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Whole Health Curriculum for Health Professions Trainees

This Whole Health training experience at VA Boston is designed to provide Health Professions Trainees (HPTs) with a foundation in the principles and practice of Whole Health and the tools to enhance their ability to provide care to patients.

Whole Health Curriculum

Welcome to the VA Boston Whole Health Training Site for Health Professions Trainees. This free, student-directed, innovative curriculum is offered to health professions trainees and faculty across the country through VA Boston Healthcare System Education Academy. The Student Guide and Faculty Implementation Guide below provide learning objectives and content outlines for a range of topics related to Whole Health and are immediately accessible via the links provided. Also included in these guides are several measures to evaluate the program in order to demonstrate that trainees are acquiring essential knowledge, skills, and confidence to apply Whole Health principles to care for patients and themselves. These measures are not yet validated and are currently used solely for the purpose of internal quality improvement at VA Boston. There will be periodic updates to the curriculum content as well as the program evaluation measures, so we encourage viewers to check back regularly. We welcome your input and encourage you to contact:

Edward Phillips MD

Chief of Whole Health

VA Boston health care



Laura Fiore PA-C

Director of PA Education

VA Boston health care



David Topor PhD, MS-HPEd

Psychologist; Interim Associate Chief of Staff for Education (ACOS-E)

VA Boston health care



Whole Health Training Faculty

  • Laura Fiore PA-C MPAS is the Director of Physician Assistant Education at the VA Boston Healthcare System. She created and oversees all aspects of the VA Boston Physician Assistant Clinical Trainee Program established in 2008. VA Boston is the largest training and research program of any VA Medical Center and proudly the largest center for PA trainees, hosting ~ 200 PA trainees annually and supporting seven New England area and Boston based PA Program affiliates. Laura’s focus is on integrating interprofessional training and practice into the clinical setting. She is passionate about educating others on caring for our Veterans and has practiced in Cardiac Surgery, Neurosurgery, Pulmonary Medicine and is currently serving as Clinical Director of the VA Boston Community Nursing Home Program.

  • Lori Enloe PT, MA, NBC-HWC is passionate about integrating coaching, physical therapy skills and mind-body principles as she partners with veterans to empower and equip them with skills to facilitate lifestyle change as Health and Well-Being Coach at the  Madison Wisconsin VA.  She moved to Madison in 2022 after spending 7 years at the Iowa City VA as the MOVE and  Whole Health physical therapist, Tai Chi instructor and  health coach. She collaborated with veterans with obesity and other chronic health conditions to identify their values, facilitate behavior change. Lori developed the Tai Chi program and curriculum for veterans at the  Iowa City VA, created videos for the VA Live Whole Health blog, and served as a Tai Chi subject matter expert for the VA Integrative Health Coordination Center in the development of Tai Chi policy and national standards. She created a Tai Chi instructor curriculum for staff at Iowa City, Puget Sound and St Louis VA’s.  Prior experience includes basic science and clinical research at Mayo Clinic and University of Iowa respectively. She founded a wellness business teaching Tai Chi to individuals of all ages and abilities for over 20 years and trains Tai Chi instructors at the local, regional, and national level.   Lori is a frequent speaker on health benefits of Tai Chi to health care professionals and the community including developing curriculum on Mindful Movement for graduate students at the University of Iowa Department for Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science. She  trained as a physical therapist at Mayo School of Health Sciences (1989), has a master’s in physical therapy from University of Iowa (1996), is  a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach, Tai Chi Health Professional Course Instructor and a Certified Exercise Expert in Aging Adults.

  • Nancy Gendreau, RNP has been at the VA Boston Healthcare System for 30 years. She has a master’s and Bachelors degree in nursing from University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, MA. Associate degrees were obtained in science for nursing and preprofessional from Bristol Community College.  A Nurse Practitioner for 25 years, most of those in Occupational Health, ensuring employees are injury free while at work.  She has been an RN for 35 years in various clinical settings.  She is the VA Boston Employee Wellness Coordinator for the last 12 years. In 2010, she instituted a wellness program for VA Boston employees to improve their health and wellbeing. She completed the Cooper Institute Course for Health Promotion Director in 2015. She has received the Gold level Wellness is Now (WIN) Award in recognition of the WIN program accomplishments including employee gyms, lactation rooms, stairwell murals, sunscreen programs, group exercise programs including the first employee cycle classes and hosting annual wellness events such as the VA2k and more. In addition to these ongoing initiatives, she works with the National, VISN and local level for Employee Wellness working to incorporate Employee Whole Health into the culture of the VA.

  • Jane Barg is a National Board-Certified Health and Wellness coach and a chef. She received her health coach training from Duke Integrative Medicine, Durham, NC, and is a member of the CHEF Coaching program faculty in the Institute of Lifestyle Medicine at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Boston, MA. In her private practice, Jane works with individuals and groups to help them make the changes needed to live healthier lives. She offers both culinary and health coaching programs in person and remotely. She is the founder of the Artful Palate catering company and has taught culinary classes in the Philadelphia region.

  • Edward (Eddie) Phillips, MD is Associate Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School and National Whole Health Education Champion for Health Professions Trainees and Whole Health Medical Director at VA Boston Healthcare System. Dr. Phillips founded and directs the Institute of Lifestyle Medicine (ILM), Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School, He is Fellow of American College of Sports Medicine (FACSM) and serves on the Executive Council that developed and leads the Exercise is Medicine™ global initiative. He is co-author of ACSM’s Exercise is Medicine™, A Clinician’s Guide to Exercise Prescription (Wolters-Kluwer, 2009) and was chair of the Exercise is Medicine Education Committee. Additionally, Dr. Phillips was co-founder and co-director of the Lifestyle Medicine Education Collaborative (LMEd) which initiated a national program to include lifestyle medicine in medical school curricula. Phillips is an active clinician and researcher who speaks and consults nationally guiding a broad-based effort to reduce lifestyle-related death, disease, and costs through clinician directed interventions with patients. The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition has recognized Dr. Phillips, ILM and LMEd with its Community Leadership Award. He appears on national media including Good Morning America, ESPN radio, and in Time Magazine.

  • Michelle Remsen, OTR/L, LICSW, is a clinical social worker at VA Boston Healthcare System. She has her BS in Occupational Therapy from Elizabethtown College. She started her work at VA Connecticut Healthcare System in 2001 as an Occupational Therapist working in the Outpatient Mental Health Day program running groups focused on self- awareness, symptom management, and behavior change. She went on to get her Master’s in Social work from Southern Connecticut State University in 2007. Michelle has worked in the MHICM (Mental Health Intensive Case Management) Program and is currently the Acute Rehab and Amputation System of Care Social Work Coordinator in VA Boston. She enjoys using her knowledge of the rehabilitative process while working with veterans engaged in their physical recovery from major injury or illness. She runs a weekly Whole Health Wellbeing group open to any veteran. Michelle is part of a work group in Rehab Medicine to further spread Whole Health in practice within PMRS. She enjoys sharing Whole Health with students and is completing requirements to be a Whole Health Coach.

Required activities

  • Direct observation of patient care in clinical settings, including sites throughout the VA Healthcare System
  • Small group didactic sessions
  • Self-directed readings, case studies, and videos
  • Personal Health Behavior Change Project:  you will select a particular area of health to change/improve, set personal goals, and monitor your behavior across the rotation
  • Research a topic of interest related to Whole Health and present an evidence based summary of the topic supplemented by your rotation experience in a 10-min PowerPoint talk

Note:  Participants must attend 80% of all activities and meet all core requirements (see performance evaluation section below) in order to document completion of the rotation.

Performance evaluation

Participants’ knowledge/skill in Whole Health gained during the required activities of this rotation will be evaluated by:

  • Pre/Post multiple choice test of knowledge related to Whole Health
  • Pre/Post treatment approach for two clinical case vignettes
  • Pre/Post self-efficacy questionnaire

Publications and Presentations

Syllabus Materials