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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

NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris Has Passed Away

July 27, 2017 12:38 PM

Val_New_Portrait_light_smIt is with great sadness that the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) announces the passing of its president, Val J. Halamandaris.

Often referred to as the “leader of the last great civil rights movement”, Val worked tirelessly for 50 years to improve the lives and secure the rights of America’s elderly and infirm. A self-described “small-town boy who came to Washington, D.C. many years ago, full of ideals,” Val responded to President John F. Kennedy’s call to public service by joining the staff of Senator Frank E. Moss (D-UT) and enrolling in George Washington University and then Catholic University Law School.

Val was quickly drawn to the issues facing senior citizens with the U.S. Senate Committee on Aging and was instrumental in crafting the landmark Medicare and Medicaid programs, including the home health benefit. In 1967, Val and Senator Moss created the “Moss Amendments,” which set minimum federal standards for nursing homes.

In 1969, Val led an eight-year investigation of nursing homes around the United States, culminating in a 12-volume report, the first of 25 major reports Val wrote for Congress. In 1972, Val produced the first hearings on hospice and wrote the original legislation to provide Medicare coverage for hospice. Val’s investigation into Medicare and Medicaid fraud made such abuse a felony and led to the creation of state and federal oversight of the problem.

Working with Rep. Claude Pepper (D-FL) in the House of Representatives, Val continued his fight for the aged by helping create the Medicare hospice benefit and reforming the sale of health insurance to senior citizens.

Distressed by the conditions he found in America’s nursing homes, Val left Congress to find what he called “a better way” – health care in the home. When Val founded NAHC institutionalization of the elderly was the rule and home care was unknown to many. Due in no small part to Val’s hard work, leadership and unflagging advocacy, NAHC now represents the nation’s 33,000 home care and hospice organizations, two million nurses, therapists and other caregivers and the 12 million infirm, ill, and disabled Americans who receive  health care in their homes.

Inspired by an encounter with Mother Theresa, Val founded the Caring Institute in 1985 topromote the values of caring and public service and grant scholarship money to young persons. 

President Bill Clinton called Val “a remarkable human being and one of the most exceptional people that I have ever known” and Claude Pepper said Val was “the best, brightest, and most talented person to have worked for him in 50 years of public service.”

To the end of his days, Val was guided by these words from President Kennedy:

“What we need to do is take care of people till the end of their days, we have the resources, and we have the money. What is at stake is the very future of American democracy and how we are going to be viewed through the prism of history because all great civilizations can be measured by a common yard stick- how did they take care of our vulnerable populations.”

For his lifetime of dedication to the public good, Val will be posthumously honored with the Pope Francis Award for Charity and Leadership in October.

One of the most impactful Americans of the last 50 years, Val cannot be replaced and will never be forgotten. He is survived by his wife Kathleen M. Brennan-Halamandaris, three sons, their wives and six grandchildren, as well as his brother Bill, his wife, and son.

Visitation by family and friends of Val will be held from 5:00 - 8:00 pm on Friday, July 28, 2017 at St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church on Capitol Hill, 313 2nd St, SE, Washington, DC 20003. 

A funeral mass for Val will be held at 10:00 am on Saturday, July 29, 2017 at St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Burial at 12:00 noon Saturday, July 29, 2017 at the Rock Creek Cemetary, Rock Creek Church Rd & Webster St., Washington, DC 20011.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Caring Institute (http://www.caring.org/donate/).

To celebrate the life of our dearly-departed friend, mentor and leader, Val Halamandaris, NAHC has prepared a short video with some of the people in home care and hospice who knew Val best, talking about what he meant to them and to the millions of Americans who depend on home care. Please click here to watch. We hope you will also go to our memorial website for Val, valjhalamandaris.nahc.org, to leave your own thoughts and tributes to a man whose contributions to health care can hardly be described and will never be forgotten.

 

 

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