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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

GAO Announces Newly Appointed MedPAC Members

June 6, 2016 08:50 AM

On June 2, 2016, U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) Comptroller General Gene L. Dodaro announced the appointment of five new members to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC).

“MedPAC provides valuable advice to policymakers on key issues relating to Medicare,” Dodaro said. ”GAO received applications from a number of highly qualified candidates interested in serving on the Commission, and I am very pleased to announce this latest round of appointments because the men and women named today will bring an important range of diverse experiences and perspectives to MedPAC.”

Following are brief biographies of the new commission members:

Amy Bricker, RPh, is Vice President, Supply Chain Strategy with Express Scripts, Inc., in St. Louis, Missouri.  She works closely with pharmaceutical manufacturers and retail pharmacies in creating programs that support clients of Express Scripts’ pharmacy benefit management and consultation services and drug utilization review.  She has also held positions in the retail contracting and the fraud, waste, and abuse divisions of the company.  Prior positions include Regional Vice President with Walgreens Health Services and Director of Community Retail Pharmacy for BJC HealthCare.  Ms. Bricker received a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy at St. Louis College of Pharmacy.

Brian DeBusk, PhD, is Chief Executive Officer of DeRoyal Industries in Powell, Tennessee, which operates in the surgical, orthopedic, wound care, and healthcare information technology markets.  He also serves as Vice Chairman of Lincoln Memorial University in rural Tennessee, which includes graduate medical education programs for physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurses.  Dr. DeBusk’s prior employment includes General Electric, Inobis, and Pace Energy systems. He has served on the faculty of both the University of Tennessee and Lincoln Memorial University, teaching classes in Information technology and business strategy.  Dr. DeBusk holds a PhD in electrical engineering from Vanderbilt University and a Masters of Business Administration from Emory University.

Paul Ginsburg, PhD, is the Leonard Schaeffer Chair in Health Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. and Professor of Health Policy at the University of Southern California, where he is affiliated with the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics.  Prior positions include Founder and President of the Center for Studying Health System Change, Founding Executive Director of the Physician Payment Review Commission, Senior Economist at RAND, and Deputy Assistant Director at the Congressional Budget Office.  Dr. Ginsburg earned his doctorate in economics from Harvard University.

Bruce Pyenson, FSA, MAAA, is Principal and Consulting Actuary at Milliman, Inc. in New York, New York.  His work has focused on diverse aspects of healthcare and insurance, including recent work related to alternative payment models for accountable care organizations, such as shared savings, as well as financial modeling of therapeutic interventions.  He has co-authored publications on such topics as the cost-effectiveness of lung cancer screening, pandemic influenza, and site-of-service cost differences for chemotherapy. Mr. Pyenson is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries.

Pat Wang, JD, is Chief Executive Officer of Healthfirst in New York, New York.  Healthfirst is a not-for-profit provider-sponsored health plan that serves Medicare enrollees, including those who are eligible for low-income subsidies and those who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. Healthfirst incorporates a payment model that transfers risk to hospital and physician partners. Ms. Wang previously served as Senior Vice President of Finance and Managed Care for the Greater New York Hospital Association.   She received her law degree from the New York University School of Law.

The newly appointed members are highly respected but do not have specific connections to home care or hospice.




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