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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

An update on The Disposal Act

October 29, 2014 08:43 AM

NAHC and its affiliated Hospice Association of America (HAA) continue to receive questions about the recently effective Disposal of Controlled Substances final rule.  In September, NAHC Report reported on this final rule as it pertains to hospices.

The Disposal Act provides that, ‘‘if a person dies while lawfully in possession of a controlled substance for personal use, any person lawfully entitled to dispose of the decedent’s property may deliver the controlled substance to another person for the purpose of disposal under the same conditions as provided’’ for ultimate users (21 U.S.C. 822(g)(4)). What this means is that a member of the decedent’s household can give the medications to hospice staff for disposal if that staff person is legally authorized to receive it and dispose of it. Otherwise, home hospice and homecare personnel are not authorized to receive pharmaceutical controlled substances from ultimate users for the purpose of disposal.

NAHC and HAA believe that express authorization by the state for hospice and/or home care personnel to receive and dispose of a medication is required.  Therefore, we are suggesting that hospice and home care providers review their policies regarding the handling of medications/disposal of medications and include the following in that policy”

  • Hospice/home care personnel should not receive or dispose of medications unless authorized to do so in the state.
  • Hospice/home care personnel can assist by providing an envelope for the mail-back programs and other event information but may not place the medication in the mail-back envelope and may not transport and dispose of medications unless authorized to do so in the state.
  • Hospice/home care personnel will make patient/family aware of proper disposal methods including information about take-back events, mail back programs, and collection receptacle locations in the area - as well as FDA guidelines for the proper disposal of medications. FDA information can be found here.
  • If the family is going to dispose of the medications, the hospice/homecare personnel should document this in the medical record.  The hospice or home health agency may want to encourage their personnel to be a witness to the disposal of medications performed by the ultimate user or another authorized party. 

It is also helpful to reference the DEA’s General Public Fact Sheet, specifically Question #6, which is copied below:

6. Can I dispose of a friend or family member’s pharmaceutical controlled substances for them?

You may dispose of a member of your household’s unused or unwanted pharmaceutical controlled substances. But, if they are not a member of your household, you may not dispose of their pharmaceutical controlled substances on their behalf. Only ultimate users may dispose of pharmaceutical controlled substances. An ultimate user, which includes a household member of the person or pet who was prescribed the medication, may transfer pharmaceutical controlled substances to authorized collectors or law enforcement via a collection receptacle, mail-back package, or take-back event.


  • If someone dies while in lawful possession of pharmaceutical controlled substances, any person lawfully entitled to dispose of the decedent’s property may dispose of the pharmaceutical controlled substances; and
  • A long-term term-care facility may dispose of a current or former resident’s pharmaceutical controlled substances.

Hospices should be looking to governing state rules and regulations for further guidance. 

NAHC and HAA are in the process of gathering state-by-state information with the intent of compiling the information in one document for future reference and obtaining further guidance from the DEA.




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