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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

Mileage Study Press Conference Expert Remarks: William A. Dombi, NAHC Vice President for Law, Explains Study Documenting Remarkable Growth in Home Care and Hospice

January 5, 2016 09:25 AM

On December 16, 2015, the Foundation for Hospice and Homecare and the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) held a press conference (see previous NAHC Report article here) to present the findings of a study documenting that home care and hospice nurses, therapists and aides who serve chronically ill, elderly and disabled patients drive nearly 8 billion miles each year. The press conference included remarks from a number of experts, and NAHC Report will publish a series of articles providing in-depth coverage of their remarks and testimony.

William A. Dombi, Vice President for Law at NAHC, spoke at the press conference regarding the “remarkable” findings of the study, which documented that home care and hospice nurses traveled 7.88 billion miles in 2013 to deliver care and services all across the country. In introducing Dombi, NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris who presided over the press conference stated that Dombi “had the most to do with the computations and preparation of the study.” During his remarks, Dombi provided details about how the estimates in the study were calculated and explained the significant increase in the distance traveled since the previous study was completed in 2008.

In completing the previous mileage study in 2008 based on 2006 data, Dombi said the first thing he learned is that “driving is the wrong word to use” since nurses rely on a variety of modes of transportation, including float planes to islands off the coast of Alaska; boats to islands off the coast of Maine; snowmobiles in Montana and Wyoming; subways and train systems in Washington D.C.; bicycles; as well as primarily automobiles.

The most recent study’s estimated total of 7.88 billion miles traveled by home care in 2013 represents an increase of over 40 percent since the 2008 study documented that, in 2006, the estimated total was 4.76 billion miles. The biggest change in the data “is not so much the number of miles that they have driven, but really the extent to which home care has grown as a service,” Dombi said. “The primary growth in service comes from state Medicaid programs where there has been a rebalancing of spending from institutional care to home and community based services. Today, more than half of all long-term care spending in Medicaid is for home care. It took 20-some-odd years to get there after a Supreme Court decision, but it is heading in the right direction. We have now over 2 million individuals on a daily basis providing care across the country.”

“The other expansion,” Dombi said, “which contributes to the extensive growth in travel is actually in the hospice arena, where more and more people in the end of life are taking advantage of available hospice services in the home in order to have a smooth transition to whatever the next life may be for those individuals.”

Dombi further noted that “the estimates were really done in the most conservative way possible. For example, in the Medicaid realm where we are now seeing over $70 billion a year spent on home and community based services, we made an assumption that half of that is going towards family members and neighbors who are hired to provide services under Medicaid and that they would have no travel whatsoever. If we included them in the same sort of estimates we did in terms of outside organized delivery of services, the 7.88 billion would be in excess of 10 billion miles. So, a remarkable delivery of services all across the country.”

To read the final study, click here.

Video footage of the press conference is currently available on the NAHC website (




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