As VA continually works to improve the health of Veterans, we don’t just limit ourselves to traditional medical interventions.
A few years ago, we launched the Whole Health initiative, a cutting-edge approach that considers physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual and environmental factors in health care. The initiative was featured in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2019.
Whole Health combines clinical care with complementary care, such as acupuncture on a scenic mountainside, yoga, massage, meditation, mindfulness, biofeedback and more.
“Our providers are not only treating the immediate health concern, they are also working with Veterans to identify what is important to them outside of conventional treatment,” said Michelle Winslow, Whole Health program manager, VISN 8.
“By focusing on the bigger picture and putting Veterans in the driver’s seat, we are able to achieve better overall health outcomes.”
This approach has been particularly beneficial to Veterans facing complex issues, such as chronic pain and emotional trauma.
“My emotional state before being in the Whole Health program to now is just a world of difference. Whole Health is just a lifesaver, and I wish everybody would try it,” said Navy Veteran Sam Martino.
Work in complementary medicine
To support the initiative, VA seeks to hire complementary medical providers — including Whole Health program directors and coaches, acupuncturists and massage therapists — as well as traditional health care professionals interested in incorporating complementary medicine into their practice.
In VISN 8 alone, which includes Florida and U.S. Caribbean territories, there are more than 170 Whole Health coaches who work in patient-aligned care teams throughout the network.
Be part of a team that is achieving amazing results for Veterans, including a threefold reduction in opioid use for chronic pain patients. Demand for the program runs high, with 97% of Veterans responding that they were interested in or already using Whole Health resources.
Providers on our Whole Heath teams also report higher than average levels of professional satisfaction.
Like all VA employees, you can take advantage of great benefits such as:
- Generous vacation and sick time — You’ll begin accruing vacation on your very first day and can earn 13-26 days off per year, plus 10 paid federal holidays and 13 sick days.
- Robust health care package — The health care you need is covered through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, which provides the widest selection of health plans in the country.
- Flexibility — Many VA positions let you flex your schedule to accommodate your needs or allow for telework on a regular or intermittent basis with a formal agreement.
- Educational assistance —We offer a wide range of education support programs, including education debt reduction and loan forgiveness, training incentive scholarships, nursing training support, programs for Veterans and more.
Work at VA
If you’re a complementary medicine provider interested in a meaningful career serving Veterans, consider choosing VA.