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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

Heath 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

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

James F. Parker of Southwest Airlines to Keynote NAHC Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida

August 24, 2016 03:50 PM

Jim_Parker-photo3Val J. Halamandaris, President of NAHC is proud to announce that James F. Parker, the former CEO of Southwest Airlines has agreed to be the Opening Keynote Speaker at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Homecare and Hospice to be held at the Gaylord Palms Hotel in Orlando, Florida on October 23-25.

"Jim Parker is the best there is in crisis management.  He was at the helm during 9/11, which ranks high on the list of dark days for America. The fact that terrorists had used airplanes as bombs to accomplish their purpose made it all the worse.  All businesses in America suffered but none more than the airlines. People were afraid to fly.  It took awhile to reopen the airports, all of which were in lock down.  But winning back public confidence was a more difficult matter. With a steady hand and unerring good judgment Parker guided Southwest through the crisis and back to prosperity -- all without having to fire a single employee. His advice and counsel will be very helpful to the homecare and hospice community, many of whom share the belief that they have been under attack," said Halamandaris.

Under Parker’s direction, Southwest became the largest domestic airline in the United States in terms of customer enplanements and won renown as a shining star of customer service, despite being a low-fare, low-cost airline. “The key was our people,” Parker explains in his book Do the Right Thing. “They were dedicated. They were spirited. They worked hard. They understood the mission of our company and believed in it. They made flying fun for our customers, and they had fun themselves. This was their company, and they were determined that it would succeed.”

One case in particular demonstrates the commitment to service at Southwest Airlines under Mr. Parker. An elderly woman flew in to Phoenix, Arizona to meet her son, who was driving from Tucson to pick her up at the airport. However, he was injured in a car crash so when the elderly woman landed in Phoenix, there was no one to take her to Tucson. A Southwest employee tried to book the elderly woman on a different airline to Tucson – Southwest did not fly there – but he could not find her a seat.

Instead, Parker says, the intrepid Southwest employee “just went to the employee parking lot, got his car, and drove her to Tucson,” which is about 100 miles away. It is a story that will resonate with home care and hospice workers, who know that going above and beyond is part of the job.

Parker started in the legal department of Southwest and rose to be general counsel of the company for 16 years before taking over as CEO in 2001, about three months before the 9/11 attacks. He rose to the corporate suite because he demonstrated an uncommon vision, which reflects the views of the Southwest founders.  This mission might be paraphrased as follows:  to create an airline that provides safe, highly reliable and timely transportation priced within reach of the average person offered by caring people who had fun in their jobs.

“Leaders who can create a sense of ownership and pride will have accomplished most of what they need to do as leaders,” says Parker. “They will have unleashed the pride, passion, and creativity of their employees. The rest will be easy.”

Parker, who is an author, a teacher and has served at prestigious institutions such as the MIT Sloan School of Managementand the University of Maryland Smith School of Business, and will share these lessons, which have major implications for homecare and hospice, in his speech. He will also sign his book "Do the Right Thing,” which captures the lessons Parker has learned in life and business.




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