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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

As Fourth of July Approaches, NAHC President Halamandaris and Senator Begich Visit Home Care Patients

Visits Demonstrate that Home Care Improves Freedom and Quality of Life
July 2, 2015 09:51 AM

As our nation celebrates the Fourth of July, we are grateful for our Founding Fathers who established our nation based on core principles including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We are also grateful for our military service members, who fight courageously every day to protect these principles and our freedoms.

During this time of gratitude, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is further expressing appreciation for our home care and hospice nurses and professionals for providing their patients and clients with the freedom to stay in their homes while receiving quality, affordable care.

The freedom and quality of life afforded to patients through home care were on full display last week when NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris and former Senator Mark Begich, Vice President for Policy and Development at NAHC, went on two home care visits with Johns Hopkins Home Care Group (JHCG) in Maryland. Halamandaris and Begich interviewed JHCG President Dan Smith, before visiting the homes of geriatric patient Milton “Spike” Schnitzker and pediatric patient Gabe Schultz.

During the day’s first home care visit, Begich interviewed the Schnitzkers—Spike and his wife, Patricia—about the value of home care. You can watch the full video here. Subsequent NAHC Report articles will provide footage of the interviews with Gabe Schultz and JHCG President Dan Smith.

“Sometimes it takes a gifted leader with an outside perspective to truly articulate the value of a crucial service like home care and hospice,” said Halamandaris. “I want to thank Senator Begich for using his gifted perspective to educate the public about the value of home care and hospice. I also want to thank the Schnitzkers, Gabe and his mother, Linda, along with Dan and his staff at Johns Hopkins Home Care Group for sharing their stories and views about the value of receiving care in the home.”

During their interview with Begich, the Schnitzkers explained how home care has benefited their quality of life by allowing Spike to stay at home rather than going to a hospital or nursing home. “Everyone is more comfortable in their own home,” Patricia said. “Just to have him home is better.”

Spike agreed, explaining that visits to the hospital are time consuming and difficult. When he went for a blood count, he and Patricia had to wait six-and-a-half hours. “If you have to go to the emergency room at the hospital, it’s a lengthy day,” he said. “It just takes the whole day away. It’s a very difficult task to do.”

At home, he is able to eat home-cooked meals. “That’s the secret,” Spike said of home cooking. “You can’t beat it.”

The Schnitzkers have developed a close bond with their home nurse, who provides great care and is available whenever they need her. Spike also receives a constant source of support from family, friends and neighbors who regularly visit the home, something that would not be as common in a nursing home or hospital.

Their experience has turned both of the Schnitzkers into home care advocates. “More people need it and I can’t believe they can cut funding for something that is so important to people,” Patricia said.

Spike, too, is thankful for the care that has allowed him to stay in his home. “I’m blessed,” he said.




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