“Healthcare in the U.S. and the VA has operated on a ‘find it, fix it’ reactive disease model,” Gaudet said in a recent interview. “What we’re undertaking is truly a paradigm shift that promotes health and wellness.”
As compared to initiating with a patient’s suggested complication or attempting to identify a condition early in its development, Tracy Gaudet believes healthcare providers should begin by understanding the veteran and their ambitions. She explains that medical staff at the VA shouldn’t be asking, “what’s the matter?”, rather, they should be asking, “what matters to you?”. The goal of complete health at the VA is to assist all veterans in order to determine their basic health achievement goals and desires and to also help them focus on all the areas of their lives that affect their health and don’t allow them to reach those goals.
“It’s not just a ‘feel good’ program,” Gaudet noted, “but an approach informed by evidence that makes use of all appropriate therapeutic approaches as well as emphasizing self-care at all points along the spectrum of health and disease.”
This approach often takes veterans out of the clinic. The nine-week, peer-to-peer program emphasizes on guiding veterans through various questions to encourage them to discuss why they want to be healthy, what they want to accomplish and the kinds of relationships they want to have. According to Tracy Gaudet, the results have been astounding. Many veterans have found meaning and purpose in their lives again and connected to healthier lifestyles through these new programs being available at Veterans Affairs clinics. Veterans can then follow through with other available programs to help them reduce stress like meditation or they can increase their overall fitness levels. Additionally, as their health improves, the cost of caring for them drops. The complete health approach encourages veterans to make continuous changes in their health and life which may involve working on their closest relationships.
Many medical staff members at the Veterans Affairs Medical Clinics, such as Tracy Gaudet, MD, have been inspired to change their approach to medicine as well as transform the way they handle care to best provide veterans and active duty service members with the best possible benefits and opportunities to improve their health. The VA now focuses on granting veterans the ability to enhance their overall wellness and achieve their goals for well being. For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at (915) 850-0900.