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Testimonials

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. 

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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.

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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

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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 element...it’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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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Frank E. Moss, former U.S. Senator

Anyone working on health care issues in Congress knows the name Val J. Halamandaris.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Former President Bill Clinton

HHS Creating Center for Improved Healthcare Cybersecurity

May 16, 2017 01:45 PM

With news of recent incidents of global ransomware on the rise, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) plans to create its own version of the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) in an effort to create stronger healthcare cybersecurity.

HHS Chief Information Security Officer Christopher Wlaschin recently explained that the Health Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (HCCIC) should reach initial operating capability around the end of June. HHS will provide grants to the National Health Information Sharing and Analysis Center (NH-ISAC) to encourage a broad participation in an effort to analyze privacy and security threats and then deliver best practices to providers. HCCIC will also be a collaborative partnership, and work with mobile app developers to ensure that patient data remains secure on numerous platforms.

The NCCIC is part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and is described as “a 24x7 cyber situational awareness, incident response, and management center.” The NCCIC shares information among public and private sector partners to build awareness of vulnerabilities, incidents, and mitigations regarding cybersecurity matters.

This renewed effort by the U.S. government to help businesses combat cyber threats comes as ransomware cyber-attacks started hitting hospitals, governments, schools and various companies in different parts of the world on Friday; initially recorded more than 45,000 attacks in almost 100 countries, including Russia, Britain, Germany, Taiwan and more. The WanaCrypt0r 2.0 is the name of the infected malware that's been attacking different computers with an email that requires the various organizations to pay ransom in Bitcoin currency.

The initial attack vector has been email, through spam. These messages are typically fake invoices, job offers and other lures which are sent to random email addresses. Within the email is a .zip file and once clicked, that initiates the WannaCry infection. The attack is then spreading on internal networks using a P2P exploitation of SMB (Server Message Block) known as EternalBlue. The files are being dropped by a worm which abuses SMB, a network file sharing protocol. The file extension used is .wncry, which drops a ransomware notification named: @Please_Read_Me@.txt in common file and folder locations.

If your organization is the victim of a ransomware attack, please contact law enforcement immediately.

  • Contact your FBI Field Office Cyber Task Force  immediately to report a ransomware event and request assistance. These professionals work with state and local law enforcement and other federal and international partners to pursue cyber criminals globally and to assist victims of cyber-crime.
  • Report cyber incidents to the US-CERT and  FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center.

For further analysis and healthcare-specific indicator sharing, please also share these indicators with HHS’ Healthcare Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (HCCIC) at HCCIC_RM@hhs.gov

How to find the most up-to-date information from the U.S. government:

  • For overall Cyber Situational Awareness visit the US-CERT National Cyber Awareness System webpage at: https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas
  • NCCIC portal for those who have access: hsin.dhs.gov
  • FBI FLASH: Indicators Associated With WannaCry Ransomware

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice advises it members to take appropriate precautions to protect their computer systems since the ransomware exploits a vulnerability in outdated versions of Microsoft Windows that is particularly problematic for corporations and business that haven’t automatically update their systems. 

 

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