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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

2015 Home Care & Hospice Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

October 27, 2015 09:21 AM

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) has announced the names of those chosen to be inducted into the Home Care & Hospice Hall of Fame for 2015. The 2015 honorees include: Barbara Citarella, President of RBC Limited Healthcare and Management Consulting; Keith L. Myers, CEO of LHC Group; Margaret Shepherd, former CEO of the Visiting Nurse Association of Seattle, founding board member for NAHC, and current industry expert; Larry Meigs, CEO of Visiting Angels; and posthumously Diana, Princess of Wales, for her unparalleled contribution to hospice caregivers and patients. NAHC will honor these five individuals this Thursday, October 29, at the NAHC Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee.


“At NAHC, we have always aspired to excellence which is why we established the Hall of Fame,” said Val J. Halamandaris. “The five people we are honoring this year on October 29th in Nashville, Tennessee at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel represent the best among us. They are great role models who have made a significant contribution to our industry. They inspire us to follow their example of service to others.”


Denise Schrader, Chairman of NAHC, added, “I am pleased to congratulate this year's honorees. They have proven themselves worthy of receiving our highest award.”


Following are more details about this year’s honorees:


Barbara Citarella

Barbara was a charter member of NAHC in 1982 and has always looked to serve. Today, she continues her extraordinary service by participating on various NAHC task forces and committees and in presenting first class education sessions at NAHC conferences. She has achieved national recognition for her expertise in home care and hospice emergency management as well as in bioterrorism. In recent months, NAHC requested Ms. Citarella to lead their task force coordinating the preparedness for and management of the Ebola crisis. Ten years ago she was asked to spearhead NAHC’s effort in responding to hurricanes Rita and Katrina which devastated New Orleans. Ms. Citarella invested hundreds of hours to the task and organized valuable prevention principles for minimizing the effects of future storms. Ever willing, she affirmed her commitment to crisis care when NAHC asked for her guidance preparing for the H5N1 Avian Flu contagion in 2005, as concern about virus mutation and transmission to humans was mounting. Ms. Citarella’s service also includes her leadership role in the NAHC task force relative to the 2001 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York City. Ms. Citarella’s unwavering efforts and distinctive leadership continues to inspire others and make the world a better place.


Keith L. Myers

The LHC Group began in 1994 at the kitchen table of Keith and Ginger Myers. Their desire, pure and simple, was to help people. As they achieved early success, they adopted a corporate model focusing on providing home care services in rural and underserved areas. In just 20 years, LHC Group has grown from one to more than 300 agencies, with over 10,000 caregivers/employees, located in 29 states. LHC Group’s brand of quality home care and hospice has brought the company a fair amount of recognition. In 2004, Mr. Myers won the Entrepreneur of the Year award from ABiz. Mr. Myers has also distinguished himself in joining NAHC to lead battles in Congress. For example, in 2003, the Medicare Prescription Drug bill was nearing enactment. The legislation included an amendment, which passed in both the House and Senate bills, which would have saddled home care patients with massive co-payments. The amendments amounted to nothing less than a tax that had to be paid by beneficiaries before they could qualify for Medicare home care services. Mr. Myers, working with NAHC, was instrumental in accomplishing the impossible, which was the deletion of Medicare copays, which were all but certain to go into affect. Mr. Myers, his family, and the LHC Group have also demonstrated great generosity. They gave funds to the Foundation for Hospice and Homecare in 2010 to establish a program to provide hospice care for individuals who otherwise would not qualify. In 2009, their generosity was directed to support the Caring Institute, which resulted in their being recognized with the Caring Institute’s Guardian Angel award.


Margaret Shepherd

Margaret Shepherd’s career began in public health, but she quickly moved to pioneer the home health and hospice industry. She facilitated the development of unprecedented mental health programs and geriatric care management, and in the 1980’s Ms. Shepherd co-founded Community Home Health Care. Among its groundbreaking accomplishments are the establishment of the first residential program for HIV/AIDS cases and the first licensed Community Mental Health provider within a Medicare-certified home health agency. She was a founding board member for the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) and helped facilitate the merger between the National Association of Home Health Agencies (NAHHA) and the Council on Home Health Agencies and Services (CHHAS). Ms. Shepherd’s 40-year career is marked by her dedication to help teach others how to provide the high quality of care for which she and her agency are famous. She founded Margaret Shepherd & Associates, a leadership consulting firm in Seattle, and continues her efforts to serve NAHC, her State Association as well as providers and patients.


Larry Meigs

In 1998 Larry Meigs co-founded Visiting Angels, a private duty, non-medical home care organization. Since then, it has grown from one to more than 340 franchises located in 45 states. The secret to their success was that Mr. Meigs insisted that the company embrace the highest values. He is known as a leader who provides care and support for his employees and requires that they provide the highest quality of services to the patients and families they serve. Over the years, Visiting Angels has held true to its mission of providing peace of mind for families, and support for loved ones in need.


Diana, Princess of Wales, Posthumous

Princess Diana, a former kindergarten teacher, worked to support more than 100 charities in her lifetime, most of them having to do with children. At the same time, few people have been more identified with the promotion of home care and hospice. The Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice charity – which provides quality hospice care, free of cost, to the people of Glasgow – began in the early 1980’s and quickly ignited a movement advocating quality hospice care. Diana used her celebrity to help raise funds and support for hospice, a topic which was previously taboo. The media in England, who seemingly followed her every move, televised her participation in 1982 to raise $3 million to open a new wing of St. Gemma’s Hospice in Leeds, U.K. The Princess made her first public appearance in the United States in 1985, choosing to visit the Washington Home, a hospice facility in Washington, D.C. In 1992, she famously wept on screen at the opening of Queenscourt Hospice in Southport, U.K. Her work on behalf of hospice continued even after her death. For example, the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund began its Palliative Care Initiative in 2000, inspired by Diana’s hospice and HIV/AIDS work. It continues to help thousands of sub-Saharan Africans today. Similarly, the Diana, Princess of Wales Care at Home Trust was founded in 1998, and continues to fund end-of-life nursing care for residents on the Isle of Man, thereby creating “hospice at home” services for those in need.




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