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Testimonials

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. 

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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.

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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

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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 element...it’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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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Frank E. Moss, former U.S. Senator

Anyone working on health care issues in Congress knows the name Val J. Halamandaris.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Former President Bill Clinton

Senator Harkin Marks the Fifteenth Anniversary of the Olmstead Decision with the Introduction of the Community Integration Act

Senator Harkin also chaired roundtable hearing on the progress towards home and community-based care since the Olmstead decision
June 25, 2014 10:19 AM

Last Sunday marked the fifteenth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision, which found that the unnecessary segregation of individuals with disabilities in institutions is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. To recognize that landmark decision, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), the Chairman of the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee introduced the Community Integration Act. Senator Harkin also held a hearing on the status of home and community-based living for people with disabilities 15 years after the Olmstead decision was handed down.

Last July, Senator Harkin’s HELP Committee staff released a report that found that more than 200,000 working-age Americans remain unfairly segregated in nursing homes. In his introductory remarks announcing the Community Integration Act, Senator Harkin stated that:

“Fifteen years ago in Olmstead v. L.C., the Supreme Court held that under the ADA, individuals with disabilities have the right to choose to receive their services and support in home- and community-based settings, rather than only in a nursing home or other institutional setting.  But we have yet to fully realize this promise, and many individuals with disabilities—our family members and our friends—continue to reside in institutional settings against their wishes.

Studies clearly show that home and community-based care is not only what most people want, but it is also more cost-effective. The choice to live in the community is one of the most important civil rights issues we face today. The Community Integration Act honors the Olmstead decision and ensures that states take the steps needed to ensure that all individuals with disabilities are given the opportunity to receive their services and supports in a community based setting, where they can work, participate in community life, and be an integral part of their communities.”

While the specifics of the Community Integration Act have not been released yet, the general aims of the legislation are:

  • Eliminate the Nursing Home Bias in Medicaid by clearly allowing the provision of similar care or services in home and community based settings.
  • Prohibit states from making anyone ineligible for home- and community-based services based on a particular disability.
  • Require states that have found an individual to be eligible for nursing or institutional care to similarly find those same individuals to be eligible for care in home and community-based settings. 
  • Set clear requirements for states regarding the provision of services in home and community based settings.
  • Require annual reporting by states about the number of individuals with disabilities in institutional settings and the number that have been transitioned to home and community based settings.

In addition to introducing the Community Integration Act, Senator Harkin also chaired a HELP roundtable hearing entitled, “Moving Toward Greater Community Inclusion – Olmstead at 15.” The focus of the hearing was on developments in advancing the community integration of people with disabilities and the impact of the Olmstead decision. 

Witnesses during the hearing explained how they have been able to transition away from institutional care and into community-based care, and how they are able to lead independent lives since the passage of the ADA as well as the Olmstead ruling. There was bipartisan support among Committee members to continue to improve access to home and community-based services for people with disabilities.  Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), the Ranking Member on the HELP Committee, stated that he wanted to continue to see Tennessee lead the way in community living, and also expressed concern for what the Department of Labor’s new overtime rules will mean for improving access to home and community-based services for people with disabilities.

For more information on HELP’s recent hearing, including witness testimony and a full video of the hearing, please click here.

 

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