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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

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.

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’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

NAHC President Shares some of His Favorite Nurses to Kickoff National Nurses’ Week

May 6, 2013 03:55 PM

May 6 – 12 is National Nurses’ Week, an annual celebration of all the hard work and caring support that nurses around the country perform on a daily basis for their patients and their patients’ families.

“Nurses truly are angels of mercy; they make the difference between life and death on a daily basis,” said NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris. “They operate in that rarified air Michelangelo depicted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, that millimeter between the hand of God and the hand of man.”

To honor the nation’s nurses during this year’s National Nurses’ Week, Mr. Halamandaris has compiled a list of his favorite nurses from history:

“Florence Nightingale responded in 1837 to what she believed was the voice of God calling her to care for the sick. She professionalized the field of nursing. “Draw near to God, not by rites and ceremonies but by inward disposition ... simply do the thing that is good in itself,” she said.

Clara Barton, founder of the Red Cross in America, insisted that the organization be grounded in helping others by fighting “any evil that is adding to the sum of human suffering or diminishing the sum of happiness.”

Lillian Wald, founder of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, organized volunteer nurses to care for immigrants who flooded into the United States at the turn of the 20th century in whatever setting they called home. She is appropriately recognized as the mother of home care in America. “Nursing is love in action, and there is no finer manifestation of this than the care of the ill and disabled in their own homes,” she said.

Annie Wauneka was the first woman to become chief of the Navajo. She worked tirelessly to improve health care on reservations and succeeded in getting the Navajo to accept Western as well as traditional medicines. She is credited with virtually wiping out tuberculosis among the tribe. “If something is not right, you must do something about it,” Ms. Wauneka espoused.

Mother Teresa, though not an officially certified nurse, completes my personal pantheon. She told me how she’d been comfortable in a Calcutta convent teaching English and other languages to well-to-do Indian students when she felt called by God to create a religious order to care for the sick and dying wherever they called home. After receiving permission from the Pope, she sought instruction from nurses who were Catholic sisters. “I then returned to Calcutta to open my own hospice and home care organization. We are in the same business,” she said. ‘I am a home care and hospice nurse.’”

NAHC encourages all of its members to take the opportunity this week to say “thank you” to all the nurses in their lives - and to recognize all of the tireless work that they perform for home care and hospice patients.




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