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Whole Health

VA Whole Health is a cutting-edge approach to care that supports your health and well-being. Whole Health centers around what matters to you, not what is the matter with you. This means your health team will get to know you as a person, before working with you to develop a personalized health plan based on your values, needs, and goals.

Live Whole Health Logo

Whole Health Monthly Highlights

Rest & Recharge in June

We can all agree that when we don't get good rest, our health and wellbeing can suffer. Not only is getting enough sleep vital to our daily functioning, but having things in our life that rejuvenate us are just as important! This month, Whole Health wants to highlight healthy sleep habits along with several ways to implement routine relaxation into your daily routine. See the resources below to learn more!

  1. Video: Whole Health: Recharge - This video discusses the importance of sleep and rest to your health, both physically and mentally, and details ways to improve it.
  2. Live Whole Health #38: Time to Rest - This article discusses how relaxation boosts well-being and includes a 5-minute video Veterans can follow along with to practice mental muscle relaxation.
  3. Video: Rest and Recharge – David -  In this video, Army Reserve Veteran David Meyer describes how a vacation helped him restore his energy and focus on his Whole Health.

Finally, if you live in the Leavenworth area, please consider joining us on Monday's for our first ever Veteran Disc Golf Club! Open the PDF below to learn more. 


Introductory Whole Health Courses

ALL Veterans are welcome!

Join us for our Introduction to Whole Health class to learn more about what Whole Health is and resources available to you through VA Eastern Kansas! Call (913) 682-2000, ext. 63341 or 63562 or send a message via MyHealtheVet  (secure messaging address EKHCS, Whole Health _WH) to enroll. After attending Intro to Whole Health, we welcome you to take the next step in your journey by engaging in our Taking Charge of My Life and health group, where we will walk you around the circle of health and help you set meaningful goals.

Introduction to Whole Health Class

Introduction to Whole Health is a one-time class where Veterans learn more about the Whole Health approach to care, the concepts behind Whole Health living, and complete a Personal Health Inventory.

This class is offered virtually and in person on the Topeka and Leavenworth campuses.

  • Virtual: 4th Tuesday each Month 10 AM - 12 PM
  • In Person: 3rd Tuesday each Month 10 AM - 12 PM at both campuses. 

Spouses and caregivers are welcome to attend! Please see resources for this class below.

Taking Charge of My Life and Health

Taking Charge of My Life and Health is a once a week for 6-weeks group course that provides an opportunity for more self-exploration, self-care, and goal creation around what really matters to the Veteran. Through this offering, together Veterans explore their new missions, delve into each aspect of the Whole Health circle, and begin to create an overarching personal health plan.

This class is offered on the following days and times below:

  • Tuesdays, 14:00 - 1600   ---  In- Person
  • Thursdays, 10:00 - 12:00 ---  Virtual


Wellbeing Classes and Resources

Whether your goal is overall improvement of your health, weight loss, increased exercised, etc. we have plenty of resources to support you along your journey! Check out additional opportunities to advance your wellbeing below.

Yoga

Yoga is a mind and body practice with origins in ancient Indian philosophy. The various styles of yoga typically combine physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation. It has been recommended as a first line treatment for acute and chronic low back pain. Regular Yoga practice may also reduce stress and body-wide inflammation, contributing to healthy hearts.  Whether you're struggling with pain or interested in learning more about mind-body practice, yoga is available to you at VA Eastern Kansas!

Live Yoga Classes 

We have live in-person and virtual yoga classes.  These classes vary in time, availability and location.  Please speak with your provider about placing a Whole Health Yoga consult and one of our team members will reach out to you to explore the best option and fit for you.  Most of our classes are great for beginners and offer modifications so the class meets any physical health needs or limitations. 

On Demand Yoga are recorded classes with an instructor that are available, day or night, when it fits your busy schedule. They can be accessed by clicking on the links below. 

Whole Health Mobile Apps and Online Tools

Whole Health Moving the Body 

#LiveWholeHealth - Once you click this link, type "yoga" in the search box for results 

Please Note: If a class falls on a Federal Holiday there will not be class on this day. 

Mindfulness Based Tai Chi

Tai Chi is an ancient mind-body exercise rooted in traditional martial arts. Training with a calm mind in the slow, circular and intentional movements of Tai Chi strengthens and integrates the mind and body. An excellent exercise for persons of all ages and all abilities, Tai Chi enhances relaxation, focus, posture, balance, strength, coordination, immune response and mood.

Participants will develop foundation mind/body skills, learn the building blocks of Tai Chi movement, and combine skills into a flowing sequence increasing strength and flexibility.

Want to know more about Tai Chi, click on the link: Tai Chi for Veterans

Class Schedule

Virtual – 10-week Tai Chi Group - Tuesdays 1pm - 2pm

In Person Leavenworth Campus  - 10 Week Tai Chi Group Wednesdays 10:00am – 11:00 or Thursdays 9am - 10am. 

In Person Topeka Campus  - 10 Week Tai Chi Group Thursdays 2:30 - 3:30 pm.

*To self enroll for classes call ension 62877.

Practice Resources - Tai Chi with Tricia Yu   If you are looking for guidance with your practice in between classes, the Tai Chi with Tricia Yu offers YouTube Channel videos and demonstrations that corelate with tai chi classes available above.

Gerofit Exercise Program

This program encourages increased physical activity, aims to reduce fall risk, and boosts your weight loss and energy level! Gerofit offers strength training, balance exercises, flexibility exercises, and cardio fitness to improve your endurance. Most importantly, we will assess your functional limitations and be sure to create an individualized plan that aligns with your fitness goals.

To participate in this program, you will need internet access and a computer, tablet, or smart phone. To enroll, please reach out to your primary care provider and request a Gerofit consult through the Whole Health program. We can't wait to join you on your health and wellbeing journey!

**Due to a high demand, Gerofit is not currently accepting new enrollees at this time. However, we hope to join in your Whole Health journey through other opportunities listed!

Smoking and Tobacco Cessation

If you are trying to quit smoking or want to stop using tobacco, we can help you with support, resources and programs.  These include:

  • Virtual tobacco cessation group - First and Third Wednesday of the month at 11:30am 
  • Tobacco Cessation Quitline for individual counseling and strategies
  • SmokefreeVET text message program for daily advise and interactive support
  • Stay Quit Coach mobile app to help you quit smoking and stay smoke-free

Learn more about how to quit 

To enroll in virtual tobacco cessation group call ension 62991. 

 

Advanced Care Planning

Advance Care Planning is a one-time session providing education and assistance with completion of an Advance Directive, free of cost!

Regardless of age or health status, having an Advance Directive is important for all adults.  If you were ever seriously ill or injured and unable to communicate your own health care wishes, an Advance Directive gives you the opportunity to appoint a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare and provide instructions regarding your treatment preferences.  During this session, staff will be available to assist with completion of the appropriate documents if you choose.  Veterans are welcome to bring along a trusted friend or family member.

If you would like to participate in a virtual session, please call to be scheduled. If you would like to attend a session in-person, please see the table below for the most convenient offering that fits your location and schedule.

For enrollment in virtual session or for questions, please contact our Advance Care Planning Coordinator:

Elizabeth R. Brown, LSCSW

or 

Campus Location Day of Week Time and Room Number Leavenworth Monday's 10AM - A183 (main hospital) Topeka Tuesday's 10AM - A552 (Bldg. 1) Kansas City CBOC 1st Wednesday of month 9AM - Check in at front desk Platte City CBOC 1st Wednesday of month 2PM - Check in at front desk St. Joseph CBOC 2nd Wednesday of month 1PM - Check in at front desk Lawrence CBOC 1st Tuesday of month 2PM - Check in at front desk Junction City CBOC 4th Wednesday of month 10:30AM - Check in at front desk

The Great Outdoors

Research shows that nature- based activities can help Veterans in many ways which is why we have brought The Great Outdoors class to EK for you! 

In this four session class, Veterans will learn about the benefits of connecting with nature, build new skills, nurture positive emotions, and improve overall health and well-being by strengthening their connection with nature. We will emphasize activities that are low cost, local and can be easily included in your daily living. While we will not be out hiking in the forest together, we will meet at outside locations to enjoy nature on our beautiful campus. 

Leavenworth Campus

Fall 2024 Session Class Dates: Every Thursday starting August 22nd through September 12th from 1030 - 1130am.

Space is Limited, to register call ension 62877.

MOVE! Weight Management

 

The best way to manage your weight is to eat smart and be physically active. MOVE!® is a national weight management program that helps Veterans lose weight, keep it off and improve their health. MOVE!® is a comprehensive lifestyle intervention that focuses on health and wellness through nutrition, physical activity, and behavior change. 

For more information contact Chelbie Glenn at , or you may request to be invited to a virtual 20-minute informational class by calling . These classes take place on Wednesdays at 12pm.

Nutrition Service

Whether you'd like to get your hands on healthy recipes, learn about food preparation, or work with a dietitian to develop an individual plan that meets your needs, VAEK Nutrition Service has something to offer! Call to get scheduled for your nutrition consultation today.

Recreational Therapy

Whether you're wanting to work on personal development, recharging, or connecting with others, VA Eastern Kansas has something to offer you through our Recreational Therapy program! Through this program, you'll have the option to learn how to play a new instrument, engage in mindfulness-based music practice, and so much more! Reach out to Andrea Chaffee at to learn more or enroll.

Chaplain Services

Spiritual wellbeing offers opportunity for connection to one's deepest values and is an important part of overall wellbeing! VA Chaplains are available to you to provide religious, spiritual, moral, and ethical direction. You can reach VAEK Chaplain Services today by calling for more information and to get connected.

Whole Health Peer Facilitator Volunteer

Is part of your mission, aspiration and purpose in life to serve your fellow Veterans by providing support and encouragement to live their best life?  Becoming a Veteran peer facilitator might be just what you are looking for.

As a whole health peer facilitator volunteer, you will engage in activities such as:

  • Introducing Veterans to the Whole Health approach
  • Assisting your peers in exploring their own Whole Health, using tools such as the Personal Health Inventory and the Circle of health
  • Connecting Veterans to resources and programs based on their preferences
  • Supporting Veterans in learning and practicing new self-care skills. 

*Minimum time commitment is 3 hours a month. 

If you are interested contact Bethany Vanderslice at ension 62877.


Coaching

Whole Health Coaching

Whole Health Coaches work with Veterans one-on-one and in group settings to empower the Veteran to develop and achieve self-determined goals related to health and wellness. Coaches support Veterans in identifying internal and external resources, and in developing self-management strategies for making sustainable, healthy lifestyle, behavior changes. As partners and facilitators, coaches support Veterans in achieving health and behavioral goals while collaborating with the Veteran’s healthcare team. Coaches assist Veterans to use their insight, personal strengths and resources, goal setting, action steps and accountability toward whole health changes.


Mission to Whole Health: Veteran Story

Whole Health is having a positive impact on Veterans all across VA Eastern Kansas! From starting with identifying their greatest sense of purpose to taking positive steps toward meaningful change, learn about the experiences of Veterans on their Mission to Whole Health through our Veteran Highlight Stories.


Components of Proactive Health and Well-Being

The Components of Proactive Health and Well-Being picture will help you think about your whole health. All of the areas in the circle are important. They are all connected. Improving one area can benefit other areas in your life and influence your overall physical, emotional, and mental health and well-being.

The inner circle represents you, your values and what really matters to you. Being in a state of mindful awareness helps you identify what matters to you. The next circle is your self-care. These are the circumstances and choices you make in your everyday life to take care of you. The next ring represents professional care you receive. Professional care may include typical medical interventions like examinations, tests, medications tests, medications and counseling. This circle also includes complementary approaches such as acupuncture, chiropractic care and other mind-body therapies. The outer ring represents the people and groups to whom you are connected.


The Circle of Health

The Circle of Health illustrates the big picture connections between your health and other aspects of your life. Whole health opens the door to discuss not only your health conditions, but the things that impact your well-being.

Whole Health Circle of Health

Me

The innermost circle represents each of us as unique individuals. We start at the middle saying, “I am the expert on my life, values, goals, and priorities.  Only I can know what really matters to ME. This knowledge needs to be what drives my health and my healthcare. I am the most important person when it comes to making choices that influence my health and well-being. I am the leader of my team, and my medical team professionals are some of the invited players.”

Examples of the types of services Veterans can access and use to support this area include (but are not limited to):

  • What REALLY matters to you in your life?
  • What do you want your health for?
  • What is your vision of your best possible health?

     

Mindful Awareness

Mindfulness is being fully aware, or paying attention, to the present moment. Sometimes, we go through our daily lives on autopilot with a tendency to dwell on the past or plan events in the future. At times we struggle to pay attention to what is happening right now; without judging or trying to fix it. Being mindful, or aware, allows you to make conscious proactive choices about every aspect of your health. Mindfulness connects you to each component of your well-being, and to your whole self.

Whole Health Rocks

The Eight Areas of Self-Care

Self-care is often the most important factor in living a healthy life, which in turn allows you to live your life fully, in the ways that matter to you. Self-care includes all the choices you make on a daily basis that affect your physical, mental, and spiritual health. Evidence shows that each of these eight areas of self-care contributes a great deal to your overall health and well-being and positively impact disease prevention. Consider your values, lifestyle, habits, and motivations in each area. Taking stock of where you are now and where you want to be in each of these areas is the first step in living a healthier life. 


Professional Care

Prevention and treatment of illness or disease and traditional and complementary medicine are part of professional care. Preventive care includes things like immunizations and cancer screening. Common treatments include checkups, medicines, supplements, physical therapy, surgery, and counseling. Complementary medicine includes approaches like acupuncture, chiropractic care, dry needling, and mind-body therapies. It is important to stay current with your personal care plan for health and well-being.


Community

The outer ring represents your community. For some, their community is close by and for others it is far way. Your community is more than the places you live, work, or worship. It includes all the people and social groups you connect with that add value and purpose to your life.

Whole Health Equation