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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

Hawaii Becomes First State to Pay Caregivers

July 12, 2017 03:10 PM

The state of Hawaii will give eligible families $70 a day to help pay for home care services for a family member after Governor David Ige (D) signed the Kupuna Caregivers Program into law on July 6.

In the Hawaiian culture, a kupuna is a family elder and the term confers respect and reverence for the elder’s wisdom. The Hawaiian culture strongly emphasizes the responsibility children and grandchildren have in caring for their kupuna and helping them remain in their homes and villages as they grow older and infirm.

The Kupuna Caregivers Program will provide up to $70 a day to people who serve as the primary caregiver to someone, but also work at least 30 hours per week outside the home. The money can be put toward health care, meals, transportation and other home services for their dependents over 60. The program will provide assistance to Hawaiians who do not qualify for Medicare or Medicaid home health services.

Everyone who has filed a Hawaii state income form for 10 years would be eligible for the $70 stipend, which could be paid for a total of 365 days. The program would be paid for by a slight increase in the state’s General Excise Tax, which would fall on all businesses’ gross income. About 35 percent of the fund would come from tourists, who pay into the General Excise Tax, but, of course, do not stay to claim the benefit for themselves.

The law provides $600,000 dollars as initial money for the program and advocates will need to go back to the state legislature to ask for more next year.

Advocates for the legislation, who worked for about 21 years to see it passed, say it will enable working caregivers to stay in their jobs, but also pay a fair wage to others in order to get some breaks in the caregiving work.

“This measure is just one more extension of what we believe is fundamentally important to ensure we can take care of our kupuna going forward,” Gov. Ige said at the signing ceremony. “[The program] provides up to $70 per day for transportation services, personal care, respite care and homemaker services to help facilitate and allow our families to take care of their loved ones at home.”

Beth Hoban, a leader in the home health community in Hawaii and natinally, is a caregiver herself, looking after her 93-year-old mother. "It's like having a toddler or a child at home. You have to make the time to make sure you get her prepared make sure her meals are ready," Ms. Hoban told Hawaii News Now.

While caring for her mother, Ms. Hoban runs a full-time home health agency and says the money provided by the Kupuna Caregivers Program will help. It’s really going to be great to be able to afford those options.”

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) applauds Hawaii for its forward-thinking home care policy. The United States faces a caregiver crisis, with 10,000 people turning 65 every day since 2011 and not enough people to help care for the chronic health problems that will come with the “silver tsunami.”

2011 AARP report found that the average caregiver in the U.S. is a 49-year-old woman who has another job outside the home and spends almost 20 hours per week providing unpaid care to a parent over about five years. Two-thirds of family caregivers are women and the report estimated the value of the caregiving work they provide at $450 billion every single year.

Hawaii is an ideal state to take on this challenge first, both because of its aforementioned culture and because of its own demographics. While the nation is aging rapidly, this is an even more acute problem for Hawaii, where the number of senior citizens age 75 or more increased by 116 percent between 1990 and 2012. The comparable number for the United States as a whole was 47 percent. AARP estimates there are about 154,000 unpaid caregivers in Hawaii.

In addition, Hawaii residents live longer than other Americans, an average of 82 years, which means 23 percent of the state will be 65 years or older by 2030. It is also costlier to age in Hawaii, in part because of the price of importing goods and also the price of real estate. A nursing home in Hawaii costs about 50 percent more in Hawaii than on the mainland, according to Slate magazine.

According to a Caring Across Generations poll of Hawaiian adults between the ages of 45 and 70, one-third currently help care for an aging person in their home.

You can watch the bill being signed into law and hear Governor Ige’s remarks by watching this video.




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