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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

Two more keynotes added for upcoming March on Washington Private Duty Home Care Integrated Conference – March 17-20, 2013

March 18, 2013 11:14 AM


For additional information:

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

WASHINGTON D.C. (March 15, 2013) – NAHC is pleased to announce the addition of two speakers, Karyn Buxman and the Honorable Barbara Kennelly, to its powerful line up for the upcoming March on Washington | Private Duty Home Care Integrated Conference & Exposition on March 17 through March 20 at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.

Speaking at the Monday afternoon general session from 4:00-5:30 pm is Karyn Buxmanis Founder and President of HUMORx, a humor based stress management and communications company. Karyn’s commitment to spreading the good news of humor is evident in her contributions to several book anthologies, including Chicken Soup for the Nurses’ Soul, Chicken Soup for the Christian Woman’s Soul and Give Stress A Rest. Karyn also wrote and published, “This Won’t Hurt a Bit! And other Fractured Truths in Healthcare,” a 96-page collection of stories, quotes, jokes and cartoons for those on the giving and receiving end of healthcare.

Speaking at the Wednesday general session from noon to 1:30 pm is Barbara Kennelly,former Democratic Member of Congress from Connecticut who served nine terms starting in 1982. She spent much of her recent career in the Social Security and health fields, participating in critical healthcare policy debates, especially involving Medicare and has helped shape legislative initiatives that advanced the multiple interests of consumer groups, the health insurance industry, hospitals, practitioners, nursing homes and others.

For home care providers, the conference provides an opportunity to learn about the latest developments in Medicare and Medicaid legislative, legal and regulatory policy and for those in the home care industry to educate their elected officials on issues that have the greatest impact on their ability to deliver high quality, cost-effective home based services. The meeting is four days and features educational sessions, addresses by leading home care and hospice advocates, and insights from political pundits. The Private Duty conference is the largest meeting for private-duty decision makers and will focus on solid operational, sales, and marketing content with immediate takeaways for private duty agencies, including innovative and easy-to-implement ideas.

Additional key events are:

  • Monday, March 18, 9:00 am – 10:15 am: Back for a second year, the wildly popular (with shockingly accurate predictions) keynote address by political analysts Alex Castellanos (CNN) and Mark Shields (PBS NewsHour)
  • Tuesday, March 19, 8:30am – 10:00 am*:  “Senate Breakfast and Briefing” featuring some of the leading voices in Congress that have advocated for home care and hospice in recent years. While speakers are still being confirmed for 2013, joining NAHC will be Senators Susan Collins (ME), Al Franken (MN), Amy Klobuchar (MN), Mary Landrieu (LA), Jerry Moran (KS), Pat Roberts (KS), and Mark Warner (VA).

*Russell Senate Office Building

The importance of grassroots advocacy will take on added urgency in 2013, with an administration and Congress debating the future of healthcare. The home care and hospice community must unite to bring the issues affecting the industry to the front of the public policy debate.

“Because home care has already been cut by $77 billion since 2009, which has reduced the  number of patients that qualify for Medicare services and pushed many providers to the brink of bankruptcy, it seems illogical that home care would be asked to take additional Medicare cuts,” said Val J. Halamandaris. “However, some Members of Congress are driven by the mistaken idea that copayments will save money. Copays didn’t work in 1972 and won’t work today.”

Now that the sequestration has gone into effect, home health and hospice Medicare payment rates will be cut 2% starting April 1, 2013. The Medicare home care benefit which was $17 billion in 2009 has been cut by $77 billion over the next ten years.  As a result of these cuts about 50 percent of all Medicare participating agencies are projected to be under water in 2014 — that is, paid less than their costs by Medicare.  Congress should resist making additional cuts in home care for any reason, including postponement/elimination of cuts in Medicare physician fees or for deficit reduction.


The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is a nonprofit organization that represents the nation’s 33,000 home care and hospice organizations. NAHC also advocates for the more than two million nurses, therapists, aides and other caregivers employed by such organizations to provide in-home services to some 12 million Americans each year who are infirm, chronically ill, and disabled. Along with its advocacy, NAHC provides information to help its members provide the highest quality of care and is committed to excellence in every respect. To learn more about NAHC, visit




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