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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

HHS Announces New HIE Grant Funding Opportunity

New FOA includes $28 million in grants to Advance Interoperable Health Information Technology Services to Support Health Information Exchange
February 25, 2015 12:32 PM

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell recently announced a new ONC Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) investing in health information exchange (HIE) as part of a Department-wide effort to achieve the safe and secure exchange and use of electronic health information to improve health and transform care. Dr. Karen DeSalvo later announced two more FOAs designed to strengthen the health IT workforce and build on work done by the 17 Beacon Communities to innovate health care delivery with the goal of building a learning health system.

These three funding opportunities, worth approximately $36 million, demonstrate HHS and ONC's commitment to making the vision of interoperability described in the Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap a reality. Better access to data where and when it is needed will significantly aid the effort to transform the health care delivery system into one that provides better care, spends health care dollars smarter and results in healthier patients. More information can be found in the News Release on, and in two new blog posts that detail the funding opportunity announcements (FOA).

The three new FOAs are:

Advance Interoperable Health Information Technology Services to Support Health Information Exchange FOA

This two-year grant program will support 10 to 12 states, territories, or state designated entities that leverage investments and lessons learned to advance the standardized, secure, and interoperable movement of health information across organizations, vendors, and geographic boundaries. A total of $28 million will be made available through this ONC program. Organizations will be required to network and share information.

Community Health Peer Learning Program FOA

The new Community Health Peer Learning Program will bring communities together to work in partnership with national experts, local technical experts, consumers, stakeholders, and ONC to facilitate shared community learning and problem solving through a collaborative learning program. Participant communities will be required to identify an impactful, measureable, and actionable work plan to improve the use of health information to achieve community and population health. Community Health Peer Learning Program participants will identify data solutions, accelerate local progress, disseminate best practices and learning guides, and help inform national strategy around population health challenges.

Workforce Training Program FOA

Interested in training health care workers on topics like population health, care coordination, payment models that support new care delivery and payment Models, and Value Based Care? This program improves on the need to educate and cross-train individuals pursuing careers in health IT. This program will update training materials from the original Workforce Curriculum Development Program and train health care workers to use new health information technologies in a variety of settings: team-based care environment, long-term care facilities, patient-centered medical homes, accountable care organizations, hospitals and clinics.




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