National Association for Home Care & Hospice Conference highlights industry with annual awards

National Association for Home Care & Hospice Conference highlights industry with annual awards

Home Care & Hospice Hall of Fame recipients and Nurse of the Year announced
October 9, 2012 02:51 PM


For additional information:

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

Washington, D.C.(October 9, 2012) – Every year, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) has the pleasure of honoring those who have dedicated their life to the care and service of others. The Home Care & Hospice Hall of Fame was started in 2011 and the inductees are honored at the Association’s largest meeting of the year. This is the inaugural year for the Nurse of the Year award, which was determined through a national voting process with each state nominated one finalist.

The 2012 NAHC Annual Meeting will be held in Orlando, Florida at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center, Sunday, October 21 – Thursday, October 25. The theme for 2012 is “Technology the Great Equalizer” which will focus on how technology is transforming the home health industry and the opportunities it has to reshape the health care system. Agencies that attend the annual meeting also are given the tools they need to meet rising demands of competition to make their businesses the most successful they can be.

The 2012 Home Care & Hospice Hall of Fame inductees are: Mary Labyak, Clearwater, FL; Ruth Castellano, Chesterfield, MO; Mark Baiada, Moorestown, NJ; Honorable Dirk Kempthorne, Washington, DC; Katheen Dodd, Overland Park, KS; Jeannee Parker Martin, San Francisco, CA; Honorable Tarky Lombardi, Syracuse, NY; and, Rod Windley, Atlanta, GA.

The 2012 NAHC Nurse of the Year is Becky Williams, Alacare Home Health & Hospice, Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

“A nation is what it honors, and it is time we celebrated the silent band of heroes who give their all to care for America’s sick and dying as if they were extended family,” said Val J. Halamandaris. “We want to thank these recipients for their tireless dedication and devotion.”

The annual meeting gathers together home health, hospice and private duty agencies, nurses, therapists and physicians from around the country to participate in over 100 educational sessions of the most comprehensive, timely, quality programs designed especially for the home care and hospice industry.

“The care of the disabled and elderly may well be the defining issue for America in the early years of this 21st century,” said Val J. Halamandaris, president of NAHC. “Home care is the most non-partisan issue that will be faced in the coming years and one which will have the most immediate impact on the future of America.”

Halamandaris also announced that Senator Susan Collins has been confirmed as the Keynote speaker to open the meeting on Tuesday morning. “Senator Collins is quite simply the best there is; no one has done more for home care and hospice than the Senator,” said Halamandaris.

Other speakers include Tom Daschle, Former Senate Majority Leader and Co-Chair of the Caring Institute; Mel Levine, Former Member of Congress and Chairman of the Board, Caring Institute; Donna Shalala, AB, PhD, Professor of Political Science and President of the University of Miami and Former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services; Dr. Lance Secretan, PhD, Acclaimed Author and Editor, Former Corporate CEO, Management Expert and Humanitarian; Paul Kusserow, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy and Corporate Development Officer at Humana; and Dr. David Katz, MD, PPH, FACPM, FACP, Medical Contributor for US News & World Report and ABC News Medical Consultant.

Additional keynote speakers are still being finalized.

Congress may convene a lame duck session after the November elections to address a number of contentious issues, including further efforts to reduce the deficit and offset the cost of fixing the flawed Medicare physician payment formula. The deficit reduction effort and hunt for offsets could lead to the threat of additional Medicare and Medicaid cuts and copayments. The Medicare home health benefit has already been cut by a disproportionate $77 billion over 10 years. The industry cannot tolerate additional cuts since they would be devastating to patients and providers alike. But there is some hope amidst all the bad news. The fact that both parties agree on the pressing need to expand home care and hospice sends the industry a positive message: Congress should be looking to broaden the scope of home care as a response to the 5 percent of Americans — those with multiple, chronic conditions — who account for nearly 50 percent of U.S. health care costs.

About NAHC

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