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Elevate your Life with a Whole Health Coach

Woman and man talking in a conference room.
Whole Health Coach Melody Smith chats with U.S. Army Veteran, Tony Starace about his health and well-being goals. Whole Health Coaches assist Veterans to tap into their own insight and personal strengths.

Having a Whole Health Coach in your corner can help you focus & build the kind of life you wish to live. Tony Starace, U.S. Army Veteran, found out firsthand the benefits of having a Whole Health Coach in his life. Coaching helped him through challenges & continues to help him to reach his goals.

Every Whole Health Story is Individual

Starace’s VA story started out like most Veterans. Following active duty, his goal was to go through the disability claims process and get treatment for a shoulder injury. He was a bit skeptical about the level and quality of health care that he would get from the VA. He went in for a routine MRI to get his shoulder evaluated at the West Palm Beach VA, and during the scan the radiology team found something.

Starace was diagnosed with a malignant growth in his brain.

VA Community Care referred Starace to the University of Miami Health System for specialized treatment. The situation weighed on him and his loved ones.

“It was hard to think of the next week, the next day,” said Starace. “It was so comforting, at the time, to have an amazing doctor and the VA team supporting me.”

During his treatment, Starace looked for other ways to cope with the situation. He asked his physician and the VA community care team about integrative health care and was referred to the Whole Health program.

“It’s hard to speak to family when they start crying,” Starace said. “I was in the kind of traumatic position of where it was…at the end of the day, I just needed someone to talk to.”

Starace was linked up with his first Whole Health Coach, Tanisha Ebanks, and started developing his personal health plan. In the Whole Health Program at West Palm Beach VA, he had access to classes ranging from aromatherapy to yoga. The Whole Health Program is centered on a Veteran’s individual needs and health goals.

Ebanks imparted some great wisdom to Starace, telling him that his situation doesn’t define him. Starace set goals to improve his well-being, and Ebanks coached him through challenges and ensured he kept his forward momentum to meet his goals.

Starace’s treatment and condition was progressing, and life was starting to normalize. Starace had another life-changing opportunity, but it required him to uproot and move to Utah. He wondered if the Whole Health program was active in the Salt Lake City area and offered the same level of care that he had received at West Palm Beach VA.

Watch Tony's Story Here


Whole Health is a Transformative Process

Starace made his way to Utah, and after some reassurance from Ebanks, he reached out to VA Salt Lake City Health Care System, and was linked up with Melody Smith, Whole Health Coach.

“Whole Health helps you to take back the driver’s seat to your health, and also gives you the tools you need to be successful,” Smith said.

Whole Health Coaches provide an avenue for Veterans to build health goals and paths to help overcome barriers. Simply put, they help coach you through life challenges. Whole Health Coaches assist Veterans to tap into their own insight and personal strengths.

“Whole Health Coaching is really working with a battle buddy, per se, somebody that’s there for you that can support you—to keep you accountable for where you want to go with your goals,” said Smith.

Whole Health Coaching is a collaborative process that helps Veterans discover their own personal mission, aspirations, and purpose.

“Really having that support person that can help celebrate the wins along the way—having somebody there to help remind you why it was that you started this goal in the first place,” said Smith.

Whole Health, and integrative care in general, is transforming health care. It is an approach to health care that empowers the Veteran to take charge of their health and well-being. Whole Health and by extension, Whole Health Coaching, centers on a Veteran’s specific health needs, because no one Veteran is the same.

Whole Health also helps transform individual Veterans in meaningful ways.

Starace has seen a positive transformation in his life and progress towards his goals.

“I’ve seen really tremendous growth, not only in my emotional and mental capacity, but with my lifestyle, my relationship with my wife, my interactions with others, and with other Vets,” Starace said.

Starace encourages his fellow Veterans to enroll in Whole Health and begin their journey. “Start with the coaching, because they have access to everything.”

It’s easy to get started on your Whole Health journey, call 801-588-5991 or get a referral from your provider. For more information about Whole Health, please visit:

If you’re not enrolled in VA health care, check your eligibility, and enroll by visiting: 

The VA Salt Lake City Health Care System is dedicated to improving the lives of Veterans and their families every day. The VA Salt Lake City Healthcare System provides health care services to more than 82,000 Veterans at 11 locations in Utah, Idaho, and Nevada.

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