Army Veteran Elaine Knowles explained how Whole Health coaching helped her manage during her late husband’s treatment and hospice care for Agent Orange related lung cancer.

It was when Knowles began working with Whole Health coach Patricia Granberry in Gainesville, Florida, that she found a safe place to explore the challenges and stresses that allowed her to find deeper meaning through classes offered in journaling mindfulness practices.

Health coaching helps Veterans realize their goals based on their values and strengths. Coaches work with Veterans to explore mindfulness, explore what matters to them in their lives, establish self-care strategies and make behavior changes based on their values.

“Breathe in, breath out,” Knowles recalled. “I used to think that was kind of new age stuff and I wasn’t into it, but it really does work. The relaxation techniques have also been life-saving for me because of the amount of stress I’m under. We’ve gone through radiation, chemo… so it’s been a very hard year. I can tell you I really, really needed Whole Health because she’s [Granberry] been a friend, a counselor, a support. She’s answered questions about things I knew nothing about.”

Whole Health coaching addresses all aspects of a person, including mind, body, and spirit. [Watch Elaine Knowles’ story here.]

“My husband said, ‘I really like when you take Ms. Granberry’s classes because you laugh,’” she said.

Helps Veterans realize what matters to them

“Nursing has started changing, and I needed something else because there’s so many other things out there Veterans need,” Granberry said. “With this, it’s the feeling of being grateful to give back, the feeling to know that I’m able to do more than just doing the give shots or talk about their medicine.”

You can also watch Granberry explain why she transitioned from nursing to becoming a Whole Health coach here.

Whole Health means thinking about and approaching your health in a new way. Learn more here:

Knowles receives care at the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Healthcare System.

By Andrea Young is a field implementation team consultant and communications specialist with VA's Office of Patient Centered Care & Cultural Transformation

Share this story

Published on May. 27, 2022

Estimated reading time is 1.7 min.

Views to date: 555

More Stories

  • In this four-part series on VA's Emergency Preparedness Simulation efforts, you'll see how simulation and emergency preparedness professionals build collective strategies that mitigate, prepare, respond, and recover from tragedies impacting Veterans and their communities.

  • A VA employee donated a kidney to his friend and VA coworker, providing the gift of life. Doctors said 100% match almost impossible.

  • The PACT Act will help VA provide health care and benefits to millions of toxic-exposed Veterans and their survivors. Veterans have already begun to apply for the benefits.