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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 Updates the Board on The Status of the House & Senate Budget Negotiations

May 10, 2013 09:17 AM

NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris recently sent the following update to NAHC’s Board on the current status of House and Senate budget negotiations. Both the House and the Senate have passed competing budget proposals. The next step in the process is for both Chambers to appoint members to a Conference Committee where the differences of the two budgets can be negotiated:

The Senate passed a budget proposal for the first time in four years just before Easter.  The House also passed their far more draconian version of the 2014 budget earlier this year.

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, has urged the House to appoint their conferees and bring the groups together to work out differences.  The House Budget Committee, Chaired by Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI), after goading the Senate to act for years, has refused to participate in the process and is withholding the appointment of conferees. This means that the chances of an agreement between Republicans and Democrats, House and Senate are growing increasingly less likely.

Mr. Ryan has insisted on closed-door meetings to forge agreements on larger issues, such as Medicare and other entitlement cuts, reductions in spending, and tax reform before any conference is convened. Democrats have refused.  They have expressed their preferences for open door meetings and for putting everything on the table. The stalemate means that any agreement must be achieved by another route.

President Barack Obama, for example, has been working in the background to try to forge a deal with Senate Republicans that would pass the Senate and perhaps carry enough votes to pass the House. Pundits say the chances of this path being successful are slim.

Meanwhile, the U.S. will reach the official limit on deficit spending sometime this month while the Treasury has some “wiggle room.” The debt ceiling will have to be raised by the end of September.  House Republicans, led by Representative Dave Camp (R-MI), have notified the Democrats that they intend to tie any hike in the official debt ceiling to the enactment of tax reform legislation.

While Speaker Boehner, Paul Ryan and other leaders have reportedly agreed with this plan, President Barack Obama is on record as saying that he will oppose any effort to negotiate on such a critical matter as raising the debt ceiling which would impede the nation's ability to pay for the bills that have already occurred.

The take away here is that these major issues will come to fruition when the membership of NAHC is in Washington for the Annual meeting.  We must be prepared to counter any proposals to cut Medicare home health or to impose copayments.

An April 19, 2013 NAHC Report offers more analysis and details of what the competing budget proposals contain with respect to their affects on the home care and hospice communities.

Some budget proposals include additional Medicare cuts and home care copays, which NAHC opposes. To contact your elected officials and ask them to oppose additional cuts and copays to high-quality, cost-effective home health care, please click here.




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