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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

Senators Introduce Compassionate Care Act to Improve End-of-Life Care

May 20, 2016 09:36 AM

United States Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) have introduced the Compassionate Care Act, legislation that would provide new federal resources to improve consumer and provider education with regards to end-of-life care, as well as support innovation and develop end-of-life quality measures for relevant provider settings. With the growing number of Medicare-eligible seniors, the senators said greater attention is needed to ensure individuals with advanced illness and their families receive the highest-quality end-of-life care. In a fact sheet about the legislation, the senators cited problematic statistics indicating the need for more focus on the issue:  “Recent research shows that while 42% of individuals have had discussion on end-of-life issues, only 21% put their care directives in writing, and 90% said that their physician never asked about this issue. Furthermore, according to a recent poll conducted by The John A. Hartford Foundation, 46% of physicians reported frequently or sometimes feeling unsure of how to conduct advance care planning or end-of-life conversations. Additionally, less than 29% of the physicians surveyed had received any formal training on how to talk with patients and families about end-of-life care.”

The Compassionate Care Act would address these issues through the following three main elements of the legislation, as outlined in the fact sheet released by the senators:

Consumer Education

  • Develops and implements a national public education campaign to raise awareness of palliative and hospice care and encourages individuals to engage with qualified health care professionals.

Provider Education

  • Requires development of core end-of-life quality measures across each relevant qualified health care provider setting.
  • Establishes a pilot program in advance care curricula that will allow qualified health care providers to further develop their skills on how to discuss and help patients and their loved ones with advance care planning, palliative care, medical and legal issues associated with this area, and specialized pediatric care; while also including training in cultural competency measures.
  • Supports the expansion and development of continuing education programs on advance care planning and end-of-life as well as create a public provider advance care planning website to provide access to critical resources and new developments in this area.

Supports Innovation

  • Establishes a demonstration project to reimburse eligible entities for costs associated with the use of telemedicine services to provide advance care planning.
  • Requires the Secretary to conduct a study on the establishment and implementation of a national uniform policy on advance directives.
  • Requires a GAO study and report on establishment of national advance directive registry.

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice has endorsed the legislation. Other organizations supporting the legislation include: The Coalition to Transform Advanced Care; American Osteopathic Association; Elder Justice Coalition; American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging; National Partnership for Hospice Innovation; Visiting Nurse Associations of America; National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization; American Heart Association; CT State Department on Aging.

Stay tuned to NAHC Report for additional information about how advocates can demonstrate their support for this legislation.




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