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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

EEOC Expands Protections for Pregnancy and Pregnancy-Related Conditions

The following article was written by Eileen Maguire, Esq., The Gilliland Law Firm, P.C.
August 18, 2014 08:32 AM

On July 14, 2014, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued new Enforcement Guidance (the “Guidance”) that expands a female employee’s rights under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (the “PDA”).   Pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions now encompass every aspect of the reproductive process, including conception (e.g., infertility treatment) and decisions not to conceive (e.g., contraceptives), pregnancy or termination of pregnancy (e.g., abortion), childbirth, and post-birth needs, including lactation and nursing. 

EEOC also intends to scrutinize additional employment terms and conditions, including whether your agency’s health insurance benefits offer all available contraceptives and whether your agency treats applicants and employees claiming pregnancy-related impairments equal to applicants and employees claiming disabilities. EEOC justifies this expanded enforcement, in part, because employers are now subject to a number of new laws that were enacted after 1978 (when the PDA was enacted), such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, and its Amendments Act of 2008 (the “ADA”), the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Affordable Care Act.

Perhaps most controversial is EEOC’s requirement that agencies must now assess whether to reasonably accommodate certain pregnancy-related impairments.  EEOC issued its controversial Guidance notwithstanding a case currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court on whether the PDA requires reasonable accommodations.  If the Supreme Court rules that the PDA does not require such accommodations, EEOC will need to revise its Guidance accordingly. Unfortunately, this case will not be decided until the Court’s Fall 2014-Spring 2015 term. 

Some states and municipalities have already enacted laws requiring accommodation for pregnancy-related impairments precisely because the PDA has never been read to require accommodations.  Agencies need to check their state and local laws for new developments in this area, as well. 

Meanwhile, if an employee files a discrimination charge involving accommodation allegations under the PDA or the ADA, or both, and you are not yet subject to local laws requiring pregnancy-related accommodations, EEOC will scrutinize your actions and policies under the Guidance’s enforcement terms. A pregnancy-related impairment that may require accommodation could include cervical insufficiency, preeclampsia, cesarean section preparation or recovery periods, anemia, sciatica and carpal tunnel syndrome, gestational diabetes, nausea that can cause severe dehydration, abnormal heart rhythms, swelling and depression.

EEOC lists several examples of reasonable accommodations for pregnancy-related impairments such as modified work schedules, granting leave and temporary assignment to a light duty position.  If an employee provides satisfactory documentation concerning her pregnancy-related impairment (e.g., the same as an employee with a disability), then your agency can only deny the request or need for an accommodation if the accommodation would create an undue hardship for your agency. The Guidance defines “undue hardship” as requiring “significant difficulty or expense.”

Of course the Guidance impacts more than an agency’s reasonable accommodation policies and practices.  For example, agencies will also need to review their break policies for nursing mothers, parental leave policies and health benefits. 

In light of the EEOC’s enforcement priorities and increased state law protections for pregnancy issues in the workplace, agencies should review the Guidance and the Question and Answer about the Guidance. 

The Guidance is available here.

The Q&A about the Guidance can be found here.





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