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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

Rep. Walden Statement for the Congressional Record: “Recognizing the Important Work of Nurse Practitioners and Supporting Increased Access to Home Health”

March 23, 2016 11:20 AM

On Tuesday, March 22, United States Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR-2) submitted a statement for the Congressional Record expressing recognition for the important work of Nurse Practitioners and support for his legislation, the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act (H.R. 1342), which would increase access to home health services by allowing Nurse Practitioners and physician assistants to certify Medicare home health services. Rep. Walden recognized Nancy Cavanaugh, a pediatric Nurse Practitioner in Central Point, Oregon, as one of the many non-physician practitioners across the country who serve millions of patients “as their main source of care, especially in rural areas where a physician isn’t always readily available.”

“By easing administrative burdens and permitting nurse practitioners like Nancy to order and certify home health services, the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act would help deliver needed care to patients, especially in areas where access to health care is limited,” Rep. Walden said. “Oregon’s seniors should be able to receive this important care in a timely fashion, because no one should be forced to choose between receiving health care and remaining in his or her home.”

The statement by Rep. Walden is yet another example of a growing chorus of support for increasing the role of nurses and other health professionals in providing patients with quality health care. During a recent hearing before the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell expressed her support for allowing nurses and other health practitioners to “operate at the top of their license” (see previous NAHC Report article here). And a recent Washington Post article reported on a number of victories that have expanded the roles of nurses in states across the country. 

Following is the full statement by Rep. Walden as printed in the Congressional Record:

“Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the many nurse practitioners (NPs) in Oregon and nationwide who work hard to provide quality health care to patients. Today, I’m meeting with Nancy Cavanaugh, a pediatric NP from Central Point, Oregon. Nancy practices at La Clinica’s school-based health centers, including at Crater High School in Central Point. NPs like Nancy are the health provider of choice for millions of Americans seeking primary care, pediatric care, disease education, and other preventative services.  Along with clinical nurse specialists (CNSs), certified nurse midwives (CNMs), and physician assistants (PAs), NPs serve many patients as their main source of care, especially in rural areas where a physician isn’t always readily available.

“Despite this important role, these clinicians remain unable to order home health services for the Medicare patients under their care.  This impediment results in an administrative and paperwork burden, creating an unnecessary step in care delivery.  That is why I introduced H.R. 1342, the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act of 2015, which would ensure that our Medicare beneficiaries get the home health care they need in a timely manner by allowing NPs, CNSs, CNMs and PAs to order home health services, if their state allows it.

“By easing administrative burdens and permitting nurse practitioners like Nancy to order and certify home health services, the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act would help deliver needed care to patients, especially in areas where access to health care is limited. Oregon’s seniors should be able to receive this important care in a timely fashion, because no one should be forced to choose between receiving health care and remaining in his or her home. Please join me in thanking Nancy and her fellow NPs for their hard work on behalf of patients.” (View Rep. Walden’s official statement in the Congressional Record here).

The Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act is one of NAHC’s top priorities. Assist in this effort by attending the March on Washington Conference and meeting in-person with your members of Congress who have not yet cosponsored the bill to request that they do so (see previous NAHC Report article here and here). 

Make sure to register for the 2016 March on Washington Conference here. The Conference takes place April 3 – 5 in Washington, D.C.




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