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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

House Members Speak at March on Washington Breakfast

March 27, 2015 03:22 PM

Five U.S. Representatives—Lois Capps (D-CA-24), Jim McGovern (D-MA-02), Diane Black (R-TN-06), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-07), and Jim Langevin (D-RI-02)—spoke about their commitment to community- and home-based care on Wednesday, March 25, during a House Breakfast with home care and hospice providers. The House Breakfast was part of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) 2015 March on Washington Conference. On Tuesday and Wednesday, home care and hospice providers from across the country participating in the conference met with their members of Congress to advocate for policy priorities.

Like the Senators at the Senate Breakfast the day before, the Representatives told personal stories that illustrated the importance of home care and hospice. They argued against unnecessary regulations that limit access to care and against proposals to cut payments to home care and hospice providers.

The Representatives also spoke about the importance of passing Medicare legislation to permanently replace the flawed physician payment formula known as the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR). Subsequently, as NAHC reported yesterday, the House of Representatives passed the SGR bill. The Senate plans to consider the legislation after returning from a two-week Congressional recess on April 13. While the current payment patch expires at the end of March, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said there is a delay of about 14 days before claims are paid, providing some additional time for the Senate to act before physicians experience the cut.

Congresswoman Lois Capps, who was a visiting nurse for many years, said home-based care is the way of the future, so Congress should put more resources into it and remove barriers limiting access to care. Part of the solution, she said, is for Congress to pass the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act (HR 1342), which would allow nurse practitioners and physician assistants to certify home health plans of care. NAHC reported on the importance of this bill here.

“We need to really look at where we focus our resources as a nation and understand the burdens that you relive from family members,” said Congresswoman Capps. “Patients shouldn’t be seeing delays in their access to care. This is unconscionable, really. The bureaucracy is too thick, too deep. We need to streamline it to get to the important issues.”

Congressman Jim McGovern announced he and Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC-03) would be re-establishing the Home Health Caucus, which they chaired last Congress as well. Congressman McGovern also announced that he had signed on as co-sponsor to the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act.

 “I appreciate all the care you give to my constituents and people all over this country,” Congressman McGovern said.  “It helps that you believe in what you’re doing. I think it’s important for you to be here [in Washington, D.C.]. It makes a difference.”

Congressman Diane Black, who has been a nurse for over 40 years, said she understands home health has a role in ensuring health dollars are spent wisely. She also addressed the House-passed legislation to permanently replace the Sustainable Growth Rate, which contains pay-fors impacting home care and hospice. She said the SGR bill benefits the health care system as a whole, and that the House Ways and Means Committee is committed to working with NAHC to find a solution moving forward that ensures there is no negative impact to quality of care for patients.

“With 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day, we need to be cognizant that those dollars will run out and spend them as wisely as we can,” Congressman Black said. “Valuing services and paying for quality is very important.”

Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn said her family relied on home care both when her father and mother-in-law had Alzheimer’s. Her personal experience showed her the importance of removing bureaucratic barriers to care in the system. She said she has cosponsored legislation, the Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act (HR 1190), which would repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). She is very focused on “getting IPAB out of the way.”

“The more innovation there is, with technology and pharmaceuticals and therapies, the more personalized medicine becomes,” Congresswoman Blackburn said. “And to try the one-size-fits-all with somebody here in DC saying, ‘A is allowed, but B is not, and C – we’re going to say maybe, and D – we’re gonna make you come back and ask a second time in a different way.’ That just no longer works.”

Congressman Jim Langevin told that audience how personally important home health care has been for his family. He said that home-based care is the “care of the future” but that Congress needs to remove barriers in the regulatory system. One important example is passing the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act, he said.

“I know from a very personal perspective the value of home health care—I live it every day,” Congressman Langevin said. “Home health care is obviously a safe, cost-effective alternative as you know to more expensive settings like hospitals and nursing homes and really does allow people to live independently, again, in their own homes with family and loved ones. It’s a much better outcome both for the patient and the family and the taxpayers all the way around. But it’s not gonna flourish if we continue to stand in the way of progress.”

Congressman Langevin also thanked NAHC’s President, Val J. Halamandaris, saying the two have “developed a friendship that in many ways transcends politics” and calling Halamandaris “a compassionate leader and a very dedicated advocate for seniors, for people with disabilities.”




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