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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

Legislation Introduced Allowing Veterans to Receive Telehealth Services in Their Homes Across State Lines

November 20, 2015 12:40 PM

On Wednesday, November 18, the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee held a hearing to discuss the Veterans E-Health & Telemedicine Support Act of 2015 (VETS Act), which would expand telehealth services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The Committee is considering the legislation for approval in order to send it to the full Senate. The legislation was introduced in October by Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) along with 9 other original cosponsors. The House version was introduced earlier this year by Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY) and Congressman Glenn Thompson (R-PA) along with 11 other original cosponsors.  The proposal has bipartisan support, with a total of 13 cosponsors for the Senate version (S. 2170) and 23 for the House version (H.R. 2516).

The legislation amends current law in order to allow VA health professionals to practice telemedicine across state lines for patients in their homes. While a VA health professional may practice telehealth for patients in their homes if they are in the same state, current law prevents VA health professionals from conducting telehealth across state lines for patients in their homes. In order for a VA health professional to treat a patient across state lines, the patient must visit a federal facility.  “For example,” Senator Ernst said, “a veteran in my small town of Red Oak, Iowa who wishes to have a telemedicine appointment with a doctor at the VA hospital in Omaha, Nebraska - that’s closest to my hometown - an hour away, must drive to the VA center in Des Moines. A two-hour drive. By contrast, if the doctor was based in Des Moines, the patient could remain in their home in Red Oak and have a telemedicine appointment.”

Ernst said, “rural veterans are often faced with the struggle of making it to a VA facility in the city. Increasing opportunities for telemedicine is a great way to tackle this challenge for services.” The change the legislation would make is “straightforward, commonsense, and builds upon this work that the VA is already doing in telemedicine.” Senator Hirono added that the legislation will “build on a VA telemedicine program that is proven to work and removes barriers to accessing care particularly for veterans in rural areas like Hawaii’s Neighbor Islands.”

Senate VA Committee Chairman Johnny Isakson (R-GA) said, “In large geographic territories, legislation like this is a godsend.” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, an original cosponsor of the bill, has also praised the effort. “Travel to a VA facility can be a real hardship for some veterans for whom it isn’t easy to get to the nearest clinic or hospital that offers the care they need,” Grassley said.  “Telehealth can make it less necessary to go to a facility as often and still help veterans get medical treatment.”  

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) supports improving access to care for veterans in their homes provided by qualified home health agencies. “Congress should continue to improve upon the scope of home health services available to veterans,” NAHC stated in its 2015 Legislative Blueprint for Action. “Alternative levels of care should be available to our nation’s veterans. Institutionalization should not be the only method for providing care to chronically ill or rehabilitating veterans. Since Congress saw fit to provide home care services to veterans, this care should include the full range of services, including telehealth services, and be provided by qualified home health agencies.”




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