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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

NAHC’s Medicaid Action Council to Governors: Support Nurses and Caregivers Who Support Individuals Covered by Medicaid

December 9, 2015 01:02 PM

The Medicaid Action Council (Council), an affiliate of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), has sent a letter to all 50 governors and state Medicaid directors across the country encouraging support for nurses and caregivers who support individuals covered by Medicaid as a means of strengthening Medicaid programs.

In the letter, the Council expressed the importance of nurses and in-home caregivers to state Medicaid programs. “As you know, nurses and other in-home caregivers serve a critical role in keeping individuals and families together and healthy, and are essential assets in your state’s efforts to manage complex clinical and economic conditions in communities,” the Council stated in the letter. “Nurses and in-home caregivers work every day on the front lines of public health, striving to improve or maintain life quality, opportunity and social functioning in complex populations. Without such dedicated caregivers, safety net programs like Medicaid would struggle to meet their mission, and would face more costly alternatives like institutional care.”

The Council further stated that, given the importance of nurses and caregivers to state Medicaid programs, it is important to support policies that support nurses and caregivers. “In recognition of the unique and central role nurses and caregivers play in keeping state Medicaid programs like yours efficient and accessible, the Council welcomes an opportunity to discuss policies and reform principles that our members believe can make Medicaid program still stronger, even more efficient, and more accountable to taxpayers. Nurses and in-home caregivers are squarely in the center of each of our proposals. The Council stands ready to work with you and your designees to design and implement strategies that improve quality and enhance performance in Medicaid home and community based services and Long Term Care Services programs, while honoring the dignity and diligence of the nurses and in-home caregiver professionals responsible for it,” the Council stated.

Following are the policies and reform principles for which the Council expressed support in the letter:

  • Funding enhancement strategies that can secure a strong economic foundation for nurses and caregivers, recognizing that what our nurses and caregivers create in their work today can yield program savings tomorrow, in the form of hospitalizations prevented, and costly institutional care avoided. Nurses, caregivers and personal care assistants deserve fair and equitable compensation for their efforts which frequently extend to include “first responder” responsibilities, making their contributions even more essential. But because caregiver compensation is often tied to insufficient provider rates set for their services by Medicaid agencies or by managed care organizations, caregivers may take home less than they deserve.
  • Each affirmative act that a nurse or caregiver takes to keep an individual stable, compliant, healthy, and away from higher cost care centers should be rewarded, with recognition in salary and benefits that reflect the critical contributions that each makes.The Council fundamentally support pay-for-performance systems, and is eager to work with states to structure and implement programs that measure our member’s worth, clinically and economically, to both the consumer and to your state, especially if such systems can provide a pathway to stable compensation and benefits for nurses and caregivers.
  • Put nurses and caregivers first.The Council is prepared to work with states to design provider payment and delivery reforms that put nurses and caregivers first, and that establish a reasonable compensation structure for home care workers, via changes to provider payment systems and/or pay-for-performance regimes, as long as such change respects the uniqueness of the employment arrangement, where the consumer is the primary focus of responsibility and where the state bears financial responsibility, through itself or through a managed care partner.

The Council said, it stands ready “to join together on behalf of our nurses and caregivers to ensure that their economic foundation today and their future tomorrow is tied to a wage that accurately and fairly reflects the contributions they make every day toward improving lives, managing health, and keeping Medicaid system costs low.”

The full letter from the Council is available here.




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