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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




Building a 21st-Century Career in Health Care

By Samuel Ogie


Health care is more complex than ever before and managing those complexities for the best possible outcomes for both patients and caregivers is no easy undertaking. Service providers have to navigate new policy reforms and changing industry economics while still ensuring high-quality care. Health care organizations will need to develop new delivery models and management structures to succeed, especially as they face the shift from volume- to value-based purchasing. To achieve the goal of optimal health care at the lowest cost, institutions will also need to make significant investments in clinical and financial IT systems, which produce tremendous amounts of data – all of which need to be analyzed using an evidence-based approach to ensure the delivery of quality, cost-effective care.

Health care institutions will need to learn how to leverage big data to meet the challenges they face in the new and more competitive environment. Health care IT systems will generate oceans of clinical and financial data, but what does it mean and how does a leader use it all to make wise decisions? Integrating disparate data sources and producing actionable information will be one of the keys to success in the value-based health care world. Critical questions that will require big data answers include:

  • How can we tailor care effectively under population health management? What is the right care, when should it be delivered, and what is the right delivery setting?
  • How much should a pathway of care cost?
  • What specific actions or attributes drive consumer satisfaction?
  • Which providers perform better than others and how do we even know what “good” performance is?
  • What performance metrics should we use?

This data glut will only grow as health care institutions expand through horizontal and vertical integration. Hospitals are acquiring their way into different markets by adding services like urgent care, home health and hospice care. Large ambulatory surgery centers will expand into anesthesia, physician practice management, outsourced hospital services, pharmacy, laboratory and other ancillary services.Economic studies have highlighted the many difficulties associated with cost-reducing synergies so health care leaders will need to learn how to efficiently integrate evidenced-based clinical practice and new work flow processes to yield lower costs and better outcomes.

Creating organizational structures and incentive systems that align activity across the care continuum is difficult and requires both knowledge of how to manage people and an understanding of the business and economics that drive each part of the continuum of care.

These new demands on health care professionals are only just beginning. As the complexity of health care continues to increase, managerial education will become a critical factor in the health care system of the future. To make sure you and your staff are trained to meet these challenges, consider the following points when evaluating educational opportunities for future health care leadership:

  • Does the education not only help the student understand the current landscape and likely evolution, but also impart a flexible and durable knowledge base that will be useful regardless of how the industry evolves? Programs that focus on existing organizations without developing economic, financial, and strategic frameworks for evaluating and predicting change will not serve institutions well.
  • Does the education reflect an understanding of the intricacies of the health care industry? Pervasive regulation and the fragmented structure of the industry make health care distinct. Frameworks and analyses developed for other industries are not as useful as those which are tailored for health care.
  • How long before the institution will see a return on its investment and how significant is the return? The industry is evolving too quickly to wait while a manager invests up to three years (or more) working their way through a traditional master’s program, yet it is difficult to develop the necessary skills and new ways of thinking in short, seminar-style programs. The program should be rigorous and focused.

Like any good business, the health care sector needs quality managers to maintain a smoothly running organization. Each institution needs to track and analyze trends in an ever-changing industry and to keep the business on the cutting edge. In addition, health care jobs are expected to increase faster than the population as the older population grows and improved technology advances life expectancies.

The world of health care is changing. Continuing education provides the skills that are critical in this dynamic field. Every day new regulations and emerging delivery options provide challenges and opportunities for professionals across the spectrum of this diverse and dynamic industry. For that reason, medical and health service leaders must be prepared to do more than just stay current with new information. They need to be able to predict and prepare for the innovations that will have a dramatic impact on the business of health care far into the future.

For example,our Master of Science degree (MS) in Health Care Management (HCM) at the University of Rochester’s Simon Business School is a perfect fit for individuals seeking an education that will prepare them for their entire career. Our program begins with understanding the underlying economics that drive the industry’s evolution. This knowledge will allow MS HCM graduates to evaluate their organizations and optimize care delivery, while preparing for the next round of fundamental change.

A typical class will include a broad range of experienced clinicians, including physicians, nurses, and allied health professionals, as well as administrators, IT professionals, and researchers. A diverse student body enriches classroom discussion and prepares students to lead the multi-disciplinary teams needed to solve the complex challenges facing their organizations. Our instructors have decades of experience consulting in the health care industry and teaching health care professionals. They are recognized globally as leaders in organizational economics, finance, accounting, strategy, and operations.

There are many different types of careers that can be pursued with a health care management degree. Every health care operation needs someone in a management position who understands the market and can supervise other employees effectively. Students graduate to become general health care managers, or may decide to specialize in managing specific types of health care organizations, such as hospitals, senior care facilities, physician's offices, or community health centers. Other graduates are working in health care consulting or education.

One thing is clear. Our health care system needs talented, highly educated professionals who understand how to apply business and economics to maintain and improve the performance of the health care sector. Innovative educational programs which supply these professionals will greatly benefit patients and caregivers in the years to come. 



About the Author: Samuel Ogie leads the M.S. in Health Care Management as the director of Health Sciences Programs at Simon Business School at the University of Rochester.







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