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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

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan Visits NAHC Board of Directors Chair Denise Schrader, MercyRockford Health System

Speaker Asks How to Fix Competitive Bidding, Discusses Home Medical Equipment Policy Changes
February 10, 2016 01:56 PM

DeniseWithRyan250pxOn February 5, MercyRockford Health System executives, including National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) Board of Director Chair Denise Schrader, and other state providers hosted a visit from Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI-1), Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, at the MercyRockford Durable Medical Equipment (DME) office in the Speaker’s hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin.

Ms. Schrader, who has been President & Executive Director of the Visiting Nurses Association of the Rockford Area for nearly 10 years, is also Vice President Care Continuum for MercyRockford Health Systems. The territory includes Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. Ms. Schrader and the others present spoke with Speaker Ryan regarding home medical equipment policy changes. “Access to oxygen, nebulizers, apnea monitors and other DME equipment is critical for patients who have been hospitalized or suffer from serious illness,” Ms. Schrader said.

The group asked for Ryan’s support for a three-year reimbursement rate freeze from the nationwide rollout of the Competitive Bidding Program, which raises significant concerns, including loss of quality and service and the potential negative impact on beneficiary access and choice. “Mr. Ryan quickly recognized the barriers and broad negative impact the competitive bidding current process has on care and health of patients and the entire health care delivery system causing delayed discharges and avoidable readmissions,” Ms. Schrader said.

In addition, Ms. Schrader asked for Speaker Ryan’s support for H.R. 1342, the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act, which would allow non-physician practitioners to order home health services under Medicare.

According to a press release by Mercy Health System, “Other issues discussed focused on how the cuts and subsequent lack of access to needed medical equipment affects hospital discharge, employment, services and inventory reductions.”

Multiple providers across Wisconsin participated, including Mercy Assisted Care Durable Medical Equipment (DME), Agnesian Health, Home Health United, Home Care Medical, Home Care Pharmacy, Oxygen One Inc., Knueppel Healthcare Services and VGM.

Mercy Assisted Care DME in Janesville, along with the Visiting Nurses Association Durable Medical Equipment DME in Rockford, Illinois, “formed through the merger of Mercy Health System and Rockford Health System.” The DME locations “provide quality and professional home care services to referred home care clients in Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. Every month, our DME locations processes over 2,800 new orders, provide services to over 3,900 recurring rentals in patient’s homes and make on average of over 1,200 home deliveries. Combined, our DME locations employ over 50 staff.”




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