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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

Caring Hall of Fame Announces 2013 Caring Awards Honorees

October 30, 2013 10:02 AM


For additional information:

Barbara D. Woolley
National Association for Home Care & Hospice
(202) 547-7424

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 29, 2013) – Senators Bob Dole and Tom Daschle, Co-Chairs of the Caring Institute announced the winners of the 2013 Caring Awards. Six adults and four youths are being commemorated at the Caring Awards Ceremony on October 31, in the Cherry Blossom Ballroom, Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, during the National Association for Home Care & Hospice Annual Meeting & Exposition in Washington, DC.
“Each year, it amazes me how compassionate people can be toward humanity,” said Val J. Halamandaris, founder and executive director of the Caring Institute. “I am so proud of our 10 extraordinary winners, and the great service they do for others here in the United States and around the world.”
Some past winners of the Caring Award are: Mother Teresa, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Rabbi David Grossman, Cal Ripken, Jr., Nancy Brinker, and Colin Powell. Like our 2013 winners, they all agree with Albert Einstein that “only a life lived for others is worthwhile.”
2013 Annual Caring Award Winners include:
Adult Award Winners
Maria Gomez
President and CEO, Mary’s Center
Gomez provides compassionate health care for the disenfranchised immigrant community. Her own experiences as an immigrant and home care nurse led her to find her life’s work in 1988. Her staff serves 17,000 people out of two centers and a mobile health unit where they get first-hand knowledge of the challenges their clients face.
Congressman John Lewis

Civil Rights Leader, Congressman from Georgia
Lewis has been a civil rights icon since he marched with Dr. Martin King Jr. As a member of the U.S. House, he has authored bills that fund probes of slain civil rights leaders and coins to commemorate the Civil Rights Act of 1964. His continued fight for racial justice has earned him fame as the conscience of Congress.
J. W. “Bill” Marriott Jr.
Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board, Marriott International, Inc.
Marriott’s success in the hospitality field is only matched by his humanitarian endeavors. He builds the future through his training program for welfare recipients, his scholarship program for students who plan to work in hotels, and his foundation to help young disabled people find rewarding jobs. He is also a Caring Institute trustee and a former board member of the Mayo Clinic, where he gave his advice on developing businesses based on human values.
Patty Webster
Inspirational Speaker, Founder and President, Amazon Promise
Webster has brought free health care to one of the poorest parts of the world since 1993. Braving floods and flies, snakes and poor sanitation, she leads medical volunteers to the Amazon jungle. Her teams hold clinics in remote villages and urban slums where they provide medical and psychological care, along with health education.
Honorable Daniel Inouye
Posthumous Award Winner
Inouye was a lifelong public servant who broke racial barriers on Capitol Hill. He fought heroically in World War II and lost an arm in a firefight with Germans in Italy. He went on to become the first Japanese American to serve in Congress, representing the people of Hawaii from the time they joined the Union. Last year, President Barack Obama awarded him a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. And he is just one of many to recognize Inouye’s valor on the battlefield and his ethics in public life.
Father Patrick Devine
International Winner
Executive Director, Shalom Centre for Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation (SCCRR)
Devine has often risked his life to end conflict in Kenya. He knows there can be no lasting peace if people’s needs are unmet, so he has provided food, shelter, health care, and education to thousands in Kenya and nearby countries. He also heads conflict resolution workshops where local factions learn ways to build peace themselves.
Young Adult Winners:
Allyson Ahlstrom
Founder, Threads for Teens
Age 18
Allyson helps underprivileged girls have more self-esteem by giving them new, brand-name clothes. She has outfitted 200 girls in her charming storefront boutique and brought a mobile boutique to 48 states. By seeing up to 30 girls a day, she was able to provide over 1,000 girls with new back-to-school ensembles.
Zachary Certner
President, Co-founder, Special Needs Athletic Programs (SNAP)
Age 16
Zach conducts free sports clinics for students with special needs, along with sensitivity training to help other kids see the challenges they face. With funding of $60,000, he has held workshops that have taught 2,700 students to be more empathic and convinced 450 of them to join him as mentors and coaches.
Nicholas Cobb

Founder, Comfort and Joy
Age 17
Nicholas’s strong sense of conscience has inspired him to help the homeless. He has raised more than $30,000 to provide them with food and donate 400 winter coats to homeless shelters. He also helps people to help themselves by giving the homeless suits to wear on job interviews and by funding college scholarships.
Will Lourcey
Founder, Friends Reaching Our Goals (FROG)
Age 11
Will is determined to tackle hunger and knock it down. He has taken steps toward that goal by raising more than $20,000 for his local food bank, providing over 100,000 meals for the hungry, and feeding over 10,000 families. Will’s success lies in his talent for making fundraising fun and combining giving with sports.

About the Caring Institute
The Caring Institute’s mission is to promote the values of caring, integrity, and public service. It was founded in 1985 by Val J. Halamandaris after a meeting with Mother Teresa, who told him there was a poverty of the spirit seen in the developed world that was much worse than the poverty of the body seen in the Third World. When she directed him to do something about it, he founded an awards program that identifies those who give back to society in outstanding ways and then holds them up as role models for all. The Caring Institute is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and all donations are tax deductible by law.




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