UW Health and Veterans Affairs Partner for Veterans' Health
UW Health Integrative Medicine will collaborate with the Veterans Health Administration (VA), the largest medical system in the country, on a national push to improve how doctors care for patients who are veterans.
The Integrative Medicine Program has contracted with the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation to create an education program titled “Whole Health: Changing the Conversation.”
The Integrative Medicine Program will work with VA clinicians throughout the country to shift care from focusing on diseases toward excellence in health and resiliency.
The William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital is one of four pilot sites in the U.S. where curriculum will be taught. The VA selected UW for its reputation in research and expertise in integrative medicine.
“The Veterans Health Administration’s top goal is to provide veterans with personalized, proactive, patient-driven health care,” says Alan Bridges, MD, chief of staff of the VA Hospital and a professor in the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH) Department of Medicine. “We are very excited about the opportunity to partner with the university to create culture change and develop an environment that focuses on physical and emotional health.”
David Rakel, MD, director of UW Health Integrative Medicine and an associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine, calls the effort “an investment in health.”
“Doctor-patient relationships are centered on disease, but integrative medicine practitioners say that focusing more on overall health will help reduce the need for expensive ‘rescue’ from conditions that are not easily fixed,” Rakel explains.
“This project should widen the lines of communication between physicians and veterans to help us understand how to best mobilize resources to achieve the veterans’ health goals.”
Date Published: 11/18/2013