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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

NAHC Expresses Support for Legislation Restoring Companionship Services Definition

Bicameral Legislation Introduced in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives
November 5, 2015 10:00 AM

Bicameral legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives amending the Fair Labor Standards Act to restore the 40 year-old overtime exemptions that have successfully provided support for our nation’s most vulnerable and infirm individuals who seek to receive care in their own homes. The Ensuring Access to Affordable and Quality Home Care for Seniors and People with Disabilities Act (S. 2221 / H.R. 3860) was introduced last week by Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) with 12 original cosponsors in the Senate, and by Representative Tim Walberg (R-MI-7) with 6 original cosponsors in the House of Representatives.

In a letter to Senator Roberts and Congressman Walberg, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) expressed support for the legislation. “The recent regulatory changes in the definition and application of these longstanding FLSA exemptions have only served to erect needless barriers to home care and to increase costs to financially strapped state Medicaid programs,” NAHC stated. “At the same time, the dedicated and invaluable workers who provide this care have not seen any improvement in their overall wages as the funds necessary to cover overtime costs are simply not available from consumers and government health programs such as Medicaid.”

“While home care workers deserve fair and reasonable wages for their crucial services in keeping seniors and persons with disabilities safely at home with high quality care, the regulatory changes do not further that goal appropriately,” NAHC stated. “Your bill will provide the opportunity for all those involved in home care to design and implement effective changes that protect workers and our most vulnerable citizens at the same time.”

Congressman Walberg and Senator Roberts released statements explaining the importance of their legislation to reverse the DOL rules. “Millions of families depend on companionship services to meet their health care needs,” Congressman Walberg said. “Far reaching and costly regulations should not stand in the way of seniors and individuals with disabilities who are unable to care for themselves from receiving quality, affordable care in the comfort of their own homes.”

Senator Roberts added that the bill “allows those in need of companion care in the home to continue to arrange and pay for individualized care without getting tangled in burdensome and costly labor rules that were meant for other industries,” and that it preserves “the independence of the elderly and individuals with disabilities in need of affordable care” and protects “caregivers who want predictable employment arrangements.”  

NAHC continues to pursue a multi-pronged effort to reverse or invalidate the DOL rules. In addition to pursuing a Supreme Court appeal in its lawsuit challenging the DOL rules, NAHC supports this legislation as another avenue for addressing the impact of the DOL rules in home care. However, the legislation has a limited chance of success in the immediate future given the veto power of President Obama who fully supports the DOL rules. Similar measures to defund the implementation of the rules are likely to face similar results. As a result, NAHC has vowed to take its lawsuit to the Supreme Court by appealing the decision of the appellate court.

The letter from NAHC thanking the members of Congress and expressing support for their legislation is available here.




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