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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


The Invisible Patients — Film Screening Tuesday, October 25

View the Trailer for The Invisible Patients

A nurse practitioner struggles to preserve the health and humanity of frail, homebound patients living on the outer edges of our healthcare system.

In her 20-year career in healthcare, Jessica Macleod has worked on the renal medicine and telemetry floor at Yale-New Haven Hospital. She’s cared for elderly dementia patients in a small English village and tended to students at a university health center. She earned her PhD and then spent the next ten years as a nurse practitioner in a family medicine practice in Evansville, Indiana.

In 2013, Jessica began working for MD2U, a Louisville-based in-home healthcare company of doctors and nurse practitioners who provide primary care services in the home. Jessica built a practice of over 100 patients who, for a variety of reasons, are unable to leave their homes to see a doctor. She calls them “invisible patients.” Caring for them is by far the most challenging job she’s ever had.

“Sometimes I feel like it’s third-world medicine, in a way,” says Jessica. “Going out into the field, you don’t have every single thing you need, and you do the best for that person that you possibly can. And I think that’s okay, because, frankly, if I wasn’t doing it, a lot of the people would end up in the E.R. a total mess.”

Researchers estimate that there are approximately five million adults in the US who are homebound or home-limited due to chronic illness or functional limitations. They are often elderly and frail. In many cases, they are underresourced, living in difficult circumstances at the outer edges of our health care system.

With her laptop satchel and stethoscope, Jessica makes old-fashioned house calls throughout her workday, typically seeing 8-10 patients, driving on average 60 miles throughout her territory in southwestern Indiana and northwestern Kentucky. Jessica’s work puts a laser focus on some of the most urgent healthcare issues facing our country, from the living conditions of the elderly poor and end of life care, to the soaring costs of hospitalization, complexity of insurance and over-prescription of opiates. Her patients’ stories reveal the emotional as well as financial burdens created by our current system, and cry out for solutions. Nurse practitioners like Jessica represent one answer. “When you go to someone’s house to see them, you’re telling them, ‘I value you enough as a person to come see you where you are.’ Nobody talks about it, but I think these people feel like ‘at least someone cares.’

THE INVISIBLE PATIENTS pulls back the curtain on a hidden population, whose circumstances ask us to wrestle not just with healthcare policy, but as importantly, how to mend today’s fraying social fabric.




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