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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

NAHC Honors Mother Teresa on her Canonization

September 2, 2016 01:32 PM

“The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.” – Mother Teresa (1910-1997)

She was born Agnes Bojaxhiu to an Albanian family in the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia on August 26, 1910, but the world came to know her as Mother Teresa of Calcutta. During her 87 years of life, Mother Teresa was the personification of caring and mercy for countless people of all faiths around the world.

On September 4, 2016 Mother Teresa will become a saint when she is canonized by Pope Francis in Rome. Beatified in October 2003, Mother Teresa’s ascension to sainthood is one of the swiftest in recent decades.

Even as a young girl, Mother Teresa knew she wanted to be a nun and serve the poor. Her dream came true in 1928 when she joined the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Sisters of Loreto, and was assigned to a convent in Calcutta (Kolkata.) In 1946 Mother Teresa received a vision from God, instructing her to create a religious order offering unconditional love to the poorest of the poor. That was the genesis of the Missionaries of Charity, a congregation of mercy that has grown to 5800 women and men in 139 countries.

“My community is the poor,” said Mother Teresa. “Their society is my own. Their heart is my own.” Determined to raise up even the most indigent, she told her followers: “Let no one come to us without feeling happy or better. Let them see the kindness in your face, in your eyes, and in your friendly greeting. Let us be of one heart, all love.”

Mother Teresa’s tireless and selfless devotion to serving the poorest among us eventually earned the attention of the world and in 1979 she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her lifetime of service.

However, humanitarian work alone, no matter how admirable, is insufficient for canonization. A candidate for sainthood must normally be associated with at least two miracles because a person worthy of sainthood must be someone who is actually in heaven with God, working on behalf of those in need of healing.

In the case of Mother Teresa, a man in Brazil with brain abscesses who awoke from a coma and a woman in India whose stomach tumor disappeared both credited prayers to Mother Teresa for their remarkable recovery.

Certainly, Mother Teresa has had a huge impact on the National Association of Home Care & Hospice. In 1985, NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris met Mother Teresa in 1985 when he presented a Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of NAHC and its related Foundation for Hospice & Homecare. Mother referenced her own hospice and home care in Calcutta, telling Halamandaris that “we are in the same business.”

Halamandaris says Mother Teresa told him there is a “poverty of the spirit in the U.S. and the western world that is far worse than the poverty of the body that is seen in the Third World,” earnestly poking a finger in his direction and directing him to “do something about it.”

As Halamandaris later wrote, “When a living saint gives you an order, it is hard to ignore.”

This conversation inspired the creation of The Caring Institute, a separate non-profit organization supported by NAHC and others which honors the most caring adults and young people in America. Caring, as Mother said, “is the most powerful force in the universe.” She said, “caring is love in action.”

“Mother Teresa was the quintessential home care and hospice nurse,” says Halamandaris. “She was always positive and tried to lift the spirits of others, especially those who were in pain and sorrow.” Mother Teresa’s life was an inspiration for all home care and hospice workers and NAHC honors her and her memory as she makes her final, inevitable journey to sainthood.




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