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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

LCAO Sends Recommendations to DNC and RNC Platform Committees

June 8, 2016 12:11 PM

The Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO), of which the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is a member, recently shared recommendations it would like to see included by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Republican National Committee (RNC) Platform Committees. The recommendations include proposals to strengthen and expand programs, including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the Older Americans Act that “enable older Americans to live independent and dignified lives.”

“Compared with over 46 million seniors today, by 2030, 70 million people – 1 in 5 Americans – will be 65 or older,” wrote Max Richtman, Chair of LCAO. “Given these demographic and economic realities, we urge you to include proposals in your platform that would strengthen the financial and health security of older adults and to reject proposals that would increase costs or reduce benefits for current and future generations of older Americans.”

In a letter sharing the recommendations, Richtman said LCAO members look forward to working with both the DNC and RNC Platform Committees “to meet the challenges presented by our growing elderly population.” LCAO is a coalition of 72 national nonprofit organizations concerned with the well-being of America’s older population.

“As preparation of your party platform moves forward, we urge you to consider the recommendations in the attached document on retirement security, health and long-term services and supports, and community services,” Richtman wrote. “These recommendations represent the common ground among our organizations, although they are not exhaustive of the interests of LCAO members, collectively or individually.”

Following are the recommendations included pertaining to health and long-term services and supports, as well as community services:

HEALTH AND LONG-TERM SERVICES AND SUPPORTS (LTSS)

  • Health Care and Long-Term Services and Supports. We believe that access to affordable, high-quality health care and long-term services and supports is part of the American promise that no one should go broke because they get sick, develop a disability, or are at the end of life. We will defend Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act against harmful cuts and seek to expand these programs to better protect older adults, people with disabilities, and low-income Americans.
     
  • Recognize Medicare as one of the great American success stories. We must truly protect and modernize the program to continue to meet the needs of older people, people with disabilities and their families into the 21st Century.  This means preserving Medicare’s universal social insurance model, with its minimal administrative costs, rather than further privatizing it with a voucher/premium support system. We must require complete parity in payments and benefits between the traditional Medicare program and private Medicare Advantage. Rather than scale back this successful program, we must expand it by eliminating gaps in coverage, such as dental, hearing and vision care.
     
  • Combat Rising Prescription Drug Costs. Americans pay the highest costs for prescription drugs in the world, causing older adults, people with disabilities, and families to forgo desperately needed medications, go without other basic needs, or risk bankruptcy. We are committed to fixing this problem through solutions such as allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, instituting an out-of-pocket cap in Medicare Part D, restoring discounts in Medicare available to state Medicaid programs, making transparent what it costs to develop breakthrough medications, and promoting research on the clinical effectiveness of comparable prescription drugs.
     
  • Advanced Illness and End-of-Life Care. People living with an advanced illness or nearing the end of life need and deserve access to a full range of high-quality health care options that honor their dignity and values and are person and family centered, well-coordinated, and integrated with community supports and services.
     
  • Improve LTSS Financing. Our nation has too long ignored the urgent need to address the emerging long-term services and supports crisis facing people with disabilities of all ages. We believe that all Americans deserve access to affordable coverage that protects against the financially ruinous costs of dementia and other conditions that require long periods of assistance with activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living.
     
  • End the Institutional Bias in Medicaid. Currently within the Medicaid program, states are required to provide nursing facility coverage while most home and community-based services (HCBS) are optional. It is time that we address this issue by assisting states with streamlining and rebalancing their long-term services and supports and by passing legislation that guarantees the right of people with disabilities of all ages to live in the community and lead an independent life.

COMMUNITY SERVICES

  • Expand Support for Home and Community-Based Services and Supports (HCBS).Expanding access to HCBS to meet the rapidly growing need for services delivered at home and in the community will mean at least doubling federal funding for the Older Americans Act (OAA) and expansion of other discretionary aging programs that have a long-established and trusted history of delivering essential services and providing information and referral/assistance to older adults and caregivers (both family and paid). Additionally, meeting the future needs for HCBS and realizing the potential of these essential services (such as nutrition, transportation, housing and other critical wrap-around supportive services) to reduce rapidly increasing health care costs, will require both Medicare and Medicaid to support health care delivery reform efforts that adequately involve, fund and preserve entities and networks that have successfully delivered HCBS for decades.

    Expand Efforts to Promote Elder Justice and Prevent Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation. Expand recent federal efforts to prevent the elder abuse and financial exploitation of one-in-ten older adults. We believe critical strategies to accomplish this goal include reauthorizing and fully funding the Elder Justice Act, creating a dedicated stream of federal funding for Adult Protective Services, and increasing funding for the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. We must also expand our financial literacy and fraud prevention efforts to better prepare, educate and protect older adults.
     
  • Support Caregiving.  Together, family caregivers and the paid caregiving workforce form the basis of support for aging adults and those who live with a chronic illness or disability. The vast majority of these older adults and people with disabilities want to remain at home and in the community, but face challenges in finding the support they need to do so. For the caregiver workforce, low wages, isolation, and limited opportunities for training make it harder to recruit and retain providers. Moreover, many families cannot afford long-term services and supports even when they can find a provider. Consequently, unpaid family caregivers often provide the bulk of individual services and even sacrifice their own physical, emotional, and financial security to care for a loved one.

    We are committed to helping family caregivers by developing a long-term services and supports system that both expands access to home and community-based services and ensures a qualified interdisciplinary workforce that is appropriately trained and properly compensated. We believe it is critical to expand federal opportunities to support family caregivers through increasing federal funding for existing programs that help caregivers, including caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. We believe it is important to ensure that family caregivers have an explicit role in care plans and the services and supports they need to provide care; resources to alleviate financial hardships and promote retirement security; and access to flexible employment policies. We also believe it is important to encourage the creation of a volunteer “caregiver corps.”
     
  • Support Socially and Economically Vulnerable Older Adults and Caregivers. Federally- supported safety net health care and community-based programs that serve older adults and caregivers are especially critical to the most economically and socially vulnerable populations. Programs that serve older adults and caregivers should pay particular attention to ensuring that they reach the most at-risk populations including low-income and minority elders, American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian elders, LGBT elders, Holocaust survivors, victims of abuse, and other vulnerable older adults.
     
  • Increase Opportunities for Older Adults to Age with Dignity and Purpose. With medical and technological advances, older people will be living, contributing, and thriving with longevity into their 90’s and beyond. Regardless of individual backgrounds or experience, older adults have much to contribute. To ensure that older people live with dignity and purpose, opportunities for continued work, training, and civic engagement are needed for those who need to earn wages out of economic necessity, as well as those who want to remain engaged in their communities in an intergenerational workforce or through volunteerism. Both have economic and social impacts that will strengthen our nation.
 

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