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Whole Health Library

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Up-close photograph of a clinician holding in both hands a patient's Personal Health Inventory on a clipboard. Patient's midsection is blurred in the background.

Whole Health focuses on what matters most to each of us. It empowers people thorough mindful awareness and self-care, recognizing the fundamental importance of healthy nutrition, activity, sleep, relationships, surroundings, and the many other areas of our lives that contribute to our health and wholeness.

Whole Health supports patient-centered, proactive, whole-person care. Conventional testing and treatment are combined with complementary and integrative health strategies such as yoga, tai chi, and acupuncture. This website was created for clinicians who work with Veterans, but our resources can support everyone in their journey toward optimal health.

"The Whole Health approach equips people to take charge of their health. But this requires a change in how we think about health care—where clinical care is only one piece of the system, and not necessarily the centerpiece. This change of thinking is the transformation we're making across VA."

Ben Kligler, MD, MPH, Executive Director for the Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation, Veterans Health Administration

What some are saying about Whole Health

Whole Health improves health outcomes and clinician satisfaction.

Thumbnail image of a video entitled 'Whole Health Approach to Clinical Care'

Whole Health promotes health and well-being through skill-building.

Thumbnail image of an external Youtube video titled Skill Building to Promote Well-Being

These links go to an external website. By clicking on the links above, you will leave the Department of Veteran Affairs Website. The Department of Veterans Affairs does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of the linked websites.
For additional Whole Health videos, refer tothe VA Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation website.

The Circle of Health

The Circle of Health visually captures the richness of Whole Health. It can guide people as they reflect on their health and well-being and enhance conversations between patients and members of their care teams.

Circle of Health - Components of Proactive Health and Well-Being Model: The “Circle of Health” Large light blue circle that says “community”. Inside that circle is a dark blue circle that says “Prevention & Treatment” on the left and “Conventional & Complementary Approaches” on the right. Inside of that is a bright green circle. Overlaid on the bright green circle are smaller white circles. Clockwise from the top they say; “Moving the Body; Energy & Flexibility,” “Surroundings; Physical &Emotional,” “Personal Development; Personal Life & Work Life,” “Food & Drink; Nourishing & Fueling,” “Recharge; Sleep & Refresh,” “Family, Friends & Co-workers; Relationships,” “Spirit & Soul; Growing & Connecting,” and “Power of the Mind; Relaxing & Healing.” At the center of this graphic is a small blue circle that says “Me.” Above the circle it says “Mindful” and below the circle it says “Awareness.”

Whole Health Equation: consisting of five small circles beginning with “Me” in a blue circle. A plus sign. “Self-Care” in a bright green circle. A plus sign. “Professional Care” in a darker blue circle. A plus sign. “Community” in a light aqua blue circle. An equal sign. And finally, “Whole Health” in a blue circle.

The Circle of Health acknowledges each persons uniqueness, putting him or her at the center of it all. From there, they are empowered through mindful awareness and self-care. They are supported and guided by a team of professionals, who may draw from both conventional and complementary approaches. They are embraced by their community. Using the Circle of Health, patients and other individuals identify what matters most to them, and then they work with their Whole Health team to create a Personal Health Plan that will move them closer to what is important to them.