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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

March on Washington Attendees Hear from Some of Home Care and Hospice's Biggest Congressional Supporters

March 27, 2014 12:51 PM
Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR)
Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD)
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME)
Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI)

On a cold, snowy Tuesday morning, home care and hospice advocates packed into the historic Russell Caucus Room on Capitol Hill to hear from some of the industry's biggest supporters from both the House and Senate to kick-off a day of advocacy and visits with lawmakers and their staffs as part of the March on Washington.

The roster of speakers began with Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR), who introduced the Home Health Planning and Improvement Act in the House, which would allow nurse practitioners sign home health plans of care. Rep. Walden also recently sent a letter to all of his House colleagues admonishing cuts to home health care. In his Dear Colleague letter, Rep. Walden states that:

“My family and I have seen first-hand the powerful impact that compassionate and highly skilled home health nurses provide.  We’ve used it with our own loved ones and know how meaningful it is to be able to recover at home, in familiar surroundings, with your family by your side.  Take a look at the numbers and see the devastating effect these cuts would have on seniors in your state and throughout America.”

After Greg Walden, March on Washington attendees heard from home care and hospice champions Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) before hearing from NAHC’s Vice President of Government Affairs Jeff Kincheloe who reminded advocates to, “urge your lawmakers to tell leadership that we need rebasing reform and we can pay for it.” NAHC Vice President for Law Bill Dombi then explained how rebasing relief could be paid for by using outlier funds as the needed offset.

The next lawmaker to address the assembled home care and hospice advocates was Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) who said, “as we think about providing more healthcare for all people, home health makes so much sense…I am proud to sponsor Senator Collins bill that would allow nurse practitioners to sign home health plans of care.”

Senator Shaheen also sounded an optimistic tone for the future of home care and hospice, stating that, “as the Affordable Care Act continues to be implemented, there are going to be great opportunities for home care.”

After Senator Shaheen, Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) took the podium to address March on Washington attendees. Senator Cardin began his remarks by thanking all those who work in home care and hospice, saying that, “You care for people in your communities with such dignity. You provide people with the care that they need, give people the care they want, and save us money… The idea that we can pay for things by cutting your rates a little bit here and a little bit there has got to end.”

After Senator Cardin’s impassioned speech in support of home care and hospice concluded, one of the industry’s biggest supporters, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) addressed the crowd. This was the sixteenth year in a row that Senator Collins has addressed the March on Washington.

In stressing the growing need for home care and hospice services, Senator Collins stated that in Washington, “policy is dictated by demographics. We’re getting older and living longer and it’s so troubling that the home care and hospice benefit keeps coming under attack. I just don’t get it, and it’s got to end.”

Senator Collins ended her remarks with some advice for the home care and hospice attendees in the audience: “tell your representatives about the high-quality, cost-effective care that you provide, and invite them out on a home visit with you. It was a home visit I took years ago that turned me into such a strong and passionate supporter of all that you do in your communities.”

The March on Washington’s Congressional Breakfast ended with remarks from Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI). Rep. Langevin is a paraplegic and requires home care himself. He told the audience that despite home care and hospice “rates that have been cut to painfully low levels, you still provide quality, affordable care to those who need it. You are providing the care of the future, but we must oppose proposals that are pennywise & pound foolish, such as home care copayments.”

Before the breakfast adjourned, NAHC President told attendees that they were helping to “make history” by attending the March on Washington. The assembled home care and hospice attendees then dispersed across Capitol Hill to meet with their lawmakers and staffs and advocate for home care and hospice.




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