CAVHS named Flagship Facility

Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System has been named a VA Whole Health Flagship Facility, one of only 18 VA medical centers across the country to receive this designation. Whole health is a new approach to care designed to empower, equip, and treat Veterans in a way that puts them in control of their health and well-being. The VA has been working toward this whole health approach in partnership with Veterans and through an ongoing education, training and evaluation process which is focused on helping Veterans achieve their greatest health and well-being.

“CAVHS is excited to be on the cusp of delivering healthcare that is person-centered and specific as opposed to disease-specific,” said Tina McClain, CAVHS chief of staff. “We are honored to be a flagship site and to begin developing services that will help our Veterans meet their personal life goals.”

The facility introduces Veterans to the program’s concepts with Whole Health and Wellness Orientation classes on the second and fourth Monday of every month, except on Federal holidays. Before entering the CAVHS Whole Health Program, participants must complete an eight-week long “Taking Charge of My Life” course to prepare their Personal Health Plan. The next session starts the second week of June.

“The goal of our Whole Health and Wellness Programs are to assist Veterans in identifying health and well-being choices they feel would enrich their daily lives,” said Mandia Carden, CAVHS Whole Health Program manager. “We aim to introduce them to a variety of self-help techniques that are non-intrusive, yet have been proven to improve one’s health quality of life, with or without medical illness/diagnosis. This will allow us to really offer a large variety of health and wellness options for our Veterans.”

CAVHS currently offers beginner yoga, drumming, functional nutrition and guided mediation classes. The program aims to add Tai Chi, acupuncture and other Health and Wellness options in the coming months as the program continues.

For more information on Whole Health or to register for the programs, call Mandia Carden at (501) 257-3144 or Lamanda Blackman at (501) 257-3963.

This is the first wave of facilities in the national deployment of Whole Health across the VA. CAVHS is also the lone Whole Health flagship facility for the South Central VA Health Care Network. The network serves a population of approximately 1.4 million Veterans in, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and parts of Texas, Missouri, Alabama, Oklahoma and Florida.

VA’s Whole Health System provides a pathway for Veterans, VA staff and Veteran Peers to work together as Veterans create personal health plans that include well-being and clinical treatments. These plans consider the values and needs of individual Veterans, putting an even greater emphasis on listening to patients. When Veterans start on the whole health pathway they are not alone. VA staff and Veteran peers guide and support Veterans throughout this journey. Veterans engaging in the whole health approach have reported feeling more in control of their care and expressed greater satisfaction in how they communicate with their providers.