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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

House Panel Discusses Improving Cybersecurity Efforts at HHS

May 27, 2016 11:09 AM

The U.S. House of Representatives Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing on Wednesday, May 25, 2016, to discuss the responsibilities at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with regards to cybersecurity. Last year, the committee released a report stating that structural flaws at HHS have led to problems in the department’s information security efforts. Following up on the report’s findings, the hearing included discussion on H.R. 5068, the HHS Data Protection Act, introduced by Rep. Billy Long (R-MO) and Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA), which would establish the Office of Chief Information Security Officer (CISCO) within HHS. This would involve elevating the HHS CISCO so that the position no longer reports to the HHS Chief Information Officer. Supporters of the legislation argue that the current organizational structure at HHS prioritizes information operations over information security.

“As a result of an investigation conducted by the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations to examine information security at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it was determined that serious weaknesses existed in the overall information security programs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS),” stated Chairman Pitts. “It seems a major part of the problem is the organizational structure in place at HHS that puts information security second to information operations.”

While noting his agreement about the need for greater attention to improving cybersecurity efforts in both the public and private sectors, Full Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ) expressed disappointment that the subcommittee was unable to ensure that HHS had an opportunity to testify at the hearing. “HHS should be able to testify to whether this organizational change makes sense from their perspective and whether it could potentially exacerbate the problem it’s trying to solve,” he said, adding that he wished the majority had not “rushed” the hearing.

Full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) also expressed his support for the legislation. “Our oversight identified a problem. And we have a thoughtful solution in the HHS Data Protection Act to address it.”

Subcommittee Ranking Member Gene Green (D-TX) similarly said he was “surprised” by the majority’s decision to move forward with the hearing to discuss the legislation so quickly without accommodating HHS ability to provide a witness. “Unfortunately with the last minute timing of the hearing it’s impossible for the administration to testify,” Rep. Green said. “Having the HHS perspective would have greatly enhanced our evaluation of the current cybersecurity improvement efforts and the legislation, since HHS would be carrying out the organizational reforms proposed in H.R. 5068.”

Rep. Matsui conceded that receiving HHS’s perspective would be very important as the committee’s continues its discussion on the legislation and stated that she looks forward to continuing to working with her colleagues to develop “forward thinking solutions to combat cyber threats across both the public and the private sector.”

Cybersecurity has been a growing concern for health care providers as health networks have been hacked by ransomware attackers. NAHC appreciates efforts and guidance by Congress and the administration with regards to protecting and preventing such attacks.




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