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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

Heath 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

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

ONC Releases the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan for the Next Six Years

ONC is now seeking input from the public and stakeholders on the government’s Strategic Plan through February 6, 2015
December 17, 2014 11:05 AM

Last week, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) released the Federal
Health IT Strategic Plan for 2015 – 2020. ONC is now seeing public comment until February 6, 2015. A collection of 35-plus federal departments and agencies collaborated to develop the draft Strategic Plan, identifying key federal health IT priorities for the next six years. The landscape has dramatically changed since the last federal Health IT Strategy plan was drafted. When the previous plan was released, the HITECH Act implementation, which did not include home care providers,  was in its infancy. Since that time,  there has been remarkable growth in health IT adoption. Additionally, the Affordable Care Act implementation has begun to shift care delivery and reimbursement away from fee-for-service care.

Dr. Karen DeSalvo, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, states in the Strategic Plan’s Introduction that:

“With this updated Plan, the federal government signals that, while we will continue to work towards more widespread adoption of health IT, efforts will begin to include new sources of information and ways to disseminate knowledge quickly, securely, and efficiently. The first two goals of this Plan prioritize increasing the electronic collection and sharing of health information while protecting individual privacy. The final three goals focus on federal efforts to create an environment where interoperable information is used by health care providers, public health entities, researchers, and individuals to improve health, health care, and reduce costs.


This Plan aims to remain flexible to our evolving definitions of health and health care. We recognize that both traditional and nontraditional sources will engender valuable health information. Expectations for our information systems and users of these systems will increase. During the information age, innovation and technological advancements have been difficult to predict. This Plan accounts for how the federal government views our nation’s current landscape and articulates our values and priorities in shaping tomorrow’s landscape.”

Prior to the Strategic Plan’s release, the Executive Director of NAHC’s affiliate Home Care Technology Association of America (HCTAA) asked Dr. DeSalvo about home care’s place in the future adoption and implementation of health IT outside of clinical and facility-based settings. In her answer, Dr. DeSalvo indicated that, “we need to connect all care in addition to connecting health beyond that. Long-term, post-acute care is a vital, critical part of the continuum.”

In advancing the adoption of health IT beyond clinical and facility settings, the new Strategic Plan does, broaden the definition of “health care provider” to be inclusive of:

“health care workers and service providers in all settings – including, for example, acute and ambulatory care, long-term services and supports, post-acute care, behavioral health, emergency medical services, home health, oral health, and end-stage renal disease dialysis facilities, pharmacies, laboratories, and public health entities.”

To read the full Strategic Plan, please click here.

To read more about the event where HCTAA asked Dr. DeSalvo about home care and hospice’s role in health IT adoption, please see NAHC Report, December 10, 2014.




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