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."