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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 Supports the Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act

May 19, 2017 03:08 PM

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) wrote a letter with allied organizations to members of Congress asking them support the Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act, a bipartisan piece of legislation that provides respite services to caregivers.

The Lifespan Respite Care Act, sponsored by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Susan Collins (R-ME) in the Senate and Reps. Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Gregg Harper (R-MS), would reauthorize the program for a mere $15 million a year for the next five years.

Every day, millions of American families are faced with unexpected illness, disease, or disability. A soldier is injured in war, a spouse develops multiple sclerosis or Alzheimer’s disease, or a child is diagnosed with a developmental or physical disability or chronic illness. These are but a few examples of events that can forever change an individual’s and family’s trajectory.

While each situation is unique, the one thing that they often have in common is the incredible value of family caregivers. Forty-three million family caregivers provide a vast majority of our nation’s long-term care, permitting individuals of all ages to remain in their communities and avoid or delay nursing home or foster care placements. AARP has estimated that family caregivers provide $470 billion in uncompensated care annually to adults, a staggering statistic that exceeds 2013 federal and state spending on Medicaid health services and long-term services and supports.

While the benefits of family caregiving are plentiful, caregiving can take its toll — with older spousal family caregivers experiencing higher mortality rates, rates of acute and chronic conditions, and depression than non-caregivers. Respite—short-term care that offers individuals or family members temporary relief from the daily routine and stress of providing care—is a critical component to bolstering family stability and maintaining family caregiver health and well-being. Respite is a frequently requested support service among family caregivers, but 85% of family caregivers receive no respite. Not surprisingly, high burden family caregivers (defined as those who assist their loved one with personal care such as getting dressed or bathing) cite lack of respite as one of their top three concerns.

To help provide family caregivers the support they need, the Lifespan Respite Care Program was enacted in 2006 with strong bipartisan support. The program provides competitive grants to states to establish or enhance statewide Lifespan Respite systems that maximize existing resources and help ensure that quality respite is available and accessible to all family caregivers. With more than half of care recipients under age 75 and more than one-third under age 50, Lifespan Respite rightly recognizes caregiving as a lifespan issue and serves families regardless of age or disability.

Though the program has been drastically underfunded since its inception, thirty-five states and the District of Columbia have received grants and are engaged in impressive work such as identifying and coordinating respite services available through various state agencies, including veterans caregiver services; helping unserved families pay for respite through participant-directed voucher programs or mini-grants to community-based agencies; building respite capacity by recruiting and training respite workers and volunteers; and raising awareness about respite through public education campaigns. Originally authorized through Fiscal Year 2011, enactment of the Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act is necessary to continue this excellent momentum, better coordinate and supply respite care to our nation’s 43 million family caregivers through statewide Lifespan Respite programs, and ensure that states are able to sustain the great work they have begun and still allow new states to receive a grant.

NAHC thanks Senators Collins and Baldwin and Representatives Harper and Langevin for their sponsorship of this legislation and we urge all their colleagues to join them in support of legislation that commits our nation to support of seniors, the disabled and the loved ones who care for them.

Stay tuned to NAHC Report for updates on this legislation.




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