Minutes from October 26, 2010 Meeting

Present: Susan Shopek, David Horstmann, Sue Dickstedt, Julie Tinberg, Lisa Soltermann, Nancy Manahan, Becky Bohan

David reported on plans for the upcoming November 9 meeting for people who want to support families directly in after-death care. Participants can decide how best to help and how to publicize their services. The meeting will be at the home of Heather Halen, 16 Rustic Lodge Avenue East, Minneapolis, at 7 pm. Please RSVP to hjoyhalen@hotmail.com or 612.822.0953.

Based on interests and needs expressed at the Nov. 9 meeting, Dave and Heather will develop a course based on materials including Undertaken with Love: A Guide to Home Death Care for Congregations and Communities. The study group will meet weekly on Tuesday evenings from January 11 to mid-February 2011. Let Heather (hjoyhalen@hotmail.com or 612.822.0953) or David (davidwhorstmann@gmail.com or 651.641.0516) know if you want to be in this first study group. Space is limited to 10-12 participants.

Regarding upcoming presentations to hospices, Judy will try to arrange a presentation to Fairview, Lisa to Health East, and Julie to Asercare, which owns several nursing homes.

Susan Shopek reported that Judy Tills has contacted the Minnesota Network of Hospice and Palliative Care about their spring conference. Information about submitting workshop proposals will be out in a couple of weeks. Judy will stay on top of it.

Susan reported that she and Judy met with Chip Fort at Prairie Oaks, a potentially green cemetery in Inver Grove Heights. Chip is trying to get financing to purchase the property. See mygreengrave.com for more information.

Lisa handed out a list of active members of the Minnesota Threshold Network with phone numbers and email addresses, along with the area of service that each person is interested in. If you want to be added to this list, email us at mnthresholdnetwork@gmail.com.

We discussed the procedure that a family needs to follow to comply with Minnesota law regarding the transporting of a body. Becky talked with Marguerite at the Minnesota Department of Health, Mortuary Science division. Here are the basic documents needed:
1. The Certificate of Removal is needed to move a body from one point to another. If the body is in a nursing home or hospital, that facility may have a policy that that only a licensed Funeral Director may remove a dead body. If a facility does not have such a policy or if the person dies in a private home, the family needs to complete the Certificate of Removal, available by download at Mortuary Science Section Home. Be aware that Minnesota law requires the medical examiner/coroner to be notified prior to moving the body in many cases. If the body is removed from a facility, someone at that facility will need to sign as the person releasing the remains. A copy of the certificate will stay at the facility. The original must stay with the family/body. If the body goes to a private home via a Funeral Director and the family will transport from home to the cemetery or crematorium, the family will need the Certificate of Removal.
2. The family will need to file a death certificate, available online at http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/chs/osr/index.html. The form is called Minnesota Death Record Application–Certified Death Certificate. A physician, coroner, or medical examiner needs to sign regarding the cause of death. The family must then take this form to the county registrar’s office. Once recorded, a Disposition Permit will be produced. The family will receive the official death certificate in 4-6 weeks.
3. The Disposition Permit stays with the body and is given to the crematory if a cremation is involved, or the cemetery if a burial is involved.

Both the Certificate of Removal and the Disposition Permit need to stay with the body. It is obvious that these forms need to be updated to make them more family-friendly!

The Department of Health continues to work on the brochure that will contain the information a family needs for after-death care and final disposition. The brochure will be available in printed form that they will send to people who request it and it should also be available online.

Nancy and Becky reported on the National Home Funeral Alliance Conference in Boulder, CO. One-hundred twenty-five people attended the conference, at least five of them from Minnesota. There was a two-day pre-conference workshop about caring for the dead and two days of conference. Josh Slocum, executive director of the Funeral Consumers Alliance, and Josefine Speyer were the headline speakers. Josephine, a home funeral and green burial educator from England, says that her country has 240 green burial sites.

Becky shared her idea about having November 1, the Dead of the Dead in Hispanic culture, become a “rallying” day for issues regarding end of life, home funerals, and green burials. It could be similar to Earth Day or Smoking Cessation Day, a day that can be used to educate consumers, publicize options for family-directed after-death care/funerals, and encourage people to take action (e.g. fill out a Health Care Directive, complete a Final Wishes document and discuss it with your family, ask your local funeral director and cemetery about green burial options, etc.)

The next meeting of the Minnesota Threshold Network will be Tuesday, Nov. 30 at 7 pm at the home of Dave Horstmann, 4509 Bryant Avenue South, Minneapolis. His number is 651.641.0516.

Becky Bohan


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