Veterans’ Hospital takes wellness approach to combat veteran health problems – Nation/World

Opioid addiction, heart disease and post-traumatic stress disorder are some of the most common health issues among veterans, and Truman Veterans’ Hospital is increasingly finding that the path to recovery for veterans is through wellness.

The veterans hospital has been doing wellness for five years. But last year, it brought together the pieces, formalized its efforts and named it the Integrative Health and Wellness Program.

The focus is on veterans’ health as a whole. This year, the veterans hospital brought on three new health coaches as part of the program for a grand total of four full-time staff — soon to be five.

“Our biggest challenge is changing a 100-year-old system,” said Jeremy Jobe, one of the new health coaches at the veterans hospital.

That system’s central focus has long been prescribing medications. But that doesn’t take in the big picture — the mental, physical and spiritual health of the veteran.

“The pharmaceutical route only takes care of 20 percent of the problem,” Jobe said. The other 80 percent of getting healthy is up to the person.

“You’re your best advocate… medication… everything,” he said.

It’s not just about educating veterans about “whole health,” Jobe said. It’s also an opportunity for physicians to see the benefits of wellness. In the end, what the health coaches hope the program looks like is this: A veteran goes to see a physician who refers him or her to the program. The veteran goes to coaching sessions and then returns to the physician with a personalized health plan.

The plan gives the physician a sense of the veteran’s health priorities when creating a plan of care. Together, coaches and physicians can change the outcome for veterans by sharing the responsibility for the patient’s outcome, Jobe said.

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Opioids, be gone

That same veteran-centered approach is in use in the Integrative Health and…

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