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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

Celebrating 50th Anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid

July 30, 2015 10:38 AM

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid being signed into law on Thursday, July 30. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the legislation establishing Medicare and Medicaid into law on July 30, 1965.

Val J. Halamandaris, President of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice, hailed the 50th Anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid being signed into law. “It is only appropriate that we thank Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and John F. Kennedy as well as Republican Leader C. Everett Dirksen, for their gift to the nation of Medicare and Medicaid,” Halamandaris said. “In simple terms, Medicare and Medicaid have enhanced the freedoms of our seniors and added years to life, and life to years.”

Before Medicare, seniors across the country were at risk and unable to buy health insurance when statistically they received only half of their pre-retirement income and were sick three times as often and hospitalized three times as long as  their younger counterparts. Halamandaris stated that Medicare helped assuage seniors’ worries by providing them with access to the best health care coverage at an affordable price.

“What price would we place on helping our elders achieve a longer and healthier life?” Halamandaris asked. “Surely we would be willing to do all in our power to give them freedom from worry, from the fear of going without care, and from the fear that they will lose all they worked for and wind up a ward of the state.” President John F. Kennedy thought there was no better investment than to provide health care for seniors. Referencing the historian, Arnold Toynbee, who had studied the survival of civilizations, Kennedy argued it was important to venerate and care for our elders like the Ancient Greeks and Ancient Chinese, and that it was morally the right thing to do. What was at stake, Kennedy argued, was nothing less than the future of American democracy and how we will be viewed through the prism of history.

Because of Medicare and Medicaid, America has earned a much better score over the past 50 years for its treatment of vulnerable populations. At the same time, any objective analysis will demonstrate changes must be made. Today, some 90 percent of Medicare costs relate to the management of chronic disease; yet Medicare is still geared to acute illness. “We need to cancel the some $80 billion in cuts in home health care, and instead increase our investments in home and community-based care. Equally important is to increase the use of telehealth to help monitor health care of patients from a distance. Simply put, help is needed to keep even more seniors with multiple or chronic health care needs at home and independent, where they most want to be.” Halamandaris said. “Freedoms earned and realized have a way of pointing the way to still greater freedoms that are required by future generations.”

“Happy Birthday, Medicare and Medicaid,” Halamandaris said. “We are grateful for all you have done in your first 50 years, and for your continued support of the 78 million members of the Baby Boom generation which is just now coming of age.”

Visit our Happy Birthday Medicare page to find out more about the major players in passing this historic legislation.




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