Milwaukee VA Medical Center
Retreat to showcase benefits of Whole Health
Veterans who have benefited from adapting a Whole Health approach will share their stories as part of this year’s Whole Health Well-Being Retreat at the Milwaukee VA Medical Center.
“Last year, we were brand new, so we didn’t have a lot of experienced Veterans,” said Stacy Olson, the Whole Health program manager at the Milwaukee VA. “This year, we have Veterans who learned about the programs at the last event. Now, they’re going to speak about how these programs have impacted their lives over the past year.”
The retreat will be held Wednesday, Jan. 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Matousek Auditorium at the Milwaukee VA Medical Center.
The free event will feature a wide range of Whole Health programs and topics, including Zentangle, a relaxed form of drawing; and Warrior Stance Chair Yoga, a beginner's class suited for those with balance and lower-back pain where participants remain seated or in contact with their chair.
Other offerings include WAMM (Walk a Mile or More), and "The Mission is ME" - Live your Best Life, which features a Veteran panel.
Three sessions will be offered only for employees: Healing from Burnout, Healing the Healer: Writing your own health plan, and Meditation and Mindful Awareness.
“The purpose of this is to have a one-stop shop where Veterans, staff, family members can come and experience and learn about all of the drop-in, and self-referral health and well-being programs that we offer here at the VA,” Olson said.
Beginning with the initial retreat last year, offering first-hand opportunities introduced Veterans to programs and has encouraged continued participation.
“Last year, we had patients that I pulled from the lobbies, I went into the cafeteria, some saw it on the news, some saw it in different areas, but came in and didn’t know what to expect,” Olson said. “And now, a year later, they are still taking some of our programs.
The fact that Veterans have remained engaged since last year helps demonstrate the event’s effectiveness, Olson said, which she hopes will continue with the additional hands-on opportunities.
“Expert staff in that area will be present to answer questions, but the biggest piece we’re adding is to experience some of the programs,” she said.
“They engaged from last year’s event into some of the programs that they never knew existed or would never have thought were for them.”