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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

Senators Attend Reception Honoring 50th Anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid and the Older Americans Act

July 31, 2015 03:00 PM
Val J. Halamandaris introducing Senator Collins
Senator Susan Collins
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
Left to right: Val J. Halamandaris, Denise Schrader, Senator Susan Collins, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, and Max Richtman

The Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO), including the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), held a reception honoring the 50th Anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid and the Older Americans Act on Thursday, July 30. The reception was held in the Kennedy Caucus Room in the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Chair of the Senate Aging Committee, and Senator Clair McCaskill (D-MO), Ranking Member of the Senate Aging Committee, served as honorary co-chairs of the reception. In addition to Senator Collins, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) attended and spoke at the evening’s event.

Max Richtman, President of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, provided opening remarks at the reception, expressing gratitude to Senator Collins for attending and co-chairing the reception. Richtman then introduced NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris as a “tireless and terrific advocate” for Medicare and Medicaid.

Halamandaris thanked Richtman for his leadership, and he thanked those involved in the LCAO for their efforts. “Without all of you, the world would have been a very, very different place,” Halamandaris said, adding it was his “great honor” to introduce Senator Susan Collins, and that there is no better example of someone who leads through caring. “I will tell you from experience there is no more caring person on the planet than Senator Susan Collins,” Halamandaris said.

Upon taking the podium, Collins said, “Talk about a man of compassion. Val has dedicated his life to our seniors, to preserving the important programs such as the ones we celebrate today, and it is truly an honor to be recognized and introduced by him.” Collins also thanked Richtman as a “tremendous advocate.”

“We in the Senate could not do the work that we do to preserve important programs like Medicare, Medicaid and the Older Americans Act, without the grassroots work that all of you do,” Collins said. “Whether you’re advocating in Washington or in the states providing direct services to our seniors, to the vulnerable in our society, to the disabled, you’re the ones who remind us of why we are here and what we must do.”

Collins spoke about how the programs changed America for the better, particularly for the elderly, the poor and those isolated from society. “Today, virtually all seniors have access to health care coverage and the official poverty rate among seniors is less than nine percent,” she said. “Prior to Medicare, more than half of all Americans over age 65 were uninsured and nearly a third lived in poverty. What a difference these programs have made.” She added that “the cause that brings us all together today” is ensuring “our seniors stay healthy, independent and living right where they want to be, in the comfort, security and privacy of their own homes.”

In addition to highlighting the importance of the programs, Collins discussed the challenges that lie ahead with the changing demographics and an aging population. She said Congress is addressing the challenge by increasing Alzheimer’s funding, but there is more work to do. “Working together we can ensure that this celebration of the last half century marks the beginning of a new commitment to the future of programs that have done so much to change the lives of so many.”

In following Senator Collins, Senator Whitehouse said that Medicare has become such a part of our values that many Americans are unaware that Medicare is a government program. “They don’t remember that people actually made that happen 50 years ago,” he said.

Regarding the challenges that lie ahead, he said, “It only takes courage to make this a courageous time too.”




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