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Transformation of VA to 'whole health' model featured in JACM special issue

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

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Credit: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

New Rochelle, NY, March 20, 2019--As medical delivery organizations seek to meet the Triple Aim, address social determinants of health, and move from volume to value, a leading-edge effort is the "whole health" model in the US Veterans Administration (VA). Two insightful papers on challenges in implementation and methods for measuring success in achieving this "future state" are featured in the philanthropically-backed Special Issue on Multimodal Approaches in Integrative Health: Whole Persons, Whole Practices, Whole Systems. The issue is published in JACM, The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers, dedicated to paradigm, practice, and policy advancing integrative health. Click here to read the special issue free on the JACM website.

In "Whole Health in the Whole System of the Veterans Administration: How Will We Know We Have Reached This Future State?" the founding director of the VA's Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation, Tracy Gaudet, MD and the director of the VA's Integrative Health Coordinating Center, Benjamin Kligler, MD, MPH, describe the VA's "whole health" model now being piloted in all 18 of the VA's regions. They refer to success in this transformation as the VA's "future state." The core of the authors' exploration is of the kinds of measurement that will be required to assess success in achieving the VA's "whole health" goals.

The challenges of this transformation, and in particular, to the VA's commitment to inclusion of evidence-informed complementary and integrative approaches as part of a commitment that includes diminishing reliance on opioids via a new chronic pain model is the subject of "What Should Health Care Systems Consider When Implementing Complementary and Integrative Health: Lessons from Veterans Health Administration." An 8-member author team lead by Stephanie Taylor, PhD, Greater Los Angeles VA Medical Center (CA), used semi-structured, in-person qualitative interviews with 149 key stakeholders at 8 VA medical centers to clarify 9 key factors that facilitated implementation and 7 challenge areas.

The special issue content from the VA is surrounded by papers focusing on development of whole person-oriented integrative pain programs in multiple organizations including: University of California San Francisco (primary care safety net clinics), Oregon Medicaid (federally qualified health centers), University of Vanderbilt (outpatient academic medicine), University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (pediatric hospital) and Harvard Medical School (outpatient academic medicine).

"Leaders of private-not-for-profit hospitals and major delivery organizations in the medical industry have a great deal to learn from VA's whole health model and from these other budding whole person pain treatment strategies," says JACM Editor-in-Chief John Weeks, johnweeks-integrator.com (Seattle, WA) adding: "The desired transformation from volume to value means engaging new challenges and employing new research questions such as Gaudet, Kligler, their VA colleagues, and these other integrative health researchers are exploring."

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About the Journal

JACM, The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine is a monthly peer-reviewed journal published online with open access options and in print that is dedicated to research on paradigm, practice and policy advancing integrative health. Led by John Weeks (johnweeks-integrator.com), the co-founder and past Executive Director of the Academic Collaborative for Integrative Health, JACM publishes human clinical trials, observational studies, systematic reviews and commentary intended to help healthcare professionals, delivery organization leaders, policy-makers and scientists evaluate and integrate therapies into patient care protocols, payment strategies and appropriate protocols. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the JACM website.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative medical and biomedical peer-reviewed journals, including OMICS: A Journal of Integrative Biology, Journal of Computational Biology, New Space, and 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing. Its biotechnology trade magazine, GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's more than 80 journals, newsmagazines, and books is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

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