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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

Heath 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

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

42 Things You Will Want to Do in Washington, DC


l. Make History.

For months, Republicans, who control the House, have called for debt reduction without additional taxes and insisted on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Democrats, who control the Senate, are resolute that the wealthy should pay more taxes and that the ACA remain in effect. Pressure has been building for weeks and by the end of October, it will reach the boiling point. Now is time for resolution. Now is the time history will be made. The home care and hospice community asks to be exempted from additional Medicare cuts that seniors be spared from paying co-payments as a pre-condition of their accessing home health services.

2. Join the Historic March on the Capitol.

It is scheduled for the morning of October 31. Shuttles will be provided from the hotel to Capitol Hill. The goal is increasing the industry’s support within the Congress.

3. Participate in the National Caring Awards.

The awards ceremony will be held from 10:30am to noon at the Gaylord Hotel on October 31 followed by an invitation-only lunch for honorees who include: Congressman John Lewis; hotel magnate and humanitarian Bill Marriott; Maria Gomez, founder of Mary’s Place; Patty Webster, Founder Amazon Promise; Senator Daniel Inouye (posthumously); and International honoree, Father Patrick Divine, founder of Project Shalom Nairobi, Kenya.

4. Learn to speak ICD10.

A new code will soon go into effect matching health diagnoses and payment. A pre-conference will be held on October 30 to help attendees master this new language that will be required next year.

5. Learn the State of  Hospice and Home Care in America.

NAHC President, Val J. Halamandaris, is always one of the most anticipated parts of the NAHC Annual Meeting. Get a glimpse of the future and what can be done to ensure the growth and acceptance of home care and hospice.

6. Unravel the Mysteries of the Affordable Care Act.

A panel of experts will explore ACA Opportunities and Obligations at the Opening General Session 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm on October 31. Presenters include: Val J. Halamandaris, NAHC President; Jeff Kincheloe, Vice President for Government Affairs; Richard Brennan, Vice President for Technology; Theresa Forster, Vice President for Hospice; Bill Dombi, Vice President for Law; Mary Langowski of DLA Piper; and Colin Roskey of Cozun O’Connor, NAHC Senior Counsel.

7. Celebrate the Nurse of the Year.

Learn which of the home care nurses nominated by all 50 states won the on-line voting as the Home Care and Hospice Nurse of the Year. Thursday night, Opening General Session.

8. Be Among the First to Know The Plan.

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) is slated to become Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, if Democrats keep control of the Senate in 2014.  Be there to hear his plans to deal with long term care and the management of chronic disease.  Opening General Session.

9. Applaud Senator Debbie Stabenow.

Thank this courageous member of the Senate for her Leadership efforts to stop the onerous proposed rebasing rules. The Senator got more than a majority of the Senate to sign on a letter which she wrote to CMS asking that the misguided rule be shelved or modified. Thursday Opening General Session.

10. Go Wild for Senator Susan Collins. (Invited)

Be there to take the roof off for Senator Collins who has been among the staunchest advocates for homecare and hospice. Invited for Thursday Opening General Session.

11. Witness the Opening of the Sealed Envelope.

The Chairman of the Nominating Committee will open the sealed envelope and announce the winners of the 2013 election for the NAHC Board. You won’t want to miss this.

12. Enjoy the Halloween Bash.

The opening of the Exhibit Hall on Thursday night beginning at 5:45pm promises to be thrilling. Prizes are being given for the best costumes worn by attendees. Prizes will also be given for exhibitors with the most haunting decorations and costumes.

13. Be Like a Kid in a Candy Store.

Check out what’s new. Companies work the entire year to roll out new products and services to make the lives of homecare and hospice personnel just a little easier--helping to improve care and lower overall costs. Come see. Exhibition Hall, Thursday night from 5:45 pm to 7:30 pm, Friday and Saturday morning and afternoon.

14. Graze Your Way through the Exhibit Hall.

Emulate the grasshopper; get there early, buzz around a lot and don’t drink a thing until you have eaten your fill. There will be some good stuff there, but have your wits about you. If you don’t recognize it, don’t eat it.

15. Loiter a Little and Learn a Lot in the Bookstore.

Barnes and Nobel have joined NAHC in sponsoring the ultimate convention bookstore. Take a load off of your feet, have a coffee, read a little and buy books such as: The 9 1/2 Principles of Innovative Service, by Chip R. Bell; and Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked, by Chris Matthews of Hardball and the Chris Mathews Show.

16. Avoid Having To Buy Airport Presents.

Evaluations over the years have consistently recommended that NAHC offer more retail in its exhibit hall.  Shoes, jewelry, fine dresses and make-up were often mentioned by women. Members report being so conscientious they refuse to leave the educational sessions which their agencies have paid for even to go shopping for their  grandchildren. Because of the failure of NAHC to pick up on this idea, members report having to buy airport present for their loved ones. No one should be forced to make such a hobson’s choice.  Therefore, this year NAHC has brought in a good number of vendors selling hats, tee shirts and other Washington, D.C. memorabilia.

17. Check up on Your Emails.

Find the Internet Café and settle in to answer your electronic communications.

18. Make Full Use of your LAN.

NAHC has created a Legislative Action Network (LAN) which allows you to fashion and send customized emails to your members of Congress. Simply enter your zip code and the computer will populate the field with the names and preferred email addresses of your Senators and Congressmen. With one click of the mouse, you can send emails in the form specified by Members of Congress guaranteeing that your message will be received.

19. Roll on the River.

Arrange to cruise the Potomac River which runs in front of the Gaylord National Hotel. The journey is even more romantic by night. This is a good thing to do on Friday night, weather permitting.

20. Dine at the Old Hickory Steakhouse.

This memorable bistro is literally under foot in the Gaylord National Hotel. Remember to choose your cheese and your wines carefully to match the flavors of the scrumdelicious steaks that are so odiferous that visitors 15 miles away at Mt. Vernon can smell them cooking when the winds are right.

2l. Dine with Members of the U S Senate.

Private dinners will be going on most of the nights that the NAHC Convention is in the Capitol City. Round up several of your friends and discreetly ask a NAHC staff member and they may be able to arrange for you to raise a fork and a glass with Congressional Royalty.

22. Crawl the Pubs of National Harbor.

It is miracle. Really. One day there was nothing there. The next there was a spectacular resort hotel and convention center, a gracious harbor surrounded by dozens of restaurants, shops, office space and residences. This obviates the need to go across the river to Alexandria, or all ten miles north to Washington to find a decent watering hole.

23. Try those famous Far-More-than-Heavenly Beds.

The days of the Convention are jammed packed. There won’t be much time to spend in your hotel room, beautiful as it may be.  However, you will hate yourself in the morning if you fail to make use of the beds for which the Gaylord National is famous.

24. Visit the Frederick Douglass Museum.

Located three blocks east of the U.S. Capitol, NAHC’s Frederick Douglass Museum is THE PLACE on Capitol Hill to host receptions and dinners. As this report was going to press, an event honoring 7 of the 20 female Members of the U.S. Senate was being confirmed for the evening of October 30.

25. Salute the Homecare and Hospice Hall of Fame Inductees.

At the Friday morning general session, NAHC will announce those being inducted into the NAHC Hall of Fame which presently includes Mother Teresa, Congressman Claude Pepper, Senators Frank E. Moss, Ted Kennedy, John Breaux and nurses Florence Nightingale, Clara Barton and Lillian Wald.

26. Learn To Take Care of Yourself.

Home care nurses, executives, therapists and aides are so busy taking care of others that they do not always take care of themselves.  Find out how to do so from international best selling author Tom Rath. His latest book, Eat Move Sleep has just been released.  Mr. Rath has made a gift of his book to every attendee because of his respect for NAHC and its hospice and home care members.

27. Attend a Book Signing.

The only thing more valuable than Eat Move Sleep which is a guide to living a long, healthy and meaningful life is one that is personally autographed to you.  Mr. Rath has agreed to stay in the Exhibit Hall signing books after his speech at the Friday morning general session.

28. See and Hear Senator Harry Reid Speak.

The Senate Majority Leader is a huge fan of home care and hospice. In this rare public appearance at the NAHC Friday morning general session, he will offer his perspective about what is happening in Congress and what the home care community can do to help him make its case for fair treatment.

29. Visit your Favorite Exhibitors.

All life is about relationships.  Don’t miss an opportunity to enhance yours with attendees and with those vendors and consultants who have helped you and your agency.  If nothing else, drop by and say thank you to them for taking the time to exhibit at the NAHC Annual Meeting.

30. Enjoy the Friday Afternoon Socials.

Networking is a valuable part of the Annual Meeting experience. This is why NAHC and its 14 affiliates have sponsored wine and cheese receptions.  Several sponsors have helped to underwrite this activity. Based on its success and in order to facilitate communication, an effort will be made to recruit even more sponsors next year. The socials will take place from 5:30pm until 7 pm.

31. Do What You Want on Friday Night.

Friday night, November 1 is open. So, take the time to relax and do what you enjoy. Some people will want to make arrangements to drive into Washington for a dinner, or a night on the town. Others will want to lay back and try out those famous Gaylord beds.

32.  See and Hear Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

As of this writing, Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican Leader, has tentatively agreed to speak at the NAHC Annual Meeting on Saturday morning, November 2. The General Session will begin at 10:30am and end at 12:30 pm. Senator McConnell has been a great supporter of home care.  On September 24, 2013, for example, he wrote a very strong letter to the CMS Administrator opposing the revisions to the Medicare Prospective Payment System.

33. Learn How to Market Your Agency and Provide Superior Customer Service.

This means being there to hear Chip R. Bell talk about the high points of his new best seller, The 9 1/2 Principles of Innovative Service. Mr. Bell’s books are available in the bookstore. He has promised to do a book signing in the Exhibit Hall on Saturday afternoon after his speech. Those who follow his column in CARING can vouch for the fact that he is a gifted writer and speaker with a great sense of humor.

34. Let It All Hang Out at the Simione/NAHC Party.

The closing night party is something of a tradition.  Ask anyone who was at last year’s event in Orlando and they will tell you that the event was a blast. There was a great crowd.  The music was jammin’, the decorations were stunning, the food was plentiful and good. There was a wide choice of drinks. The best part of it all was the camaraderie, the close ties among a group of people bound together by their love of service—of providing care to others who are ill, disabled or dying.  This is a great time for the home care and hospice community to collectively let its hair down and blow off some steam.  This year’s party, on the banks of the Potomac under the stars with stellar views of the Potomac to the heart of the nation’s Capitol, promises to raise the bar still higher for next year’s meeting located in Phoenix, Arizona during the third week of October.

35. Learn the State of the Industry.

Bob Fazzi and his team have been working most of the year analyzing the State of the Homecare and Hospice Industry in America. NAHC has helped to sponsor this study as it has several others in the past. Mr. Fazzi will present the highlights of his study to the NAHC membership on Sunday, November 3, the closing day of the NAHC Annual Meeting.

36. Witness a Seminal Debate: Quo Vadis Health Care.

The question to be considered by a distinguished panel is: Where is Medicine Headed and Where Should it be Going? Among those participating in this session are: Lawrence Kline, DO, Director of the Scripps Clinic Sleep Center in  LaJolla, California; Carl A Hammerschlag, a physician and psychiatrist, author and healer based in Phoenix Arizona; former U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, founder of a rural clinic in Bayou La Batre, Alabama; Pedro “Joe” Greer, Professor and Assistant Dean, Florida International University; Stephen Landers M.D., Executive Director of the Visiting Nurse Association of Central New Jersey.

37. Make Full Use of the 127 Educational Sessions.

The NAHC Annual Meeting offers the world’s largest selection of high quality educational sessions on homecare and hospice.  The speakers were chosen with care and instructed not only to define the issues facing the industry but also to offer practical solutions and best practices which can be implemented immediately by providers. There are eight blocks of workshops with an average of 15 choices on various subjects, each one 90 minutes long.

38. Apply to be a Presenter Next Year.

NAHC secures faculty members in two ways.  First, all NAHC members are invited to submit the outline of a program that they would offer and who, if anyone, would join them in its presentation. NAHC will be taking applications at this year’s Annual Meeting for next year’s meeting which will be held in Phoenix, Arizona, from October 19 – 22. Those who are selected will have their registration fee waived. The second way involves members informing NAHC of the names of superior presenters that they have seen or would like to see. NAHC’s Annual Meeting Committee will follow-up and invite many of these experts to speak.

39. Claim Your CE’s. 

Attendees can claim up to 19 CE credits for nurses, accountants and social workers and 13 CE credits for physical therapists towards the continuing education for attending specific sessions at the NAHC Annual Meeting. Members log into each educational session they attend. A record of your attendance is available online. Members can print out a certificate which is available for their use immediately.

40. Save Money on Your 2014 Registration.

A special form will be provided for NAHC 2013 Annual Meeting attendees who will allow them to register in advance and pay a reduced rate of registration to attend the 2014 NAHC Annual Meeting.

41. Sign Up for Exhibit Space and Sponsorships.

Attendees at the 2013 meeting will have the inside track when it comes to securing exhibit space, or sponsorships for the NAHC Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona on October 19-22, 2014. This includes the Golf Tournament which will take place on Saturday, October 18.

42. Tell Us What Was Great and What Needs Improvement.

Your help is invaluable to help us learn how to make the Annual Meeting even better. The goal is to provide you with a high quality educational experience which is simultaneously uplifting and fun.  We hope to have you conclude that attending the NAHC Annual Meeting provides you with the highest return on the dollars that you have invested.

2013 Sponsors

Platinum Level

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Gold Level

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Silver Level

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Bronze Level

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