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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

Senator Wyden Speaks on the Importance of Tackling Chronic Illness, Updating the Medicare Guarantee

June 21, 2016 12:06 PM

On Wednesday, June 15, the Brookings Institution hosted Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) along with a panel of experts for an event titled, “Chronic care: Getting its complexity and cost under control.” Sen. Wyden provided remarks on the importance of addressing chronic illness and “updating the Medicare guarantee.”

Sen. Wyden stated that the current debate about American health care is “way, way, way out of whack,” and he cited the “striking lack of attention” to chronic illness as “particularly bizarre” given the fact that chronic illness “now dominates” American health care. “After trading the same blows over the Affordable Care Act for now six years it seems to me it is time for the health care debate to sort of grow up and turn to an issue of enormous consequence for older people across the country,” Sen. Wyden said. “And to me, the next major undertaking in American health care is updating the guarantee of Medicare for an era when chronic illness, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and stroke are now what dominates the program and dominates American health care. Older people afflicted by these persistent illnesses now account for an astounding ninety-three percent of all Medicare spending.”

With 10,000 people each day becoming eligible for Medicare, Sen. Wyden said, the “guarantee” in which Medicare has been grounded since 1965 “is coming up short.” He noted the need for a greater emphasis on home- and community-based care. “Leaving seniors on their own when it comes to coordinating care after preventative visits and uprooting the elderly as a rule by sending them to hospitals when getting treatment at home can be as effective, more comfortable and less expensive, just defies common sense,” he said.

Sen. Wyden cited the success of the Independence at Home program as evidence of “how little sense it makes to pull older people out of their homes by rule when they need treatment” rather than providing high quality and affordable home- and community-based services. “The early results from this pilot show that it is bringing costs down by $3,000 per older person,” he said.

“It is giving people better care where they want to be most, at home, for less money—the trifecta of sound health policy, just being ignored.”

With the elections just months away, Sen. Wyden encouraged all the candidates to clarify their positions on strengthening Medicare and addressing chronic illness. “Americans—not just seniors, but all Americans—have a right to know what the Presidential nominees and all candidates for the Congress are going to do to update Medicare in light of the facts that are now being ignored, and if that continues America is going to pay a real price for it,” he said. “Americans have a right to know that the Medicare guarantee is going to mean as much in the year and decades ahead as it did a half century ago when Lyndon Johnson put pen to paper and signed Medicare into law. It is putting-head-in-the-sand politics into practice to pretend that chronic illness is something that political candidates can simply ignore.”

Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ranking Member Wyden, along with Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Mark Warner (D-VA), have worked to develop legislation with regards to improving chronic care. The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) in January submitted comments on the Chronic Care policy options document that the Senate Finance Committee released in December 2015 (see previous NAHC Report coverage hereand here).




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