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Testimonials

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. 

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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.

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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

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

Heath 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.

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Former President Bill Clinton

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 element...it’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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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Frank E. Moss, former U.S. Senator

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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National Council of Aging

Senate Advocates of Home Care and Hospice Address March on Washington

March 20, 2013 04:36 PM
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Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
 
Landreu
Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
 
Roberts
Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS)
 
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Senator Jerry Moran, (R-KS)
 
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Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD)
 
Collins
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME)
 
Warner
Senator Mark Warner (D-VA)
 
FrankenSM
Senator Al Franken (D-MN)

Members of the home care and hospice community had the opportunity to hear from a bipartisan group of senators – all of whom are strong proponents of home care and hospice - on the importance of the work that they do, the industry that they champion, and the lives that they touch. The senators addressed March on Washington attendees in the Russell Senate Office Building Caucus Room prior to a day of grassroots lobbying and direct advocacy of lawmakers by March on Washington attendees.

The group of senators included many champions of home care and hospice – including both senators from Kansas – Republicans Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts – and both senators from Minnesota – Democrats Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken. Among the other senators who addressed the crowd were long-time supporters Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Susan Collins (R-ME), who addressed the March on Washington for the 15th straight year, Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Mark Warner (D-VA). The senators made up not only a bipartisan group demonstrating their support for home care, but also a group that represents a cross-section of the country – indicating that access to home care and hospice is crucial in every corner of the nation.

Home care and hospice is not only an issue that brought disparate members of the Senate together in their support, but it is also care that is highly personal – with many of the senators sharing their stories of why they are such strong advocates of the home care and hospice community.

Senator Al Franken (D-MN) - a comedy writer prior to being elected to the Senate – was brought to tears sharing with the crowd the positive experiences his family had with the level and quality of hospice and end-of-life care his father received.

Senator Jerry Moran, (R-KS) said that, “My passion is to ensure the way we live our lives in rural America survives for another generation,” and that, “part of keeping people at home is keeping available access to high quality health care."

Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) told the crowd that, “the rest of the healthcare industry needs to follow your example of delivering high-quality, cost-effective care.”

Despite all the support that the senators expressed for home care and hospice, serious challenges remain – from proposed overhauls to Medicare and Medicaid to suggestions to add copays or cuts to the home care and hospice benefits. Many of the senators stated that legislative action was needed to preserve home care and hospice and vowed to continue to fight along with March on Washington advocates.

Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) promised the crowd that he would, “continue to fight to ensure that homecare and hospice aren't unduly targeted for budget cuts,” while Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) expressed his opinion that, “the hospice benefit must be offered at a much earlier stage.”

Perhaps none of the senators received as warm a welcome as Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) who has addressed the March on Washington for 15 straight years - and whose experience going on a home visit with an advocate in Maine is why she is such a strong supporter of the home care and hospice community.

Senator Collins shared with the crowd that she plans to reintroduce legislation that will allow nurses and physician’s assistants to sign orders for Medicare home care – an issue long favoured by NAHC – in the coming weeks. Senator Collins also had some practical advice for the home care and hospice advocates who were attending the March on Washington prior to their meetings with lawmakers: “tell your senators about the compassionate care you provide and the budgetary problems you face… And with the recess coming up, invite your elected officials go out on a home visit with you.”

With so many issues facing the home care and hospice community, the advocates who came to the March on Washington were able to hear both the unwavering support many senators have for their community as well as how important their role as advocates and grassroots lobbyists is on a myriad of different topics prior to their meetings with elected officials.

In closing the session, NAHC president Val J. Halamandaris reiterated that there was now, “a critical mass of support for home care and hospice in the the United States Senate because of the work that you do every day."

 

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