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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

Seniors Decide 2016 U.S. Presidential Candidate Forum: Sen. Sanders and Gov. Kasich Express Strong Support for Home Care and Hospice

Sen. Sanders Says Home Care is a “Civil Rights Issue”; Gov. Kasich Demonstrates Strong Record Supporting Increased Use of Home Care
February 19, 2016 03:46 PM
The NAHC team with Max Richtman, chair of the LCAO (l to r) Katharine Howard, Max Richtman, Jeff Kincheloe and Cory Turner
Former Rep. Tom Davis represented the campaign of Republican candidate Governor John Kasich of Ohio
Democratic candidate Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont appeared via Skype

On Wednesday, February 17, the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO), including the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) as a member, held a U.S. presidential candidate forum, Seniors Decide 2016, at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia.Dedicated to issues affecting older Americans, the forum included Democratic candidate Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, as well as a representative from the campaign of Republican candidate Governor John Kasich of Ohio.

In response to a question posed by NAHC Vice President for Government Affairs Jeffrey Kincheloe to Senator Sanders regarding home and community-based care, Sen. Sanders expressed his strong support for allowing people to age in place.  

Sen. Sanders responded by saying that home care “is a civil rights issue,” and that it is a “no brainer” that “we should be doing everything that we can to provide resources to keep people in their own homes.” He demonstrated his strong support for home and community-based care, as well as his deep understanding that not only would people prefer to receive quality health care in their own homes, but that home care is a more affordable option for the federal government. 

“It’s a no brainer because as you have indicated people would prefer to stay in their own homes,” Sen. Sanders said. “They are more comfortable in their own homes; they know that environment rather than being forced to go to an institution. That’s issue number one—it’s what most people would prefer, and we should respect that. It is a civil rights issue.”

“Number two, as I understand it, it is a lot cheaper to provide caregiving in somebody’s home than to institutionalize that person,” Sen. Sanders added. “So you can save substantial sums of Medicaid money, other programs’ money. So to me, clearly we should be doing everything that we can to provide resources to keep people in their own homes, and I think at the end of the day we save money doing that and we make people much more comfortable in their own surroundings.”

Sen. Sanders also expressed his support for doing more at the federal level to increase end-of-life care options.

Representing Gov. Kasich’s campaign at the event was former Congressman Tom Davis of Virginia, who spoke regarding Gov. Kasich’s record of putting more Medicaid money towards the use of home care. “If you look at what he did in Ohio is he put part of that money toward long-term care,” Congressman Davis said. “Toward not necessarily having to put people in hospitals, but to let them have home care which in many cases is cheaper, and they were able to do that with the additional money there… I know they were able to care for more people in their homes, they put more into long-term care as a result of one of the ways they used that Medicaid money in Ohio.”

NAHC previously applauded Gov. Kasich’s efforts to reverse the longstanding institutional bias which channeled aged, infirm and disabled Ohioans into nursing homes and other institutions instead of providing care which allowed them to remain independent in their own homes, as well as Secretary Clinton’s record on home care and hospice issues and her proposal to provide greater support for caregivers (see previous NAHC Report article here).

Max Richtman, Chairman of LCAO and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare, served as moderator of the panel.  Mr. Richtman said that all the declared candidates from both Republican and Democratic parties were invited to participate in this forum. The debate was co-sponsored by NAHC and drew an audience of some 250 representatives from the 72 major organizations who represent seniors in Washington, D.C.

Sen. Sander's forthright statements concerning home care were received very positively by the advocates for seniors who heard him. Even before the debate took place, Peter Cobb, Executive Director of VNAVT, the Vermont association for home care and hospice, applauded the Senator’s record. “Senator Sanders has supported just about every NAHC supported letter in the past 20 years (he has signed 100 percent of the time I asked him) and he is an outspoken opponent of copays, as he sees them for what they are, a tax on the poor.”

With three presidential candidates having now expressed strong support for home care and hospice, NAHC encourages its members to ask the remaining candidates to also express their positions on the issues most important for home care and hospice. To view examples of potential questions to pose to the candidates, see previous NAHC Report article here.

About LCAO

LCAO is a 72-member coalition of the nation’s non-profit organizations serving older Americans, including NAHC. It is dedicated to preserving and strengthening the well-being of America’s older population, and provides a voice for seniors and their families in the ongoing debate on aging policy.




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