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Testimonials

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. 

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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.

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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

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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 element...it’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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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Frank E. Moss, former U.S. Senator

Anyone working on health care issues in Congress knows the name Val J. Halamandaris.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Former President Bill Clinton

Sen. Susan Collins: Issues Affecting Home and Community-Based Care Are “At the Top of My Agenda”

April 15, 2016 02:06 PM
Senators Collins.mp4
Veiw the full size video on HomeCareHospice.tv

United States Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) spoke at the National Association for Home Care & Hospice’s (NAHC) 2016 March on Washington Senate Breakfast. Sen. Collins, who chairs the Special Committee on Aging and serves on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, is a passionate advocate of home care and hospice. As NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris said prior to her remarks, “She is the absolute best that there is.” This was Sen. Collins’s 18th consecutive time speaking at the Home Care & Hospice March on Washington Senate Breakfast.

Lisa Harvey-McPherson, Vice President of Government Relations at Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems in Waterville, Maine, introduced Sen. Collins. “We are honored each and every day by her service,” Ms. Harvey-McPherson said. “Home care and hospice is a passion for her, and she has persevered to ensure that citizens across the United States have access to these critical services. In fact, she is a leader among leaders, placing home and community-based care at the heart of America’s health care system. Sen. Collins is a tireless advocate for older adults and individuals suffering from chronic illness.”

Ms. Harvey-McPherson also highlighted that Sen. Collins founded the Senate Diabetes Caucus and has led efforts to more than double funding for diabetes research. In addition, she has sponsored priority legislation on behalf of the home care and hospice community, including: the Home Health Care Access Protection Act, to reform the process of evaluating home health case-mix changes; legislation to extend the rural add-on; and the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act to allow Nurse Practitioners, Advanced Practice Nurses, and physician assistants to sign home health plans of care.

“I’ve worked hard to modernize and promote fairness in the Medicare home health and hospice benefit,” Sen. Collins said. “As the chairman of the Senate Aging Committee, I am all too aware of the challenges facing our nation due to our changing demographics. In fact, the cohort in our population that is age 85 and older is the fastest growing part of our population. Our health care system stands directly in the path of a tidal wave of aging baby boomers who will be retiring at a rate of 10,000 a day for the next 20 years, and the tsunami of Alzheimer’s disease in that generation, my generation, will require the system to adopt and change if it is to survive the impact and if federal programs are not to go bankrupt. One of the most important actions that we can take is to shift our orientation from institutional to community and home-based care.”

Sen. Collins continued, “Advances in technology and medical practice have made it possible for older adults who previously would have been forced to move to a hospital setting or a skilled nursing home to stay just where they want to be and that’s in the privacy, comfort and security of their own homes. Who among us, if it’s possible to stay home, doesn’t want to be home rather than in an institutional setting? That is why I am concerned that Medicare beneficiaries continue to face unnecessary barriers to getting needed home health services.”

Among the necessary changes to remove barriers to access for Medicare beneficiaries, Sen. Collins highlighted the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act. “To ensure that they get the home care they need when they need it, we simply must allow Advanced Practice Nurses and physician assistants to order home care for all. Talk about a policy that makes no sense whatsoever, it’s our current policy… Why in the world do we erect this barrier on their ability to order up needed home care?”

Sen. Collins also spoke about the importance of the rural add-on for Medicare home health services. “We must also realize the increased costs, as much as 12 to 15 percent higher, of delivering home health care in rural areas.” In rural areas of Maine, she said, providers “can see fewer people in a day” and travel costs are higher. “We should acknowledge that,” she said. “If not, those seniors will be hospitalized more frequently and forced into nursing homes. That is only going to cost our health care system more. I don’t know why this is such a difficult concept for CMS to understand.”

Providing home care and hospice advocates with some closing advice, Sen. Collins reminded the audience that she became a passionate advocate herself only after going on a home care visit. “I encourage each and every one of you to invite your Senators and your members of the House, when they are back home during the recess, to come with you on a home health care visit. I can assure that you will gain converts every step of the way,” she said.

 

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