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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

US House of Representatives Passes Health Innovations Bill

July 13, 2015 09:55 AM

The US House of Representatives passed the 21st Century Cures Act (H.R. 6) by a vote of 344-77 on Friday, July 10. As the National Association for Home Care & Hospice previously reported the legislation contains language of interest to home care and hospice requiring the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to research ways to improve electronic health records, interoperability, and telehealth. It also instructs CMS to report to Congressional committees of jurisdiction on means of expanding telehealth and barriers to its expansion in Medicare, as well as a section on ensuring the interoperability of health information. As currently written, the bill does not make any changes to current telehealth services provided by CMS.

During a press conference earlier this week announcing the scheduled floor consideration of the bill, House Speaker John Boehner praised the legislation as a “breakthrough initiative.”

“We’ll also take up a breakthrough initiative to help more people get life-saving treatment that they need,” said Boehner (R-OH). “Today in America we have thousands of diseases to fight and the best minds in the world are on the frontlines of that fight. But our researchers need more tools and fewer roadblocks and that’s what the 21st Century Cures initiative will provide. I recently heard from a woman in Cincinnati whose sister suffered from pancreatic cancer, and she said of this initiative, ‘It’s my definition of hope.’”

House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) similarly praised the legislation. “For really the last year-and-a-half, our committee on both sides of the aisle has been listening to all the different experts—the NIH, the research community, the disease groups, the Administration, patients—trying to figure out what we can do to expedite the approval of drugs and devices,” said Upton.

Prior to the vote, Upton stated that a strong vote in support of the bill in the House would help the bill moving forward. “We’re looking for a strong vote, more than 300 votes this week to help us move the bill through the Senate and get it to the President’s desk. 10,000 different diseases, 7,000 of them rare, only 500 cures. We can do better, and that’s what this bill does.”

The bill previously passed out of the Energy & Commerce Committee by a vote of 51-0. However, subsequently it has faced challenges. In addition to the telehealth language, the bill also provides $8.75 billion in funding to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Most recently, Democrats criticized the decision to reduce the total funding provided to NIH from $10 billion to $8.75 billion, while some conservative groups have argued the level of spending is too high.

The Senate is reportedly in the process of working on its own version of the legislation.

“We are one step closer to the finish line,” Upton said, according to CQ. “I look forward to working with my colleagues to continue building momentum on this bill and to get it onto the president’s desk.”

NAHC Reportwill continue to provide updates regarding the status of this legislation.




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