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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

Leadership Council of Aging Organizations Holds Capitol Hill Briefings on Medicare Reform

June 6, 2013 10:54 AM
Members of the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations Hold a Briefing for House Staff. From Left to Right are: Stacy Sanders of the Medicare Rights Center; Andrew Scholnick of AARP; Howard Bedlin of the National Council on Aging; Eva Domingues of the Alliance for Retired Americans; Diane Lifsey of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare; and David Lipschutz of the Center for Medicare Advocacy.

The Leadership Council of Aging Organizations, a coalition of 68 prominent national aging advocacy organizations including NAHC, held a series of briefings on Capitol Hill recently entitled, “Medicare Reform: The Seniors’ Perspective.” The briefings provided the Leadership Council the opportunity to educate Capitol Hill staff from both the House of Representatives and the Senate on how some Medicare reform proposals would affect seniors.

The briefings – one held on the House side and one held on the Senate side – were broken down into four sections:

  • Background:
    • Organization Background
    • Budget Principles
    • Public Opinion on Medicare Cuts
    • Medicare Beneficiary Characteristics and Costs
  • What We Support:
    • Delivery System Reforms
    • Prescription Drug Rebates
    • Medicare Physician Payment Reforms
  • What We Oppose:
    • Raising the Eligibility Age
    • Premium Support
    • Home Health Copayment
    • Medigap
    • Means Testing
  • Questions and Answers

Andrew Scholnick, Senior Legislative Representative with AARP, discussed Medicare physician payment reforms – specifically the need to fix the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) within Medicare. According to the Leadership Council’s briefing paper:

“The SGR formula is fundamentally flawed and permanent changes to the Medicare reimbursement system are long overdue…The health needs of the Medicare population demand a reformed payment system that appropriately rewards high-quality, patient-centered primary care, care coordination and preventative services…repeal and replacement of the SGR must be pursued responsibly, taking into account the health and economic needs of the 50 million older adults and people with disabilities who rely on Medicare.”

David Lipshutz, a policy attorney with the Center for Medicare Advocacy, presented the Leadership Council’s case for opposing a home health copayment in Medicare – using much of the same language that NAHC has been using for many years:

“Congress eliminated the home health copayment in 1972 for the very reasons that it should not be resurrected now – deterring care at home and creating incentives for more expensive institutional care…Copayments are an inefficient and regressive “sick tax” that would fall most heavily on the most vulnerable – the oldest, sickest and poorest Medicare beneficiaries.”




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