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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

Mileage Study Press Conference Highlights: Lisa Harvey-McPherson Shares Perspective on Providing Home Care and Hospice Services in Maine

January 14, 2016 01:22 PM

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 nurses, therapists and home care 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 in the home care and hospice community, and NAHC Report is publishing a series of articles providing in-depth coverage of their remarks.

Lisa Harvey-McPherson, the Vice President for Government Relations and Chief Advocacy Officer at Eastern Maine Homecare in Brewer, Maine, spoke at the press conference and provided her perspective on the challenges and realities of providing home care and hospice services throughout Maine. In introducing her, NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris praised Ms. Harvey-McPherson and her organization, which she said covers “nearly the entire state of Maine” with home care and hospice staff traveling 3.1 million miles and providing 157,000 home visits and hospice visits each year, with over 1,200 patients receiving home care and hospice services on any given day.

“With population density of 10 people per square mile, we have more moose and deer on the road than we have vehicles and our staff are very skilled at avoiding them,” Ms. Harvey-McPherson said.

She also described how nurses reach those patients who live on islands in Maine. “Maine is known for its beautiful coastline, and off that coastline we have Islands where patients live year-round,” she said. “On of the many patients we will see this week is a hospice patient who wants to die at home on an island off the coast of Portland. She wants to be comfortable surrounded by family and friends. So our home care nurse, our hospice nurse, will take the ferry from Portland. In the summertime we compete with every tourist in America. This time of year it’s not so bad, but we have a limited schedule. We’ll sail to the island, the family will pick us up and the nurse will provide care. We arrange for lobstermen to come and pick us up and bring us back to the mainland so we can go to our car and we can continue to provide hospice care to patients in southern Maine.”

Ms. Harvey-McPherson explained the importance of supporting nurses by providing better technology and common-sense changes to make it easier to care for people in their homes. “Maine has one of the oldest populations in the country, and our nurses are aging too,” she said. “Of 22,000 nurses in Maine, over 50 percent are over 50, and 5 percent are in their 70s, and they’re still working. So we have a responsibility to know that home care nurses and hospice nurses are our strategic asset in how we deliver our mission to provide care, and home health telehealth technology supports our nurses to be in the right place at the right time for critical intervention that avoids emergency room visits and hospitalization.”

In addition to speaking about the importance of telehealth, she said it is important for Congress to pass the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act to allow non-physician practitioners to certify home health services. “Our nurse practitioners are also a critical part of our health delivery system,” she said. “Last week I met a nurse practitioner in independent practice – 30 years caring for a rural community – she was the primary care provider for that community. But yet she can’t sign and certify a home health plan of care; she cobbles together physicians who know her and will support her to care for her patients. It literally takes an act of Congress to fix that problem, and we are so honored to have Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) as the leading Senator from Maine sponsoring that critical legislation, and we want to thank her for her outstanding leadership supporting every Maine citizen and every citizen in this country to receive home care and hospice services.”

To view the final study, click here.

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




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