Veterans Health Administration’s Whole Health System of Care: Supporting the Health, Well-Being, and Resiliency of Employees

Kavitha P. Reddy, Tamara M. Schult, Alison M. Whitehead, Barbara G. Bokhour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is implementing a Whole Health System (WHS) of care that empowers and equips Veterans to take charge of their health and well-being and live their lives to the fullest, and increasingly leaders recognize the need and value in implementing a similar approach to support the health and well-being of employees. The purpose of this paper is to do the following: 1) provide an overview of the WHS of care in VHA and applicability in addressing employee resiliency; 2) provide a brief history of employee well-being efforts in VHA to date; 3) share new priorities from VHA leadership as they relate to Employee Whole Health strategy and implementation; and 4) provide a summary of the impacts of WHS of care delivery on employees. The WHS of care utilizes all therapeutic, evidence-based approaches to support self-care goals and personal health planning. Extending these approaches to employees builds upon 10 years of foundational work supporting employee health and well-being in VHA. In 2017, one facility in each of the 18 Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISNs) in VHA was selected to participate in piloting the WHS of care with subsequent evaluation by VA’s Center for Evaluating Patient-Centered Care (EPCC). Early outcomes, from an employee perspective, suggest involvement in the delivery of the WHS of care and personal use of the whole health approach have a meaningful impact on the well-being of employees and how they experience the workplace. During the COVID-19 pandemic, VHA has continued to support employees through virtual resources to support well-being and resiliency. VHA's shift to this patient-centered model is supporting not only Veteran care but also employee health and well-being at a time when increased support is needed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGlobal Advances In Health and Medicine
Volume10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Employee Health and Wellbeing
  • implementation and dissemination
  • Veterans Health Administration
  • Whole Health System

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