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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

HHS Releases New Emergency Preparedness Resources

May 31, 2016 09:35 AM

The Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, recently released new health preparedness resources and information pertaining to the Zika Virus, hurricane preparedness, decontamination guidance for chemical incidents, cybercrime, and more.

Following are the new resources TRACIE announced for May 2016:

Zika Virus

On May 9, 2016 ASPR TRACIE released an updated version of "Zika: Resources at Your Fingertips," to reflect updated resources and new information. As the situation unfolds and new information is released, ASPR TRACIE will update the document (and indicate changes in red fontwith the date), so be sure to check back often.

Hurricane Preparedness

To support Hurricane Preparedness month, ASPR TRACIE released "Hurricane Resources at Your Fingertips." The document includes key lessons learned, categorized by profession and facility.

Decontamination Guidance for Chemical Incidents

ASPR TRACIE is featuring a recently released ASPR-sponsored study that found that ninety-nine percent of chemical contamination can be removed by carefully removing clothes and wiping skin with a paper towel or dry wipe. Community planners can incorporate the guidelines found on the webpage Decontamination Guidance for Chemical Incidents Scene Management into emergency response plans for mass patient decontamination.

Coming Soon!

ASPR TRACIE is closely tracking the impact of cybercrime/cyber hygiene on healthcare facilities. We recently hosted a roundtable with subject matter experts (recording to be posted soon), and are in the process of developing related products, to include a Topic Collection and Issue 2 of our newsletter The Exchange.

In anticipation of the upcoming election, ASPR TRACIE is finalizing a Topic Collection and has scheduled a webinar for healthcare coalitions on Mass Gatherings, with lessons learned from a variety of events (e.g., political, religious, and athletic). The webinar will be held on Thursday, July 14, from 2:00-3:00 ET. Speakers from healthcare coalitions and HHS ASPR will share their experiences with planning for and managing mass gatherings and National Special Security Events. Click here to register for the webinar.

Domain Updates

Technical Resources

There are currently 35 complete Topic Collections in the Technical Resources domain. Recent releases include Communication Systems, Homecare, Pre-Hospital, and Virtual Medical Care, and the Disaster Veterinary Issues collection was updated in May. Follow this link to access all comprehensively developed collections. Don't forget to log in and rate and comment on resources in Topic Collections or the Resource Library!

Assistance Center

The Assistance Center has processed almost 500 TTA requests from a variety of stakeholders. At production time, TTA staff were responding to over 10 new requests. Requests have ranged from researching and providing individuals with topic-specific resources (e.g., disaster EMS protocols and casualty estimate tools) to putting them in direct contact with a subject matter expert. We maintain a summary of many of the TTA requests received and we encourage you to reach out if you need assistance.

Information Exchange

Have you visited the Information Exchange (IE) domain lately? Login to check out the latest threads regarding Ebola Responder Down Protocol and Hospital EOP Templates. Recently added (redacted) TTA requests include a Healthcare Coalition Training and Exercise Calendar and a set of resources on Crisis Standards of Care. Don't forget to provide input on the National Healthcare Preparedness Program (NHPP) HPP Capabilities and Performance Measures. Register for the IE now tojoin the conversation. Need help navigating the IE? Check out this quick how-to video!




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