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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

Home Care and Hospice Preparation for Ebola

Special thanks to Barbara Citarella, MS, RN, RBC, Limited Healthcare & Management, www.rbclimited.com, for writing today's story on "Home Care and Hospice Preparation for Ebola."
October 17, 2014 03:33 PM

Special thanks to Barbara Citarella, MS, RN, RBC, Limited Healthcare & Management, www.rbclimited.com, for writing today's story on "Home Care and Hospice Preparation for Ebola."  If you are attending the NAHC Annual Meeting & Exposition in Phoenix, AZ on October 19 - 22, 2014, Barbara will present two education sessions at the Annual Meeting. The first session will take place on Sunday, Oct. 19, entitled "How to Prevent Infection Control Breaches," and the second session will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 21, entitled "How to Identify Home Care and Hospice’s Triggers and Indicators: Crisis Standards of Care."
 
Earlier this week, Val J. Halamandaris, President of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) wrote to Sylvia Matthews Burwell, Secretary of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, Director of  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requesting guidance from CDC on appropriate protocols relative to Ebola for home care workers. Officials at CDC indicated they had brought Halamandaris's letter to the Director's attention. NAHC  will continue to monitor and report on activity in this important area and will be announcing additional actions it is taking to ensure the greatest possible safety of the home care and hospice community and the patients they serve.  Watch for updates in the coming days.

As the Ebola outbreak continues to make headlines around the world, much of the focus, guidance and protocol development have been on acute care facilities. But we in home care and hospice need to be prepared also. At this moment in time, chances are slim we will see an acutely ill patient with Ebola, but we cannot rule it out as the situation changes daily. (As of this moment, a second strain of Ebola has been identified in the Congo, which has a 71% mortality rate.) Here are some suggestions that providers can begin implementing now for the current situation. We will update as it changes.

  • Agencies should begin a comprehensive infection prevention education program for all staff but especially for field staff. Intensive training in the use of personal protective equipment (ppe) is paramount. Staff need to know how to don and doff ppe without contaminating themselves. This includes gloves, masks (either surgical or N95 respirator masks), gowns, and face shields. Hand washing is included. Agencies should bring staff in for demonstrations and re-demonstrations. An increase in field supervision should follow as a “buddy system” to monitor infection prevention technique.
  • Reinforce the proper use of bag technique. According to the World Health Organization, Ebola can be spread by contact with previously contaminated surfaces (October 6, 2014). Home care and hospice providers do not control their environment.
  • Reassure staff by giving them the facts on Ebola. Share your mission to keep them safe while they provide patient care. Have a communication plan for your staff and patients.
  • Review and update policies such as your pandemic plan, influenza protocols, and monitoring staff that may have been exposed. Don’t forget to include the intake process of new patients. All new patients, and the referral source, should be asked questions following the CDC algorithm. Is the patient symptomatic, if so, what are the symptoms? Then obtain a travel history of the patient, family, and friends. If the answers meet the CRITERIA for possible Ebola, contact the health department. (9-1-1 dispatchers are being trained to handle these possible transports.)
  • Check your supplies of ppe. If they are outdated- DO NOT USE. The integrity may be compromised. Order additional supplies including some booties and head coverings. Don’t wait. Remember how quickly health care providers ran out of ppe during the H1N1 pandemic.
  • If a possible Ebola patient (meeting the criteria) is identified during a home visit. The staff should immediately don personal protective equipment and place patient in a room by him or herself. It should preferably be one with a door but this is home care and we may not always have that option. Staff should then call the health department and 9-1-1 explaining the situation and wait for guidance. No one should leave the home until clear guidance has been given. That includes staff.
  • Research your state health department’s website. They all have the most recent information and may have some specifics for your state. Keep your staff informed daily but be sure the information you share is accurate. People are anxious and inaccurate information can spread easily.

As home care and hospice providers, our role is to prevent and control the spread of the Ebola virus while protecting our staff and patients.

Useful Links:

General CDC link to INFORMATION FOR HEALTHCARE WORKERS AND SETTINGS

Patient Evaluation:

Protecting Healthcare Workers:

 

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