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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: Stephanie Crawford on the Importance of Nurse Practitioners

January 26, 2016 12:56 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.

Stephanie Crawford is a Nurse Practitioner at the Visiting Nurses Association in Rockford, Illinois. NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris introduced Ms. Crawford by saying her “remarkable” experience as a Nurse Practitioner allows her to explain the importance of the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act (S. 578 / H.R. 1342), which would permit non-physician practitioners to certify Medicare home health plans of care for those who need it. The legislation currently has 43 cosponsors in the U.S. Senate and 173 cosponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In seeing patients with advanced illnesses in their homes, Ms. Crawford sees patients for whom “it takes considerable and taxing effort” to leave the home. As a result, such patients often “don’t leave the home until they are in a critical situation and they end up in the emergency room and hospital.” Ms. Crawford works with the home health care nurses in order to avoid unnecessary hospitalizations. “It’s vital when I see these patients in their homes because I can try to catch things before they end up in a critical state that lands them in the hospital,” she said. “I rely heavily on the nursing staff that are out there to see the patients, that are doing assessments and telling me what they are seeing in the homes, so I can make changes in their medication and their plan of care.”

She told the story of shortly after becoming a Nurse Practitioner seeing a patient who told her he “hated” going to the hospital. She offered instead to come to his home, and that “started my journey in seeing patients in the home as a Nurse Practitioner. And I saw this man for four years up until his death. He was hospitalized one time in those four years, where before he was going to the hospital probably every month to two months because he would wait.”

These reduced hospitalizations result in “considerable savings not only to Medicare but also to the patients,” she said. “And this is why I do what I do. Patients don’t want to go to the hospital. They want to be at home.”

At the same time, Ms. Crawford and other non-physician practitioners are unable to certify Medicare home health plans of care, which causes delays in care. Even though she is the one providing the care, she said, “I can’t sign home health care orders. I have to find a physician, a collaborative physician, to do that for me.” As a result, “there is a delay oftentimes in getting nursing out there when I can’t sign these orders.” This is why it is so important for Congress to pass S. 578 / H.R. 1342.

“We keep people at home,” she said. “We keep their symptoms managed, and this is why it’s so vital that home care is recognized.”

To view the final study, click here.

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




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