeral service and currently holds the titles of Dean and Chief Operating Officer. Marsaglia is also a past dean of the ICCFA college of Embalming, Restorative Art, and Other Care. He will present issues and protocols associated with the funeral director’s role in identifying and reporting child abuse in accordance with Act 31. Dr. Marsaglia is a Marine Corps Veteran.


  • 7:15 AM Registration & Refreshments
  • 8:00 – 9:30 Session I
  • 9:30 – 9:45 Break
  • 9:45 – 11:15 Session I
  • 11:15 – 12:00 PM Luncheon (included)
  • 12:00 – 1:00 Session II
  • 1:00 – 1:15 Break
  • 1:15 – 3:15 Session III
  • 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

Note: In order to be awarded continuing education credit, participants must be present for the entire program. No credit for partial attendance is available. Sign-in/Sign-out rosters will be available for participants before and after the program.