What We Have Learned About the Implementation of Whole Health in the Veterans Administration

Benjamin Kligler, Maureen Khung, Tamara Schult, Alison Whitehead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


As we have advanced the concept of Whole Health (WH) in the Veterans Administration over the past 10 years, we have had the unique advantage of working in a health care system in which a wide range of WH services—ranging from acupuncture to coaching to yoga and Tai Chi to nutrition classes to peer-facilitated empowerment and skill-building groups—are fully covered by the system as part of standard medical benefits. This has given us the opportunity to evaluate both the process and the outcomes of offering this type of Whole Person care on a system-wide scale. This article will review some of the lessons learned from that ongoing evaluation process in the areas of integration of complementary/integrative health approaches as well as health coaching and peer-led groups, WH education, employee well-being, cost impacts, and whole-system transformation. This is not a systematic review, as we will touch on numerous questions and lessons learned rather than dive deeply into the literature seeking the answer to one narrower question. Hopefully the narrative review approach taken here will stimulate further discussion in the field regarding what we are learning and what we can continue to learn from this large scale innovation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)774-780
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Integrative and Complementary Medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2023


  • Veterans
  • Whole Health
  • complementary/integrative health
  • health coaching
  • health services research


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