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Whole Health For Life

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What Is Patient Centered Care?

The patient centered care model aims to shift the focus from the specific ailment or disease to a more holistic look at supporting Veterans.

Under this model, the first step - changing the conversation - is one of the most critical aspects. Rather than asking what is the matter when you visit your provider, the conversation will shift to focus on what matters most to each Veteran: What brings you joy and happiness? What inspires you to want to be your healthiest self? When you picture yourself at your best health, what do you see?

By exploring with Veterans what matters most, we help each person rediscover a sense of meaning and purpose. We can then partner together to design a personalized health plan for living life to the fullest. Whether that means awakening each day free of pain, finding a job, or simply enjoying time with family, it's the Veteran's choice. We want to offer the skills and support so that each Veteran can succeed in meeting his or her goals.

 Flow graphic shows elements of personalized, proactive, patient-driven care. Experience and practice are elements that affect “me.”  The Support Structure for Experience includes Healing Environments and Healing Relationships. The Support Structure for Practice includes components of Proactive Health and Well-Being and a personalized health approach. Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect, and Excellence are all required of the support structure.

The image above is the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) model for illustrating the "Elements of Patient Centered Care." This model is based on a whole person approach and comprises two elements: the Veteran's experience of health care (including Healing Environments and Healing Relationships) and the practice of whole health (including the Components of Proactive Health and Well-Being and a Personalized Approach).

This video further explains the core concepts behind VHA's Elements of Patient Centered Care. For more resources, please:

  • Read "Whole Health – It’s All About You"  this 2017 publication highlights the impact that the whole health approach is having on Veterans' health and well-being.
  • Share "Radical Redesign of Health Care in VA"   this report includes Veteran, Leadership, Provider and Staff stories about the impact whole health is having on Veterans' health and well-being. The report also includes numerous links to resources and tools, research, videos and audio podcasts to support whole health.
  • Reference the growing body of evidence supporting the whole health approach.