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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

Mother Teresa, Homecare and Hospice Nurse, Celebrates 99th Birthday

Caring Award Winners to be Announced on Oct. 13 at NAHC Annual Meeting in LA
August 27, 2009 01:00 AM

Citizens all over the world celebrated Mother Teresa's birthday yesterday, Aug.26, 1910. Mother founded a religious order called the Missionaries of Charity which she grew to a network of some 5,000 convents and schools. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her work with the "poorest of the poor." 

"Mother Teresa was the quintessential home care and hospice nurse. She was always positive and always tried to lift the spirits of others especially those who were in pain and sorrow," said National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) President Val J. Halamandaris.

When Halamandaris asked her what was the greatest lesson she had learned she replied, "Love God with all you heart and soul, love they neighbor as thyself and love the hole in your heart as much as your heart." 

Since her death in 1997, Mother Teresa has been on the fast track of sainthood. Pope John Paul II presided over her beatification in October of 2003. This removed the final obstacle for her to be officially proclaimed a saint by the Catholic Church.

Mother Teresa developed a long and deep friendship with Halamandaris. He first met her in 1985 when he presented a Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of NAHC and its related Foundation for Hospice and Homecare. At that time she told Halamandaris that she was comfortable teaching English and other languages to well-to-do students in India from the protected walls of her convent. She received a call from God, she said, to create a religious order based on caring for the poor at whatever site they called home. She told Halamandaris that she got permission from the pope to create a new religious order, and then sought out Catholic nuns who were trained as nurses and asked them to train her.

"I then returned to Calcutta and opened my own hospice and home care agency. We are in the same business," she told Halamandaris.

According to Halamandaris, Mother Teresa said that there is a "poverty of the spirit in the U.S. and the western world that is far worse then the poverty of the body that is seen in the third world.”

"Do something about it," she stressed, and directed Halamandaris to use "the power of caring, the one word summary of the Golden Rule" and the "most powerful force in the universe."  She said that "caring is love in action."

This conversation inspired the creation of the Caring Institute, a separate non-profit organization supported by NAHC and others which searches for and names the five most caring adults and five most caring young people in America. Former Sen. Bob Dole, chairman of the Board of Trustees recently announced that this year's award winners would be named at an award ceremony held in conjunction with the NAHC Annual meeting in Los Angeles, California on the evening of Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2009. Winners are inducted into The Hall of Fame for Caring Americans, located three blocks east of the U.S. Capitol.

Former Congressman Mel Levine, Chairman of the Caring Institute Board of Directors announced that the Institute will host centennial birthday celebrations throughout 2010 in honor of Mother Teresa.




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