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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

Senators Dole and Daschle Announce 2012 Caring Award Winners

October 22, 2012 02:48 PM


For additional information:

Barbara D. Woolley
National Association for Home Care & Hospice
(202) 547-7424

Washington, D.C. (October 22, 2012) – Senators Bob Dole and Tom Daschle, Co-Chairs of the Caring Institute today announced the 2012 Caring Award winners. These six amazing adults and six extraordinary youths are being acknowledged for their efforts to give back to society. They will be commemorated at the Caring Awards Ceremony at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Orlando, Florida , where they will be inducted into the Caring Hall of Fame.

“On behalf of our Board of Trustees, it is a great honor for us to pay tribute to these extraordinary people who have used their lives for the betterment of others,” said Senator Dole. “They are wonderful role models who inspire us to be the best we can be,” added Senator Daschle.

The winners were chosen by the prestigious Board of Trustees of the Caring Institute. The following will receive awards on Wednesday, October 24, 2012, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center.

2012 Caring Award Adult Winners include:

  • Wynona Ward , President, Have Justice – Will Travel of Vershire, VT, who provides free legal service to low income women and children who are experiencing domestic abuse;
  • Linda Smith, Founder and P resident, Shared Hope International of Vancouver, Washington, this former Congressional Representative is working to shut down child sex trafficking in the US;
  • Amy Palmer , COO, Operation Homefront, San Antonio, Texas, as a disabled veteran, military spouse and mother, Amy started organizing volunteers after 9/11 to provide critical assistance to the families of newly deployed service members;
  • Bruce Charash , F ounder, Doc 2 Dock, New York City, NY, is medical doctor that wanted to use the thousands of tons of unused medical supplies that are thrown away daily in the US, to save lives in other countries; and
  • Most Reverend Bishop Jean Marie , Fraternite Notre Dame, Chicago, Illinois, who started the Fraternite Notre Dame, an order devoted to charity and brotherly love after seeing a vision of the Virgin Mary.

2012 Annual Caring Award Young Adult Winners include:

  • Alec Urbach , Founder, Giving from the Ground Up, Roslyn Heights, New York who at age 16 produces science curriculum videos and provides basic medical and dental supplies for needy children in Ghana and El Salvador;
  • Kendall Ciesemer , Founder, Kids Caring 4 Kids, Wheaton, Illinois was moved when at age 11, she saw a show about African orphans and inspired 7,000 kids in the US to adopt 7,000 kids in Africa, raising over one million dollars, all while battling a rare liver disease herself;
  • Kylie Kuhns , Founder, Kelsey’s Dream, Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania started a Foundation after her older sister lost her battle with Leukemia, with the goal of making life brighter for children in need. At just 14, she helps children diagnosed with cancer, providing a snack pack program for children undergoing chemotherapy and a blanket program for children undergoing bone marrow transplants;
  • Neha Gupta , Founder, Empower Orphans, Yardley, Pennsylvania found a passion for orphans after visiting them with family in India at age 9. She wanted to help them feel love and have an education and has since established four libraries, set up computer programs and conducted eye and dental clinics for 360 children; and
  • Rujul Zaparde & Kevin Petrovic , Founders, Drinking Water for India, Plainsboro, New Jersey had a flash of insight when visiting India and seeing women and girls walking miles to get water. They have raised $1000 to build a well for the village and in less than four years, have built 47 wells that help over 80,000 people.

2012 Mother Teresa International Caring Award Winner includes:

  • His Holiness the 14 th Dalai Lama of Tibet for dedicating his life to promoting the values of caring, compassion and public service. His Holiness the 14 th Dalai Lama was already presented with the award in a special ceremony, but will accept by video statement.

“It amazes me each year how caring and compassionate people can be toward humanity in their willingness to change the world for the better, ” said Val J. Halamandaris, founder and executive director, of the Caring Institute. “I am so proud of our 1 2 extraordinary winners and the great work they do here in the United States and all over the world.”

About the Caring Institute

The Caring Institute’s mission is to promote the values of caring, integrity, and public service. It was founded in 1985 by Val J. Halamandaris after a meeting with Mother Teresa, who told him there was a poverty of the spirit seen in the developed world that was much worse than the poverty of the body seen in the third world. When she directed him to do something about it, he founded an awards program that identifies those who give back to society in outstanding ways and then holds them up as role models for all. The Caring Institute is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and all donations are tax deductible by law. For more information, visit




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