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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


Caring Thoughts: Ten Things I Like Best About President Barack Obama

By Val J. Halamandaris, President of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice

  1. Intelligence.  We want the brightest person we can find to be our President.  The consequences of failing to do so can be devastating.  Comedian Ron White warned us all that “you can’t fix stupid.”
  2. Michelle’s Husband.  I believe you can tell a lot about a person by who they persuade to marry them.  By all accounts, Michelle Obama is an all-star among the nation’s First Ladies.  You get the clear message that she would not have married him if he was not a rock-solid human being at all levels.
  3. A Great Father.  The President is known to push the envelope in his very busy schedule in order to be home in time to share breakfast with Sasha and Malia.  He is personally involved in their lives and has worked to give them educational experiences, while working very hard to give them a life that is as normal as possible.
  4. A Man of Integrity.  This is seen in matters large and small.  Even his toughest critics acknowledge that when he gives his word he keeps it.  He stands by decisions that he has made rather than constantly testing the winds to see what is popular.  It is a small, but important thing, when he plays golf he will accurately record his score; if he scores an eight that is what he will write down on his score card.
  5. Bringing the Best People Into Government.  Taking a page from President Abraham Lincoln, he reached across the aisle to recruit a world-class list of cabinet Secretaries, including Robert Gates, Ray LaHood, and Chuck Hagel.  He brought his number one-rival, Hillary Clinton, into his cabinet as Secretary of State.  It would be difficult to think of anyone with better qualifications or who has served the nation better.  Secretary John Kerry has continued in this “why not the best” tradition, which also includes Secretaries Kathleen Sebelius, Janet Napolitano, and Attorney General Eric Holder.
  6. Making Tough Decisions.  President Obama saved the nation’s banks when many were clamoring for him to nationalize them.  Likewise, he saved General Motors (GM) with government loans, which GM eventually paid back with interest, once again becoming a viable corporation that produces great products and employs thousands of people.
  7. Fiercely Determined.  When the President makes up his mind, he stays at it with laser-like precision.  The two best examples: he won the enactment of the Affordable Care Act when every President going back to Truman had tried and failed, and he brought Bin Laden to account for his actions as the mastermind of the 9/11 bombings, which claimed nearly 3,000 lives.
  8. Gifted Communicator.  An effective leader finds the right words to articulate his or her vision.  President Obama understands the power of his words, and he has the ability to speak directly to the hearts of the American people, moving them to do what is right.
  9. An Optimist with No Illusions.  His first Presidential slogan was, “Hope,” even though he faced long odds.  Cynicism is an easy trap.  Only committed optimists have the ability to overcome the obstacles that stand in the way of an unlikely accomplishment.  President Obama’s optimism about our ability to overcome difficult challenges has been infectious and inspirational for our country. 
  10. Personifies the American Dream.  His election proved to the entire world that any young boy or girl growing up in America has the chance to become President of the United States.  His reelection was a ratification of this bedrock principle.  It reinforced the notion that America is a “meritocracy” and that even imperfections in its Constitution can be corrected by future generations.

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