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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

AARP Public Policy Institute Innovation Roundtable Explores Language Access in Managed Long-Term Services and Supports

June 27, 2014 09:28 AM

On Wednesday, June 25, 2014, NAHC Executive VP Elaine Stephens attended the AARP Public Policy Institute Innovation Roundtable on Language Access in Managed Long-Term Service and Supports. The roundtable brought together representatives from health plans, front-line service providers, policy researchers, and federal and state policymakers. Their shared agenda was to explore how to increase access to care among Medicare beneficiaries with limited proficiency in English, a pressing issue as our nation becomes more diverse. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, insurance plans, and providers are increasingly concerned about barriers that prevent Medicare beneficiaries from communicating effectively with their providers at all levels.

Poor communication between patients and providers puts patients at risk for medical errors and receipt of substandard care, so providers must take steps in response to America’s demographic change. The number of minority Medicare beneficiaries has increased and is expected to continue growing. According to the American Community Survey of 2006, 13.9 percent of Americans age 65 and older spoke a language other than English, and a sizable share had limited English proficiency. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that from 2005 to 2030 the proportion of the population that is Hispanic will increase from 14 to 20 percent and the Asian proportion will increase from 4.3 to 6.2 percent.

Currently, CMS addresses the needs of this growing sector through Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement projects and through demonstration projects that gauge the effect of new methods and potential program changes. Yet that is not enough, so the roundtable charged attendees to think creatively about the issue and share perspectives on promising practices, useful research, and needed education. There was also discussion of how to recruit multilingual staff and compliance with language access requirements across the continuum of care.

In addition, the session reviewed current definitions of law and regulations on requirements for language access. There are national standards for providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services (CLAS), designed to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities and ultimately improve the health of all Americans. At the current time, however, CLAS includes regulatory requirements for hospitals, but no other providers. This is expected to change, so participants discussed current and future ways they are preparing to meet the standards in community settings.

As the front line in community care, home care and hospice must work actively to meet the language needs of their increasingly diverse clientele. Home care and hospice agencies should recruit bilingual staff, build cultural awareness among all their staff, and set up mechanisms for medical translation. Agencies also need to be familiar with CLAS standards and how to make them part of service delivery and business development going ahead. By doing so, agencies will not only have a competitive edge that speaks to consumers, they will also promote a caring culture. “Providing access to care that is culturally and linguistically appropriate is the right business approach as our country changes,” Stephens said. “It is also the right thing to do, and it should improve outcomes for patients and their families.”




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