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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

Happy Birthday Lillian D. Wald

March 10, 2014 04:32 PM


For additional information:

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


Washington, DC (March 10, 2014)—March 10 marks the birthday of Lillian D. Wald, nurse, social worker, public health official, teacher, author, editor, publisher, women's rights activist, and the founder of the American community nursing movement.

“Lillian D. Wald’s unselfish devotion to humanity is recognized around the world and her visionary programs have been widely copied everywhere,” said Val J. Halamandaris, president of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC). “Even a cursory examination of the record will show that her contributions to society equal or surpass such appropriately venerated women as Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, and Margaret Sanger. Ms. Wald deserves to be better remembered and honored,” said Halamandaris.

Ms. Wald was born on March 10, 1867, in Cincinnati, Ohio, the third of four children born to Max and Minnie Schwartz Wald. The family moved to Rochester, New York, and Wald received her education in private schools.

In 1889, Wald met a young nurse who impressed her so much that she decided to study nursing. She graduated from New York Hospital School of Nursing and enrolled in medical school. At the same time, she volunteered to provide nursing services to the immigrants and poor living in the tenements of New York City. Visiting pregnant women, the elderly, and the disabled in their homes, Wald came to the conclusion that there was a crisis in need of immediate redress. She quit medical school and moved into a house on Henry Street in order to live among those who so desperately needed help. In 1893, she organized the Henry Street Settlement, later known as the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY). The VNSNY program became the model for similar entities across America and the world.

Wald began with no money and 10 nurses, which increased to 250 nurses and a budget of $600,000 by 1916. Wald and her colleagues visited the poor in their five-story, walk-up, cold-water flats. They educated residents about personal hygiene. They provided preventive, acute, and long-term health care and, later, assistance with housing and employment.

But Wald's innovations did not stop with the VNSNY. She persuaded the New York Board of Education to require that all schools have a nurse on duty during school hours. She persuaded President Theodore Roosevelt to create a Federal Children's Bureau to protect children from abusive child labor. She lobbied successfully to change divorce laws so abandoned spouses could receive compensation in the form of alimony. She helped form the Women's Trade Union League to protect women from having to work in “sweatshops.”

Wald also worked to secure women’s right to vote and supported her employee and protégé, Margaret Sanger, in her battle to give women the right to birth control. She fought for peace, leading several marches in protest of World War I; but when war became inevitable, she pitched in to do her part as chairman of the Committee on Community Nursing of the American Red Cross. She helped chair the Red Cross campaign to wipe out the flu pandemic of 1918 and worked to protect workers by requiring health inspections in the workplace.

Another of her major achievements was persuading Columbia University to appoint the first professor of nursing at a U.S. college or university. Until that time, nursing had been taught in hospitals and consisted largely of supervised work experience; Wald insisted nursing education take place in universities, augmented by practical experience.

In 1922, Wald was named by The New York Times as one of the 12 greatest living American women. In 1932, she was chosen by historian J. Addams as one of the top 12 American women leaders in the past century. In 1936, she was proclaimed the Outstanding Citizen of New York. Wald died on Sept. 1, 1940, but her legacy lives on in the institutions she helped build and the causes for which she fought. In the 121 years since she gave it birth the VNSNY has grown from a staff of 10 to over 19,000; the annual revenue from zero to $2.2 billion; and the number of people served each year from about 15,000 to nearly 150,000. During the same time frame the number of home care community nursing programs has increased from seven to more than 33,000 today.

Wald chose never to marry but she has millions of progeny today in the form of the home care and hospice nurses, therapists, and aides who were inspired to follow in her footsteps. Emulating Longfellow's admonition, she chose to leave footsteps in the sands of time. Wald summarized her beliefs by saying, “Nursing is love in action and there is no finer manifestation of it than the care of the aged and disabled in their own homes.”

NAHC and the Home Healthcare Nurses Association (HHNA) have launched their third Annual Nurse Recognition Program. They are now accepting nominations to honor and recognize nurses in each of the 50 states. Help us identify the nurses who best carry on Wald’s mission and values. For more information on the Nurse Recognition Program, click here.

NOTE: Lillian Wald's biographical information contained in this press release was excerpted from the book Faces of Caring: A Search for the 100 Most Caring People in History. It was edited and compiled by Val J. Halamandaris and published by Caring Publishing.

About NAHC

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is a nonprofit organization that represents the nation’s 33,000 home care and hospice organizations. NAHC also advocates for the more than two million nurses, therapists, aides and other caregivers employed by such organizations to provide in-home services to some 12 million Americans each year who are infirm, chronically ill, and disabled. Along with its advocacy, NAHC provides information to help its members provide the highest quality of care and is committed to excellence in every respect. To learn more about NAHC, visit




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