Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences
Health and Medical Administration | Health Policy | Health Services Administration | Health Services Research | Military and Veterans Studies
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.
Employee Health and Wellbeing, Veterans Health Administration, Whole Health System, implementation and dissemination
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Copyright © The Author(s) 2021. Creative Commons Non Commercial CC BY-NC: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
DOI of Published Version
Reddy KP, Schult TM, Whitehead AM, Bokhour BG. Veterans Health Administration's Whole Health System of Care: Supporting the Health, Well-Being, and Resiliency of Employees. Glob Adv Health Med. 2021 May 30;10:21649561211022698. doi: 10.1177/21649561211022698. PMID: 34104580; PMCID: PMC8168167. Link to article on publisher's site
Global advances in health and medicine
Reddy KP, Schult TM, Whitehead AM, Bokhour BG. (2021). Veterans Health Administration's Whole Health System of Care: Supporting the Health, Well-Being, and Resiliency of Employees. Open Access Publications by UMass Chan Authors. https://doi.org/10.1177/21649561211022698. Retrieved from https://escholarship.umassmed.edu/oapubs/4737
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License