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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

Members of Congress Discuss Aging Population, Growing Demand for Nurses

Secretary Burwell States the Importance of Allowing Nurses to “Operate at the Top of their License”
February 26, 2016 11:54 AM

On Wednesday, February 24, the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing on the President’s fiscal year 2017 budget request for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Secretary Sylvia Burwell testified at the hearing and fielded questions on issues of concern to the members of the Committee, and two Representatives raised the issue of the growing demand for nurses with an aging population.

Representative Lois Capps (D-CA-24) highlighted the importance of federal investment in the training and retention of the nursing workforce. Rep. Capps has introduced the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 2713) to reauthorize Title VIII programs supporting the training, education, recruitment and retention of a qualified health care workforce.

“Our nation faces the challenge of caring for a growing patient population with limited resources,” Rep. Capps said. “Title VIII provides critical federal grants for nursing schools and organizations to advance their educational programs, promote diversity in the field, re-pay loans for nursing students who work in facilities with critical shortages, and train geriatric nurses.”

Secretary Burwell stated that the budget request includes $200 million in investment for such education and training as well as for loan forgiveness to incentivize trained professionals “to go to places where we have shortages and needs.”

Secretary Burwell also spoke more generally about the ways in which increasing the role of nurses by having them “operate at the top of their license” results in higher quality care at a lower cost. “Throughout the budget and throughout the proposals that are before you now there are a number of things that I think are supportive of the nursing community because we believe they are part of getting us to a system where we have better quality care in a more affordable way,” Secretary Burwell said. “So having nurses and other health practitioners operate at the top of their license… We are supporting it in terms of our funding, but also in terms of how we think about the role of the nurse in a system that can improve quality and reduce cost.”

Representative Kathy Castor (D-FL-14) emphasized the need for Medicare to adapt to the growing demand for nursing with an aging population and the fiscal challenges it presents. “The number of people who are at least 65 will increase by 37 percent by 2026 – from 48 million Americans to 66 million Americans. That’s going to call on Medicare and skilled nursing like never before,” she said.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, home health care services is the industry with the fastest growing employment projections.NAHC has expressed support for legislation, the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act (S. 578/H.R. 1342), to allow non-physician practitioners including Nurse Practitioners to authorize Medicare home health plans of care. NAHC has also stated the need for federal funding to support the training of home health care workers, such as forgiving the student loans of nurses and aides who agree to work in rural and underserved areas. NAHC explained the importance of these and other changes at a press conference last December on the total mileage traveled by home care and hospice nurses each year (see previous NAHC Report article here).

Previous NAHC Report coverage summarizing the proposals in the President’s budget request relevant to home care and hospice is available hereand here.




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