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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

NAHC Leadership Closes the March on Washington with a General Session on Advocacy and Home Health Management

April 3, 2014 10:38 AM

51T3WThis year’s March on Washington came to a successful close with a lunch General Session discussion between NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris, NAHC Board Chairperson Andrea Devoti and Home Health Nurses’ Association Chairperson Elaine Stephens. The discussion ranged from the importance of advocacy for the home care and hospice community to how to motivate home care and hospice workers during difficult times.

NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris started the session by sharing the latest on the ongoing SGR negotiations in Congress, stating that, “home care and hospice are not included in the SGR fix, which is good because it means that we were able to fight off any additional cuts or copays.” The positive development was caveated by the fact that the SGR bill also did not include a NAHC-drafted amendment that would provide rebasing relief, though NAHC would keep fighting on that front as well.

Ms. Devoti focused her opening remarks on cuts of a different kind – home care and hospice agencies needing to cut staff, salaries, or benefits to stay in business. “Don’t just cut to stay in business,” Ms. Devoti said. “Look at your value-added services very closely and very strategically. You can find savings by renegotiating your vendor contracts on a regular basis, by better utilizing your information technology. Moves like those won’t affect your staff.”

Ms. Stephens agreed that information technology is important, but home care and hospice agencies should take a different approach. “Technology isn’t just about buying more and updating it all the time. It’s about utilizing what you have in smart ways. Think about the technology you currently have and how you can use it more efficiently to get more out of it.”

While being able to be more cost-effective and resource-smart are critical to success, Ms. Devoti, Ms. Stephens and Mr. Halamandaris all agreed that an agency’s reputation is perhaps the most important component to success. “Your reputation is crucial. How you treat people – both your patients and your staff - is critical,” said Mr. Halamandaris. “We all have to live the culture of caring.”

Said Elaine Stephens, “some people may say that I over-communicate, but you should find ways to communicate with your staff often, even if it is just a quick text message. Find every way you can to communicate with people, and be present when they are in the office. Being available and communicative shows your staff that you care about them.”

The realities of the current home care and hospice landscape, said Andrea Devoti, is that, “cash is king, and the only thing that comes in a close second is data. I am now being asked for data within my own organization to justify decisions and ensuring proper care. Data is becoming more and more important and will continue to do so.”

Within Washington - like home care and hospice agencies - money is one of the most important factors, said Val J. Halamandaris. “Washington runs on three things, money, respect and noise. We are very good at making noise. No organization is as respected as we are – as we are representing the angels of home care and hospice – where we lag behind other organizations is in raising and contributing money. If we all did more on that front, and we would be unstoppable.”

The session concluded with sound advice from Andrea Devoti, “don’t forget to have some fun. Have fun with your staff. Take some time to recharge your batteries and give your staff that opportunity, too. This is a stressful time for all of us. Remember why you got in this business, why you love what you do and remember to have fun.”




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