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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

Caring Awards Ceremony and a Legislative Update Discussion Kickoff this Year's Annual Meeting & Exposition

November 2, 2013 08:46 AM

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) began their 2013 Annual Meeting & Exposition with a ceremony to honor this year's Caring Award honorees followed by a legislative update.

The Caring Awards were presided over by NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris who introduced this year's winners - Congressman John Lewis, Bill Marriott, Patty Webster, and Maria Gomez as well as this year's Young Adult winners - Allyson Ahlstrom, Zachary Certner, Nicholas Cobb, and William Lourcey.

"Ladies and gentlemen, you all know why we’re here: to unite under this idea of Caring," said Halamandaris. "I learned from Mother Theresa that caring means inspiring young people with role models."

Colin Powell, who received a Caring Award in 2010, gave a warm welcome and introduction to the crowd, he said that, "I’ve tried to live a life of public service. I’ve always felt  that those who achieved success have a duty to give back. We owe it to others to make a connection. We have no greater obligation than to take care of our fellow human beings."

Civil rights leader and Congressman John Lewis was the first Caring Award honoree to speak. During his remarks, Congressman Lewis citied his early years when he was told "not to get into trouble," but that meeting and working with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. inspired him to get into, "good, necessary trouble. If we’re going to make  the world a better place, we have to be willing to get in good trouble."

Other winners Bill Marriott, Patty Webster and Maria Gomez were then honored and shared their vision for what caring means with the audience. Said Ms. Gomez, "in this country, we don’t lack good programs, but the ingredient that’s really important is caring.

Caring means understanding that every human being has basic rights: food, shelter, education, salary, and a nurturing community."

Mr. Halamandaris then called the Young Adult winners up to the stage before having Glenn Kielty introduce this year's International Caring Award winner, Father Patrick Devine, whose missionary work focuses on conflict areas throughout Africa.

"The Caring Institute has a great respect for the dignity of life. That’s  what we, too, stand for peace in Africa. To the people of the U.S. who are gathered here - without you, the situation in Africa would be much worse."


During the General Session that followed the Caring Awards, NAHC Board Chairman Andrea Devoti stated that NAHC continues to be the, "primary voice of home care & hospice in America."

Then a panel discussed many of the most pressing issues facing the home care and hospice community from rebasing to ACA implementation. Moderated by President Val J. Halamandaris, it included NAHC Vice President for Law Bill Dombi, Vice President for Government Relations Jeff Kincheloe, Vice President for Hospice Theresa Forster and Vice President for Technology Richard Brennan. It also included NAHC counsels Colin Roskey and Mary Langowski. The panel offered many insights not he current state of current events on Capitol Hill, with Mr. Brennan reminding the audience that they should play a role in the policy arena: "Tell your story to Congress. You are your most important advocate."




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