Whole Health, the Veteran’s experience

What is Whole Health?


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VA’s Whole Health approach lets Veterans take charge of their health based on their priorities with the support of Whole Health peer facilitators on their health team.

Watch this 3-minutes video to learn more about the VA Whole Health System and the impact this model is having on Veterans. Meet Veterans who are serving as Whole Health peer facilitators to support their comrades in achieving their goals as they explore what matters most in their lives.  Learn how VA’s Whole Health approach is empowering, equipping, and treating Veterans based on their priorities, helping Veterans become mission ready for life.

  • The Pathway EMPOWERS: As you will see in this video, Veterans begin the pathway to whole health with fellow Veterans through an introduction to Whole Health and a program called, Taking Charge of Your Life and Health.  In a partnership with peers, Veterans explore their mission, aspirations, and purpose in life. VA health teams guide and assist Veterans throughout their Whole Health journey. Veterans are introduced to a personal health inventory which is a holistic self-assessment.  Once individual goals are developed, Veterans begin creating a personal health plan that helps them achieve greater health and well-being through enhanced sleep, pain management, or other key areas of importance to the individual.
Six people holding discussion in conference room

Six people holding discussion in conference room

  • Well-being Programs EQUIPS: Once Veterans determine their priorities, the VA health team helps identify well-being programs that enhance self-care. These well-being programs help Veterans address a range of issues that impact physical, emotional, and mental health. There is a special emphasis on life balance, movement, flexibility, and attainment of a general sense of fulfillment and joy. As you will see, well-being programs can include physical activities, meditative practices, or creative expression which can be accessed in person or through online resources.
  • Whole Health Clinical Care TREATS: Clinical care, when needed, is an important part of any personal health plan. Clinical care is provided by clinicians who utilize a whole health approach which is grounded in a healing relationship which is critically important for Veterans with complex conditions, such as chronic pain and the invisible wounds of war.

To learn more about Whole Health, please visit the VA Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation website and begin your Whole Health journey.


About the author: Laura P. Krejci is the associate director of the VHA Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation

 

Author

VAntagePoint Contributor

— VAntage Point Contributors provide insight and perspective on a wide range of Veterans issues. If you’d like to contribute a story to VAntage Point, learn how you can submit a guest blog at http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/how-to-submit-a-guest-post/

Comments

  1. Jose Arellano    

    Would like to change clinic,reason they keep changing doctors in the Taos clinic and my medication for diabetes was not renewed by the last doctor so I ve been with out metfomin for the last 3 months.

  2. JUAN M. MORALES    

    My name is Juan M. Morales PhD and I just recently received a response from Mr. Nelson in which my rating for the position of Psychology Technician is 100. I served in the Unites States Army from 1970-1973. Upon my returned from Vietnam, I was station in Ft. Bragg NC as an Infantry Airborne. I just want to say that If I am to be selected for a position at this V.A. Clinic, I will work very hard to accomplished all of the goals put on to me by the administration department.

    1. Veterans Health Administration    

      Juan, thank you for your interest in working for VA. Please email the contact listed on the job announcement which you applied to, for questions regarding your application. You may also direct further inquiries to vacareers@va.gov.

  3. rebecca s mitchell    

    I am currently being seen at at the Duke Cancer Center (since March of this year) under a bundle approved by Veteran’s Choice. This “bundle” ends September 30th….when I contacted Veteran’s Choice to see how I would go about having this care extended beyond September 30th, I was told that they would no longer have a contract and that I would have to go through Community Care! What in the world? I am on the 40 miles plus with Veteran’s Choice…. I am having another surgery on Aug. 14th which will entail medications and followups….the next surgery (for a service connected issue) will be discussed after this current issue is taken care of…I am a Vietnam War Era WAC…..this is making me a little nervous…

    1. Veterans Health Administration    

      Rebecca, have you addressed these concerns with your VA care team? Your VA care team can coordinate any care you may need from specialists outside or within the team. Please contact the patient advocate at Durham VA Health Care System who can work with you and your care team to facilitate a resolution to your issue. You can find their information here: https://www.durham.va.gov/patients/customerservice.asp.

  4. Joyce Parkhurst    

    sad days with dr. care at the murfreesboro tn VA.
    My husbands dr. shows no concern with his health care.
    He doesn’t even listen to him try to explain his issues.
    He only is there in white coat attire only to run my husband through like cattle.’
    In & out as fast as he can.and could care less.
    My husband has health issues and has had to go to VA urgent care to try to get help his
    dr. won’t give him.
    It is not FREE care, we do have a co-pay. The emergency room dr found some of his problem after running tests,
    and made his suggestions but when my husbands Dr.received the report he refused to follow through with the suggested treatment for my husband, so now they made him an appt in oct.. 4 months from now. That’s ridiculous..
    My concern is that he is continuing to go downhill & his dr. just doesn’t care.
    I accompanied my husband to 1 of his dr visits & his dr was even very rude with me when I asked him questions.
    His response to both of us was ” I don’t have time to answer your questions”. what kind of DR. says that?
    So so sad & disappointing this goes on and these Drs. get away with it.
    I am not a prejudice person, but these foreign drs. from India act like we owe them something instead of showing care
    & concern to their patients.
    Dr. Chadreah is his dr. and he is from India and is not a good representation of other Drs. that do treat their patients like human beings..Communication is the key to good health care, & with a dr. that wants none, can’t be helpful to his patients.

    1. Veterans Health Administration    

      Joyce, we are sorry to hear about your husband’s experience. Please reach out to the patient advocate at the facility, Mark Rosson at 615-225-2560. He can work with you and your husband to place a provider request change from the current provider.

  5. John Klimack    

    I received one in a series of three TBI treatments (Botox shots to the head) under the VA Choice Program. Treatments stopped by the neurologist due to non payment by the VA, CRIMINAL!

    1. Veterans Health Administration    

      John, we regret to hear about your billing issue. You can work directly with VA to resolve debt collections or adverse credit reporting resulting from inappropriate or delayed billing by calling the Community Care Call Center at 877-881-7618 (Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., EST). Additional details can be found on the VA Community Care – Choice Program Billing Issues Fact Sheet here https://www.va.gov/COMMUNITYCARE/revenue_ops/billing.asp.

  6. PETER BORJA    

    I had an appointment with a Dr. at the Palm Desert Veteran Clinic and when I got there I was turned away. They told me I was not eligible to be treated at their facility. I am a Vietnam-era veteran. Very disappointed.

    1. Veterans Health Administration    

      Peter, first off thank you so much for your service to our country. We are sorry to hear about your issues in getting the care you need. We have forwarded your comment to the patient advocate at VA Loma Linda Healthcare System. They can work with you to help you get the care you need. You may also reach out to the patient advocate at https://www.lomalinda.va.gov/patients/customerservice.asp

  7. Joseph Edward Hannon    

    Flower Power has now infiltrated the VA Health Care system-sad.
    It’s not feel good programs that will change the VA Culture but just doing what any good doctor/nurse would do in private practice.

    Y’all just don’t still get what’s wrong with the VA and it appears like you never will-again sad.

    Just provide the medical care and treatment the veterans need oh and you might want to explain thresholds.
    Thresholds that the VA requires a veteran to reach before they “pay the bills” compared to private practice and outside doctors recommendations/thresholds – it’s still about the money in the VA system.

    1. Veterans Health Administration    

      We appreciate your feedback. We encourage you to talk to your local VA facility public affairs officer to inquire about becoming part of a Veterans focus group to share your ideas and feedback directly with leadership. For inquiries about VA billing, please speak with the facility revenue staff at your VA facility who can assist you with questions about your bills. More information can be found here: https://www.va.gov/COMMUNITYCARE/revenue_ops/billing.asp. Copayment information can be found here: https://www.va.gov/COMMUNITYCARE/revenue_ops/copays.asp.

  8. Crotalus    

    At Puget Sound VA, for almost the last decade my experiences have been the exact opposite of what this article purports.

    VA retaliation is the norm and after that started, I’m the least important entity in my overall health care decisions, forced into a suicidal promotion program, and no one in VA leadership gives a twat: Complaints by me not allowed to be submitted, or if they are, they are handled by the person I’m complaining about.

    White House VA Complaint case: (case numbers redacted).

  9. Mr. Lynn Emero    

    I found this to be a good start to helping veterans to feel better about themselves. Thank You

  10. Bobby Lester    

    Been waiting 4 months on injection to left shoulder, and VA’s Veteran Choice is good, “THINK NOT9”

    1. Veterans Health Administration    

      Bobby, we regret to hear about the issues you are experiencing with your care. If you have concerns regarding the care and services you receive at your local VA facility, first speak with your treatment team. If your concern is still unresolved, please get in touch with the patient advocates. They are there to work directly with management and employees to facilitate resolutions on your behalf. You can find the patient advocates contact information on your VAMC’s web page in the left navigation under Patients & Visitors > Patient Information > Customer Service. http://www.va.gov/directory/guide/allstate_flsh.asp?isflash=&dum=ALL

  11. Robert Clanton    

    Seems like a good program.

  12. Tanya L McGowan    

    VETERANS WANT CRNAS TO BE INDEPENDENT AND SURGERY DELAYS TO END!!

    Nurse anesthetists fight for more autonomy at VA hospitals
    A new rule allowing advanced practice nurses to work without doctor supervision at Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals drew praise from a host of groups representing health care providers — with the exception of one.
    Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists were the only group of advanced practice nurses excluded from the rule. According to the VA, they were omitted because there is not a shortage of anesthesiology providers.
    But leaders of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists say continued supervision unnecessarily slows down treatment and leads to the VA paying two people for one job. With one more month of public comment before the rule goes into effect, the association – and hundreds of CRNAs writing into the VA – are putting up a final fight to prove their case.
    “We think the VA has made a big mistake,” said Dr. Cheryl Nimmo, a CRNA and president of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. “Instead of two providers and one patient, you could have two providers with two patients. But, unfortunately, the veterans are going to see a lot of wait times for essential procedures.”

    The rule giving APNs full-practice authority will go into effect Jan. 13. That’s also the last day the public can comment on the change.
    When rule was finalized Dec. 13, it drew a blitz of comments on the Federal Register, from CRNAs disappointed they were not included in the rule change, to anesthesiologists praising the VA for making sure quality of care wasn’t compromised. Nearly 3,600 new public comments have been posted since it was announced that CRNAs would not be included.
    In an initial comment period, from May through July, the VA received more than 104,000 comments opposing giving CRNAs full-practice authority. The American Society of Anesthesiologists lobbied heavily against CRNAs being allowed to work autonomously. The association established a website to facilitate comments to the Federal Register, the VA said, and it called the comments “not substantive.”
    https://www.stripes.com/nurse-anesthetists-fight-for-more-autonomy-at-va-hospitals-1.445864#.WUFPUU2GPct

Comments are closed.