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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


Sunday, November 3rd

The Future of Health Care

Panel Disscussion:

A panel of experts gather to gaze into the crystal ball of health care.

Moderated by:

Matthews_Chris_PROMOPIC Castellanos Shields_Mark_ORIGINAL

Chris Matthews
Television Host

Chris Matthews hosts Hardball with Chris Matthews Monday through Friday on MSNBC. Matthews is also the host of The Chris Matthews Show, a syndicated weekly news program produced by NBC News and distributed by NBC Universal Television Distribution. Mr. Matthews is a regular commentator on NBC’s Today show

Alex Castellanos
Political Strategist and Analyst

An integral part of CNN’s “Best Political Team on Television,” Alex Castellanos offers his sharp insights on politics in the age of Obama and what the current climate means for future Republican campaigns. One of the Republican Party’s best-known and most successful strategists, Castellanos has been credited with discovering the political “soccer mom” and called the “father of the attack ad.”

Mark Shields
Columnist and Political Analyst

The Wall Street Journal has called Mark Shields “the wittiest political analyst around” and “frequently the most trenchant, fair-minded, and thoughtful.”  His insights are up-to-the minute, drawn from four decades of knowing, covering, and savoring the country and its politics. A nationally known columnist and commentator, Shields has worked in Washington through the administrations of nine presidents.

Invited Panelist include:


Kathleen Sebelius
Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Kathleen Sebelius was sworn in as the 21st Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on April 28, 2009.  Since taking office, Secretary Sebelius has led ambitious efforts to improve America’s health and enhance the delivery of human services to some of the nation’s most vulnerable populations, including young children, those with disabilities, and the elderly. As part of the historic Affordable Care Act, Secretary Sebelius is implementing reforms that end many of the insurance industry’s worst abuses, and will help 34 million uninsured Americans get health coverage.  Under the law, she is also carrying out policies that put a new focus on wellness and prevention, support the adoption of electronic medical records, and help recruit and train more primary care health providers. In addition, Secretary Sebelius is working closely with doctors, nurses, hospital leaders, employers, and patients to slow the growth in health care costs through better care and better health.  And under her leadership, HHS has formed a historic partnership with the Department of Justice to stamp out health care fraud that has already returned record sums to the Medicare Trust Fund.


Regina Benjamin, MD
Former Surgeon General of the United States and Vice Admiral

Regina M. Benjamin, M.D., M.B.A., was appointed by President Barack Obama as the 18th United States Surgeon General in July, 2009 and served a four-year term. Dr. Benjamin also oversaw the operational command of 6,700 uniformed public health officers who serve in locations around the world to promote, and protect the health of the American People. Dr. Benjamin served simultaneously as Surgeon General and as the first chair of the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council (National Prevention Council) 17 cabinet-level Federal agencies that developed the road map for the Nation’s health – The National Prevention Strategy.  Before becoming “America’s Doctor,” she served her patients at the rural health clinic she founded in tiny, Bayou La Batre, Alabama, keeping the clinic in operation despite damage and destruction inflicted by Hurricanes Georges (1998) and Katrina (2005) and a devastating fire (2006). She has a B.S. in chemistry from Xavier University of Louisiana, an M.D. degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and an M.B.A. from Tulane University. She attended Morehouse School of Medicine and completed her family medicine residency in Macon, Georgia.  Dr. Benjamin is the recipient of 22 honorary degrees.


Lawrence Kline, DO
Director, Scripps Clinic Sleep Center

Dr. Kline was Mother Teresa’s physician.  He has been on the staff of Scripps Clinic Torrey Pines, located in La Jolla, California, since 1978.  He is an expert on breathing disorders, and is the director of Scripps Clinic Sleep Center. 


Pedro J. Greer Jr., MD
Professor, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs and Chair of the Department of Humanities, Health, and Society, Florida International University - Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine

Dr. Pedro J. Greer has an unwavering commitment and is an advocate for those without access to health care. Dr. Greer is board certified in Medicine and Gastroenterology and has been practicing in Miami, Florida since 1991. He established Camillus Health Concern and Saint John Bosco in Miami, Florida, health care centers for persons who are homeless, undocumented, uninsured, and low income. Better known as “Joe,” Dr. Greer wrote Waking up in America, an autobiographical account of caring for persons who are homeless.


Carl A. Hammerschlag, MD
Physician, Author, and Healer

Dr. Carl A. Hammerschlag is a master storyteller and internationally recognized author, physician, speaker, and healer. A Yale trained psychiatrist, he has spent more than 20 years working with Native Americans. For 14 of those years, he was Chief of Psychiatry at the Phoenix Indian Medical Center. Dr. Hammerschlag brings his gift of storytelling, a wealth of legends, and unique insights that bridge the worlds of science, spirit, and culture. Quite possibly the best solution he offers for the future is how to build community.


Course Level: Intermediate;  3.0 nursing CEs; 3.0 CPEs (NASBA/SKA); Social Workers 3.0 CEs, NASW (except CA and MI), BBS (BBS except marketing credits); Physical Therapy 3.0 CEs

2013 Sponsors

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