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In the various roles he has undertaken through the years, Val J. Halamandaris has been a singular driving force behind the policy and program initiatives resulting in the recognition of home health care as a viable alternative to institutionalization. His dedication to consumer advocacy, which enhances the quality of life and dignity of those receiving home health care, merits VNA HealthCare Group’s highest recognition and deepest respect. 

VNA HealthCare Group

I have the highest respect for them, especially for the nurses, aides and therapists, who devote their lives to caring for people with disabilities, the infirm and dying Americans.  There are few more noble professions.

President Barack Obama

Home health care agencies do such a wonderful job in this country helping people to be able to remain at home and allowing them to receive services

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) Chair, Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee

Home care is a combination of compassion and efficiency.  It is less expensive than institutional care...but at the same time it is a more caring, human, intimate experience, and therefore it has a greater human’s a big mistake not to try to maximize it and find ways to give people the home care option over either nursing homes, hospitals or other institutions

Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich (R-GA)

Medicaid covers long-term care, but only for low-income families.  And Medicare only pays for care that is connected to a hospital discharge....our health care system must cover these vital services...[and] we should promote home-based care, which most people prefer, instead of the institutional care that we emphasize now.

Former U.S. Senator Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-CD)

We need incentives to...keep people in home health care settings...It’s dramatically less expensive than long term care.

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ)


Home care is clearly the wave of the future. It’s clearly where patients want to be cared for. I come from an ethnic family and when a member of our family is severely ill, we would never consider taking them to get institutional care. That’s true of many families for both cultural and financial reasons. If patients have a choice of where they want to be cared for, where it’s done the right way, they choose home.

Donna Shalala, former Secretary of Health and Human Services

A couple of years ago, I spent a little bit of time with the National Association for Home Care & Hospice and its president, Val J. Halamandaris, and I was just blown away. What impressed me so much was that they talked about what they do as opposed to just the strategies of how to deal with Washington or Sacramento or Albany or whatever the case may be. Val is a fanatic about care, and it comes through in every way known to mankind. It comes through in the speakers he invites to their events; it comes through in all the stuff he shares.

Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence

Val’s home care organization brings thousands of caregivers together into a dynamic organization that provides them with valuable resources and tools to be even better in their important work. He helps them build self-esteem, which leads to self-motivation.

Mike Vance, former Dean of Disney and author of Think Out of the Box

Val is one of the greatest advocates for seniors in America. He goes beyond the call of duty every time.

Arthur S. Flemming, former Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare

Val has brought the problems, the challenges, and the opportunities out in the open for everyone to look at. He is a visionary pointing the direction for us. 

Margaret (Peg) Cushman, Professor of Nursing and former President of the Visiting Nurses Association

Although Val has chosen to stay in the background, he deserves much of the credit for what was accomplished both at the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, where he was closely associated with me and at the House Select Committee on Aging, where he was Congressman Claude Pepper’s senior counsel and closest advisor. He put together more hearings on the subject of aging, wrote more reports, drafted more bills, and had more influence on the direction of events than anyone before him or since.

Frank E. Moss, former U.S. Senator

Val’s most important contribution is pulling together all elements of home health care and being able to organize and energize the people involved in the industry.

Frank E. Moss, former U.S. Senator

Anyone working on health care issues in Congress knows the name Val J. Halamandaris.

Kathleen Gardner Cravedi, former Staff Director of the House Select Committee on Aging

Without your untiring support and active participation, the voices of people advocating meaningful and compassionate health care reform may not have been heard by national leaders.

Michael Sullivan, Former Executive Director, Indiana Association for Home Care

All of us have been members of many organizations and NAHC is simply the best there is. NAHC aspires to excellence in every respect; its staff has been repeatedly honored as the best in Washington; the organization lives by the highest values and has demonstrated a passionate interest in the well-being of patients and providers.

Elaine Stephens, Director of Home Care of Steward Home Care/Steward Health Systems and former NAHC C

Home care increasingly is one of the basic building blocks in the developing system of long-term care.  On both economic and recuperative bases, home health care will continue to grow as an essential service for individuals, for families and for the community as a whole.

Former U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME)

NCOA is excited to be part of this great event and honored to have such influential award winners in the field of aging.

National Council of Aging

Health care at home…is something we need more of, not less of.  Let us make a commitment to preventive and long-term care.  Let us encourage home care as an alternative to nursing homes and give folks a little help to have their parents there.

Former President Bill Clinton

Keynote Speakers for March on Washington | Private Duty Conference Announced

March 13, 2013 09:54 AM

With the 2013 March on Washington | Private Duty Integrated Conference set to start next week, NAHC is proud to announce two keynote speakers to what is already an impressive lineup during general and educational sessions. Karyn Buxman will address attendees on March 18 during the afternoon general session and Barbara Kennelly will be the keynote speaker during the March 20 lunch session. Both women are captivating and compelling speakers who will both motivate and inspire members of the homecare and hospice community.


Barbara Kennelly is a former Democratic Member of Congress from Connecticut who served nine terms starting in 1982. The daughter of John Bailey, a former head of the Democratic National Committee who is credited with helping John F. Kennedy win the presidency, Congresswoman Kennelly was born into a family of public service and carried on that tradition in her own right.

During her time in Congress, Ms. Kennelly was appointed to the powerful House Ways and Means Committee as well as becoming the first woman appointed to the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Congresswoman Kennelly was also the first woman to be appointed Chief Deputy Majority Whip, where she worked closely with House Speaker Thomas “Tip” O’Neill.

After leaving Congress, Ms. Kennelly was appointed by President Bill Clinton to be Associate Commissioner and Counselor to the Commissioner at the Social Security Administration, overseeing the office of retirement policy, in 1999.

From 2002 to 2011, Kennelly served as President and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, a national advocacy group for seniors. Ms. Kennelly also served on the Policy Committee for the 2005 White House Conference on Aging, as well as being appointed to the Social Security Advisory Board by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in 2006.


Karyn Buxman is Founder and President of HUMORx, a humor based stress management and communications company. Her vision to leave a legacy of humor and laughter across the world is what drives her and her business to continually inform and inspire people in all aspects of life to gain the maximum benefits of humor and laughter in their personal and professional lives, thereby contributing to healthier and happier communities.

Karyn’s commitment to spreading the good news of humor is evident in her contributions to several book anthologies, including Chicken Soup for the Nurses’ Soul, Chicken Soup for the Christian Woman’s Soul and Give Stress A Rest. For 10 years she was a contributing editor for the Journal of Nursing Jocularity and for 5 years edited the national newsletter for AATH. Her articles appear in numerous professional and industry journals such as Humor and Health Journal, Tax-Pro Monthly and Healthcare Review. Karyn also wrote and published, “This Won’t Hurt a Bit! And other Fractured Truths in Healthcare,a 96-page collection of stories, quotes, jokes and cartoons for those on the giving and receiving end of healthcare and is currently working with her agent on her latest book in which Karyn will reveal her “Laugh Strategies” to the world.

Karyn’s impact is also felt globally through her involvement with the International Society of Humor Studies (ISHS) and in 1999, she co-founded The World Laughter Tour; an organization that strives for world peace through laughter. Their creed: "Together we can lead the world to health, happiness, and peace through laughter." Her 4 websites as well as the World Laughter Tour site, receive hits from readers around the world.

NAHC encourages all of its members to register to join their colleagues during the March on Washington | Private Duty Conference to hear these two inspiring speakers and to make their own voice heard on behalf of the home care and hospice community.




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