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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

FEMA 2016 National Preparedness Report Released

June 24, 2016 12:59 PM

The United States Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently released the 2016 National Preparedness Report assessing the state of the nation’s preparedness. The Report presents examples of preparedness progress in recent years, as well as findings across the mission categories of Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response, and Recovery.

Included in the report is an assessment of the nation’s public health preparedness. While noting examples of progress in this realm, the Report also points to areas where improvement is needed. One such area where improvement is needed is in protecting against cyber breaches, which pose a threat to health care and other industries.

“Three core capabilities have demonstrated acceptable levels of performance, but face performance declines if not maintained to address emerging challenges,” the Report states. “These capabilities to sustain are Planning; Public Health, Healthcare, and Emergency Medical Services; and Risk and Disaster Resilience Assessment.”

Following are some of the key findings in the Report pertaining to public health:


Cyber breaches that target personal information demonstrate the importance of cybersecurity information sharing between the public and private sectors, particularly in increasingly targeted industries, such as healthcare.


HHS launched the HHS emPOWER Map, which is a public, interactive map that uses Federal health data and NOAA severe-weather services to help Federal, state, local, and community partners anticipate, plan for, and respond to the needs of electricity-dependent individuals, whose lives may be threatened or lost by a severe weather–induced power outage.


Federal agencies and state and local health organizations have taken actions to enhance the Nation’s response capabilities following challenges encountered during the 2014–2015 Ebola virus disease outbreak.


The Recovery mission area is focused on a timely restoration, strengthening, and revitalization of the infrastructure; housing; a sustainable economy; and the health, social, cultural, historic, and environmental fabric of communities affected by a catastrophic incident.

New research and recent Federal initiatives encourage decision-makers to incorporate health considerations into all aspects of disaster recovery planning.

The Federal Government is expanding health information-sharing systems to enhance pre-disaster recovery planning and post-disaster research capabilities for health and social services.

Behavioral Health in Recovery: Since 2012, the Federal Government has increasingly incorporated behavioral health considerations into response and recovery efforts through implementation of the HHS Disaster Behavioral Health Concept of Operations, and the deployment of HHS mental health teams and new psychological first-aid training for first responders.

HHS, Health Researchers, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: In 2015, researchers concluded 31 research projects funded by HHS to support post–Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts. These projects generated best practices and tools to enhance future recovery efforts, including insights into the provision of mental health services and tools to enhance coordination between local health departments and nongovernmental organizations. In addition, ASPR and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services published results of a research study that followed treatment patterns and outcomes of 13,000 New York City and New Jersey dialysis-dependent patients around the time of Hurricane Sandy. The study identified mitigation measures that both protected patients’ health (e.g., reduced deaths) and minimized stress on the healthcare system before, during, and after the hurricane.

Additional information regarding the Report is available here.




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