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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

Bipartisan Senators Attend March on Washington Breakfast

March 25, 2015 05:18 PM

Four long-standing champions for home care and hospice—U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Pat Roberts (R-KS)—attended a Senate Breakfast yesterday, as part of the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) 2015 March on Washington Conference. The senators told personal stories and reiterated their commitment to community- and home-based care. They also provided fact-based arguments in opposition to unnecessary regulations that limit access to care and proposals to cut home health care and hospice. Providers from across the country participating in the conference met with their members of Congress to advocate for home care and hospice yesterday and today.

Julie Shackley, President/CEO of Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice in Lewiston, ME, introduced Sen. Collins at the breakfast. Shackley said Mainers “could not be more proud” to have such a strong champion for home care and hospice.

“This is my 17th year!” said Sen. Collins, referring to her 17th year joining NAHC for the breakfast. “And it is indeed because the issues affecting home care and hospice care have always been at the top of my agenda, and they always will be.”

Sen. Collins said her commitment to home care and hospice is due to the fact that she understands how important it is to prepare for the “tidal wave” of retiring baby boomers, who will be retiring at the rate of 10,000 per day for the next 20 years. To prepare, she said, we need to shift to community- and home-based care by undoing burdensome and unnecessary regulations that limit access to home health care services.

“As the chairman of the Senate Aging Committee, I’m all too aware of the challenges facing our nation’s health care system which are driven by demographics,” Sen. Collins said. “Our systems clearly need to adapt and change if they are to be responsive to that tidal wave. One of the most important things we can do is to shift our orientation and our reimbursement system from institutional to community- and home-based care. Advances in technology and medical practice have made it possible for our older adults who previously would have been made to move to a hospital or a nursing home to stay in so many cases just where they want to be—in the privacy, security, and comfort of their own homes.”

Sen. Collins said she is “concerned that Medicare beneficiaries continue to face completely unnecessary barriers in accessing needed home health care services.” Part of the solution, she said, is to allow advanced practice nurses and physician assistants to sign and certify home health care plans.  She has introduced the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act (S. 578) to accomplish that goal.

“If you think about it, it’s only logical,” Sen. Collins said. “These health care professionals are playing increasingly important roles in the delivery of health care services, particularly in rural and medically under-served areas of our country where physicians may be in short supply. Medicare already pays them to provide physician services that are within in their scope of practice. They can also certify that Medicare patients are eligible for skilled nursing services. So why in the world aren’t they allowed to order less costly home care services?”

Sens. Stabenow, Klobuchar, and Roberts, have cosponsored the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act and also explained the bill’s importance.

Laura Daniel, Director of VitalCare, Inc. in Cheboygan, MI, introduced Sen. Stabenow and said “she has championed home care and hospice issues in the U.S. Senate.”

In addition to cosponsoring the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act, Sen. Stabenow said she is working to roll-back rebasing and fighting against further cuts to home care and hospice as a pay-for in the so-called “doc fix” legislation addressing the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), which the House plans to vote on tomorrow. Sen. Stabenow said she would also be fighting against budget proposals to cut Medicare and Medicaid.

“In my judgment home health should not be taking cuts to pay for the SGR,” Sen. Stabenow said.

Chris Taylor, Senior Sales Director of Cardiocom in Chanhassen, MN, introduced Sen. Klobuchar. Taylor said Sen. Klobuchar is a “home health and hospice hero.”

Sen. Klobuchar said she also opposes cuts to home health and hospice because she understands it’s more cost-effective. Sen. Klobuchar told the audience she understands the importance of their work because her family relied on home care when her daughter was sick after being born.

“I’ve always believed if you want to do something that’s cost effective for our country’s health care, how about home care, hospice care?” Sen. Klobuchar said. “We literally wouldn’t have survived without the home care people that came and helped us every single day. That’s why, for me, protecting your interests is so important in Congress.”

Introducing Sen. Roberts was Ed Schulte, PhD, Executive Director/President of Caregivers Home Health in Topeka, KS. Schulte said Roberts “has built a reputation as a leader in health care issues” and described his many efforts supporting home care and hospice.

Sen. Roberts, too, said he is committed to opposing payments cuts and undoing burdensome regulations limiting home care access. He said his commitment to home care began when he first personally participated in a home care visit in Kansas.

“That day really underscored my belief in the incredible value of the personal touch of the home care industry,” Sen. Roberts said. “I will continue, with your help, to be your watchdog and your champion with regards to CMS and other agencies, and stand up to the administrative payment cuts that they propose.”




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