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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

Advocate Spotlight: Kyle Simon of the Home Care Association of Florida

July 13, 2017 01:11 PM

Kyle_SimonToday marks the second installment of a new series at NAHC Report, the Advocate Spotlight, in which we draw attention to a committed and effective advocate for home care and/or hospice in the United States. These advocates for home care and hospice can provide important tips for everyone about how we can better persuade the public and our elected officials to adopt policies that will enable every American who needs and wants home care and hospice services to receive it.

In addition, we will learn about the concerns home care and hospice leaders have around the country. Some of those concerns will be universal to our community, but others will be particular to that state or region.

Kyle Simon is the Director of Government Affairs and Communications at the Home Care Association of Florida and a frequent participant in NAHC’s advocacy campaigns, such as March on Washington. NAHC Report has asked Kyle five questions and we think readers will find his answers interesting.

1. What is your strategy for advocating for home care with state and/or federal legislators? That is, what is your pitch like and what seems to be particularly successful?

KS: I have found that localizing and personalizing the issue is the most effective strategy as a home care advocate. Showing a constituent receiving quality, cost-effective care at home helps the policy maker put him/herself or a loved one in the patient’s shoes, and reinforces the value of aging in place.

2. What is the most important legislative or regulatory issue facing the Florida home care community right now?

KS: There are many issues, such as the burdensome face-to-face encounter requirement and access to care considering the physician shortage. The overarching crisis we face as a nation is there being no solution in sight for rising long-term care costs for our aging population. Although home- and community-based care is cheaper than institutional care, too many states still spend more on the more expensive care setting. Additionally, the Medicare benefit does not cover unskilled care for beneficiaries (e.g., bathing, meal preparation), which can lead to institutionalization. Long-term care insurance has also failed at reining in costs because too few Americans can afford it.

3. And what would you like to see done about it?

KS: Policy makers must recognize that the Medicare home health benefit needs updating so it can better serve our aging population. A beneficiary may have nursing care that allows patients to heal at home, but what good does that do if they cannot dress or bathe themselves or prepare their meals? The benefit should be a one-stop shop so that care is better coordinated and costs are better controlled.

4. Why did you get into the home care field and what keeps you there?

KS: I am passionate about public policy as a means to improving the quality of life of others. After getting a master’s degree in policy, I recognized that no other policy area has more of an impact on a person’s opportunity to live a healthy, fulfilling life than health care. When you factor in that our industry helps keep families together and is a more cost-effective setting for care, working in home care was a no-brainer.

5. What are your plans for the rest of summer 2017?

KS: HCAF’s annual conference is around the corner, so my colleagues and I are feverishly finalizing plans to make this year the best yet! I also teach a college course part-time, so I am juggling that in addition to trying to get to the beach as often as I can.

Thank you, once again, to Kyle Simon of the Home Care Association of Florida. NAHC appreciates Kyle answering our questions, but even more we appreciate all the hard work he has done on behalf of home care in the state of Florida.

See the previous installments of Advocate Spotlight:

1. Kathy Messerli




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