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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

New Home-Based Care Program Reduces Disability and Promotes Aging in Place

September 21, 2016 03:45 PM

A federally-funded home health project in Maryland helped elderly patients with disabilities significantly improve their ability to perform daily activities, reduced depression and enabled them to continue to live in their own homes.

Difficulty performing everyday functions, such as walking, dressing, bathing, and shopping, is a major cost driver that is usually overlooked in traditional medical care. This makes no sense because people with chronic illness and physical limitations are more than four times more likely to be among the top five percent of health care services than the rest of the general public. About $219 billion is spent every year on long-term service for people who cannot function independently.

To address this problem, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) funded a project in Baltimore to evaluate the Community Aging in Place, Advancing Better Living for Elders (CAPABLE), a program for physically disabled seniors. By the end of the five-month program, 75 percent of participants were able to perform more daily activities than before and their psychological wellness improved markedly, as well.

A team of three – an occupational therapist, registered nurse and a handyman – were assigned to each participant. The therapist made six visits, the nurse made four visits and the handyman spent one full day at the participant’s home doing repairs and installing devices to make life around the house easier.

An interesting focus of the program was rather than telling the seniors what they needed to do, the participants were instead asked what they needed to improve their lives and the team then addressed those needs.

All 234 low-income participants – 83 percent were women and 80 percent were African-American -- had trouble with ordinary tasks, known as activities of daily living (ADL). On average, participants had trouble with about four tasks at the start of the program, but reduced that by half to only two by the end of the program. Depressive symptoms improved in over half of the participants.

“We’re improving people’s lives, improving their abilities,” said Sarah Szanton, a Johns Hopkins University associate nursing professor who led the program.

Of course, when it comes to health care, patient outcome is the most important factor, but the cost cannot be overlooked. The average cost of delivering the program was $2825 per participant. That includes all ten clinician visits, mileage, care coordination, supervision, home repair and modification, and assistive devices.

By comparison, according to federal data, a semi-private room in a nursing home costs an average of $6235 per month. Note that the $2825 cost per participant covers five months.

A version of the CAPABLE program is being studied in Michigan and Szanton would like to see it incorporated into Medicare Advantage plans and Medicaid Waiver programs intended to keep seniors out of nursing homes.




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