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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

Excerpts from NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris’ Interview with Chip Bell, One of this Year’s Annual Meeting General Session Speakers

October 15, 2013 12:16 PM

Chip Bell helps companies build cultures that support long-term customer loyalty. As founder of The Chip Bell Group, he works from both Dallas, Texas, and Atlanta, Georgia. Before starting the firm in 1980, he was director of management and organization development for NCNB, now Bank of America. He holds graduate degrees from Vanderbilt University and George Washington University, and brings both academic and real-world experience to his many publications.

Below are excerpts from his interview with NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris. The full interview will be featured in an upcoming issue of CARING Magazine.

VJH:  You’re known for helping people present themselves, marketing themselves, putting their best foot forward, to find acceptance with others. Is that a fair summary?

CB:  I think that is a fair summary.  What I like to focus on is how do you build loyalty? How do you build relationships where the customers want to be associated with you in an enduring way - a long-term relationship? I want customers to be advocates, to be champions for the organization that delivers great service to them.

VJH:You’re also known for your ability to communicate, to speak to an audience and convey your message. What did you harvest from others that that has allowed you to become a great speaker?

CB:  I'm always reminded of a wonderful line from Karl Wallenda, the great aerialist and tightrope walker. He said, "Being on the wire is living, and everything else is just waiting."  I love that line because it's sort of how I feel when I get a chance to present to a group.  Everything else is just waiting. 

When I'd ask my dad growing up what it means to be successful, he would say, "If you do what you love and if you make a difference, you will be successful.  Regardless of the outcome, you'll be successful."  I try to practice that in when I step on that stage.  I want to have a lot of fun, to show my passion for what I do, and to hopefully make a

VJH: JFKonce said that nothing good ever happens without passion, you need enthusiasm in order to get anything done. He said it was the mother of all values.

Norman Vincent Peale reminded me that the word "enthusiasm" comes from two Greek words, "en," and "theos" - literally "to be filled with God."

CB:  When you see someone who’s very passionate about what they do, it’s as if they have been inspired by God. 

VJH:  Let me ask you about the other end of the age spectrum.  For the first time in history, we have a massive generation of people who are living longer - if you get to 65, you’ve got a 2:1 chance of living to be 85. If you get to 85, you have about the same odds of getting to 100.  What do you say if you’re speaking to a group of seniors?

CB:I asked my 97 year-old mother about two weeks ago, "What comes to mind in terms of the things that were the most important things in your life, the real highs in your life?" 

She said, "I raised three great kids.  I had a wonderful, loving relationship with a wonderful man, and I had a lot of fun."  After I heard that, I said, "if you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?  What are your regrets?" My mother said, "I'd dance a lot more." I thought that was a great metaphor for how to live life. She meant it as the freedom, the letting go that comes with dancing. She would have had more moments like that. No matter how old you are, find the time and the way to dance more.

VJH: What is happiness?  How do you get it, and how do you keep it?

CB:Being happy is a choice you make. I've actually had a great day every day of my life since 1969. I had one of those significant emotional experiences where I called in the artillery on my own position and walked away from it. I was supposed to die there and it’s a miracle I lived through it. I've had a great day every day since that point. I get up every morning thinking it's going to be a great day.  When you start with that attitude you're usually not disappointed. Happiness is an attitude that says, “I want the best in life.” Why not make that choice every day?

VJH:  Is there any difference between the words "happiness" and "joy"?

CB:Joy and happy are the same to me. When you’re radiating happiness, it's infectious, and other people pick it up, and they want to join in. Part of the influence we can have on other people, when we are the beneficiary of great fortune, is to help pass that attitude of joy and happiness to other people.

VJH:. When I say “caring” to you, what does it mean?

CB:  It means being a citizen of the planet. We have no alternative but take care of each other. To me, the ultimate goal is how we connect and take care of each other.




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