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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

Keynote Speakers Alex Castellanos and Mark Shields Opine on the Legislative and Electoral Landscapes for March on Washington Attendees

Prominent political analysts joined by NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris for a Q&A Session covering the current DC environment as well as 2014 and 2016 Elections
March 26, 2014 07:35 AM



Republican Analyst Alex Castellanos, NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris and Syndicated Columnist Mark Shields at this year's March on Washington

In the first General Session of the second day of NAHC’s March on Washington, Republican political strategist Alex Castellanos and syndicated columnist Mark Shields offered their insight and opinions on the state of the country, the legislative environment in Congress and what lays in store for the 2014 and 2016 elections. The keynote speakers followed an earlier portion of the General Session that focused on post-acute care bundling. The session concluded with a Q&A between Mr. Castellanos, Mr. Shields and NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris.

Alex Castellanos was first to address the General Session, and offered his “laws of politics” that will shape the 2016 presidential race, but also apply to all election cycles. Among his rules are the “Elvis” rule that you  should never run against someone with a famous name – a law that may be broken if Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush both choose to run for president. Other laws that Mr. Castellanos explained were the “law of completion” that states that Americans want to finish what they started when it comes to elections – particularly when it comes to electing the first woman president – and the “law of irony,” which states that a president who runs against his predecessor will look very much like him by the end of his term.

When his presentation shifted to why certain candidates attract large segments of voters, Mr. Castellanos said, “you can’t run and win elections just by burning your opponent’s house down. You need to build a place to live.” In other words, campaigns and candidates need to give voters a reason to support them – a law that also applies to advocates when meeting with lawmakers and their staffs.

Another rule that Mr. Castellanos described in terms of both political campaigns, that also applies to home care and hospice advocates, is that, “being able to own ideas in politics is key.” In fact, Mr. Castellanos stated that the home care and hospice community do own important ideas in how to reform healthcare, and that will serve those who came to the March on Washington well during their Capitol Hill visits.

After Mr. Castellanos spoke, Mark Shields took to the podium to offer his insight on the legislative and political landscape in DC and the country in general stating that, “the midterms should be a good year and a great election cycle for Republicans, even though the party faces a significant problem: the country is changing and they are not.”

Mr. Shields supported his analysis with historical voting trends that the party that controls the White House tends to lose seats in both the House and the Senate during midterms, and also illustrated the changing demographics of the country: “in 1988, George H. W. Bush got 56 percent of the white vote and won in a landslide. In 2012, Mitt Romney got a larger share of the white vote, and lost the election handily.”

After both Mr. Castellanos and Mr. Shields had an opportunity to address the General Session, NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris joined both speakers for a Q&A session, asking both men to predict what Congress will look like after the 2014 midterm elections. There was agreement that the House will stay firmly in Republican control, and the Senate is up for grabs. Said Alex Castellanos, “it will be tough for Republicans to pick up the six seats they need to regain control of the Senate, but the electoral field is expanding.”

When Mr. Halamandaris asked each speaker for advice for the homecare and hospice advocates who came to Washington to attend the March on Washington, Mr. Castellanos stated aptly that, “the power we all have in politics is to find something big and true and important that’s worth fighting for and elevate it in a powerful way. Home care’s chance to do that is now.”




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