Health And Wellness | VA Puget Sound Health Care – Veterans Affairs

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COVID-19 vaccines: All Veterans, spouses and caregivers can get a COVID-19 vaccine at VA by appointment or walk-in clinic. Visit our vaccine information page
For VA-specific information: Read our coronavirus FAQs and public health response, or use our coronavirus chatbot.
Prepare for a visit: Everyone entering our facilities is screened, and visitors are limited. Face masks are mandatory. For some needs, you may be able to get care at home by phone or video.
For the latest coronavirus information: Visit the CDC website
Our Veterans programs for health and wellness offer information, resources, and treatment options to help you stay healthy. Find out how to get help quitting tobacco use, preventing disease, managing your weight, and maintaining your mental health.
REACH VA Caregiver Program improves the emotional and physical well-being of caregivers and enhances quality of care for their loved ones. Caregivers are taught problem-solving skills and stress and mood management techniques and provided information on disease related concerns that are customized for each caregiver. There are four sessions between the caregiver and a Program Coach (more if needed).
When: call for information
Contact: Caregiver Support Program 206-277-6696
REACH VA Caregiver Telephone Support Groups for caregivers teach valuable skills in a group format to help with problem solving, stress management and positive thinking. The Telephone Support Group Leader works with a group of caregivers to learn better ways to deal with challenges and find time to care for you as well.
When: call for information
Contact: Caregiver Support Program 206-277-6696
Caregivers FIRST is a caregiver skills training program with the goal of connecting caregivers to resources to help them feel more confident, capable and supported in their caregiving role. The program is designed to help caregivers build coping, support-seeking and hands-on skills and strategies. 
When: call for information
Contact: Caregiver Support Program 206-277-6696
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Self-care is important for everyone, at all times – and especially during stressful or challenging times. This single session class will introduce you to the COVID Coach mobile app, and we will review the plan for daily practice of brief (5-10min) self-care activities using various features of this app. Following completion of orientation, you are invited to engage in weekly individual check-ins for 30 days via My Healthevet Secure Messaging to review progress, feedback, and questions (note, you must have access to My HealtheVet secure messaging).
When: fourth Tuesday of the month, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. PT, via VA Video Connect
Contact: Kristen Perry, PhD 253-224-3917
More about how can you stay healthy during uncertain times or when you can’t leave your home
More about the National Center for PTSD COVID Coach mobile app
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Self-care is important for everyone, at all times – and especially during stressful or challenging times. This single session class will introduce you to the COVID Coach mobile app, and we will review the plan for daily practice of brief (5-10min) self-care activities using various features of this app. Following completion of orientation, you are invited to engage in weekly individual check-ins for 30 days via My Healthevet Secure Messaging to review progress, feedback, and questions (note, you must have access to My HealtheVet secure messaging).
When: fourth Tuesday of the month, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. PT, via VA Video Connect
Contact: Kristen Perry, PhD 253-224-3917
Join us to learn about Long Term Care resources both in the Department of Veterans Affairs as well as in your local county. 
When: offered 1-2 times per month on Mondays, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. PT
Contact: Ann Stewart, LICSW 360-419-3698
This is a 4-session class for learning the basics of acupressure. Learn traditional points for chronic neck and low back pain, headaches, and effective points for relaxation. Referral from your primary care provider is required.
When: Tuesdays, 1:00 p.m. to 1:50 p.m. PT
Contact: Pain clinic 206-277-5177
When: first Wednesday of every quarter (January, April, July, October), 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PT
Contact: Jenny Bambara, PhD 206-277-4264 or Derek Anderson, PhD 253-583-1896
When: first and third Mondays of the month, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PT
Contact: Jenny Bambara, PhD 206-277-4264 or Christina Frankel-Barton, PT 206-277-3721
This weekly support group is for all Veterans with a cancer diagnosis in the past or at the present. To attend the group, dial 1-800-767-1750 and enter the access code 95348# when prompted.
When: Fridays, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. PT
Contact: Ana DeVage, LICSW, OSW-C 206-764-2624 or Melinda Walker, LICSW 206-277-6756
This class focuses on helping people understand the connection between their body and emotions, and how thoughts, feelings, and behavior affect the way we manage pain. We also emphasize helping individuals to explore ways to continue to live important values despite limitations imposed by chronic pain disorders.
When: Mondays, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. PT
Contact: Grant Shulman, PhD 253-583-3174
This is a series of classes for Veterans with chronic pain to support building a variety of strategies to manage pain. There are several different series offerings including education and support for chronic pain and learning self-hypnosis.
When: call for information
Contact: Megan Miller, PhD 206-768-5401
This 3-hour class provides education on diabetes and diabetes self-management. 
When: call for information
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PT
Contact: 253-583-3373 or 800-329-VETS Ext 73373
This is a 6-session video conferencing group for Veterans with diabetes. This group helps empower you to thrive while managing diabetes by focusing on 7 self-care behaviors: healthy eating, activity, taking medications, monitoring, problem solving, healthy coping and reducing risks. This program runs quarterly and is accredited by the American Diabetes Association.  
When: Wednesdays, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. PT
Contact: Ashley Paschke, MS, RD, CDCES 206-277-4142
This is a support group for Veterans who have experienced strokes.
When: second and fourth Wednesdays of the month, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. PT
Contact: Derek Anderson, PhD 253-583-1896
This is a 10-session videoconferencing group for Women Veterans between 16 weeks of pregnancy through 6 months after delivery. Social and informational support, along with stress management skills, can offset risks for problems in pregnancy and postpartum and can help make the experience of this time of life better. This group promotes physical and mental health by providing education, stress management skill development and a forum for peer support. Sessions focused on managing stress are alternated with informational sessions that bring in a member of the women’s health team (primary care doctor, nurse, social worker, psychiatrist, pharmacist and maternity care coordinator) to offer their special expertise and answer your questions.
When: Thursdays, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. PT
Contact: MJ Mariano, PhD 206-277-3027, your Primary Care Provider, or the Maternity Coordinator
This is a shared appointment for women Veterans who want to learn about and share experiences. We will come together to discuss menopause, hot flashes and sweats, sexual health, sleep, mood, and weight.
When: call for information
Contact: MJ Mariano, PhD 206-277-3027
When: third Wednesdays of the month, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. PT
Contact: Jenny Bambara, PhD 206-277-4264 or Derek Anderson, PhD 253-583-1896
In this longer-term group, Veterans can delve deeper into self-exploration of areas of their lives they wish to enhance and to create SMART goals and action steps that will help them attain these goals.
When: call for information
Contact: Lamont Tanksley 206-716-5797 or Puget Sound Rehabilitation Care 
Specialties Whole Health Team 206-762-1010 x67098
This 10-session group is for women with chronic pain and other chronic conditions. 
When: Mondays, 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. PT
Contact: MJ Mariano, PhD 206-277-3027
This 2-hour educational and experiential session is based on a specific curriculum that exposes participants to the foundational concepts of Whole Health, allows time for self-care and self-exploration, and for initiation of a Personal Health Inventory (PHI)
When: call for information
Contact: Lamont Tanksley 206-716-5797
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This 6-session video-based class teaches skills to handle negative emotions and change unhelpful behaviors while facing new challenges and life transitions associated with aging. The overarching goal of the class is to help Veterans to live life fully and engaged with values while getting older. 
When: call for information
Contact: Elizabeth Hirschhorn, PhD 253-583-1436
Gerofit is a supervised exercise program for Veterans 65 years and older from all VA Puget Sound locations. Gerofit exercise sessions aim to increase endurance, build strength, and improve balance. The program includes an individual physical fitness assessment, group classes, and Veteran comradery. Gerofit exercise sessions are held on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings over VA streaming video. Request a Gerofit consult from your Primary Care Provider. Or, for more information call 206-764-2723
When: Monday, Wednesdays, and Friday mornings
Contact: Alan Wesley, Program Manager 206-764-2723
Are you interested in keeping your mind sharp? This class is for you! We will provide education and skills to promote a healthy brain as you age. Be ready for active participation and home practice of skills to help you meet your personalized goals. The class meets virtually (we can help you get the technology set up) for 6 weeks. Each session is 1.5 hours. This class is offered 2 times a year. Next round will start in the winter.
When: call for information
Contact: Alice Verstaen, PhD 206-716-5782 at Seattle, Elizabeth Hirschhorn, PhD 253-583-1436 at American Lake
Learn about how PTSD symptoms can interact with normal aging to cause memory problems and attentional glitches. Do you have a smart phone with a data package or a computer with internet and a camera? Are you age 50+? Then we can help you join us to learn tools and strategies to help you maximize your thinking ability. The class meets virtually for 8 weeks. Each session is 1 hour. This class is offered 2 times a year.
When: call for information
Contact: Alice Verstaen, PhD 206-716-5782
Have you had a recent fall in your home or around town? Do you sometimes feel dizzy, weak, or unsteady on your feet? Would you like to learn more about balance and strength? Discover ways to prevent falls in your home and on the go. This 6-week class includes a weekly education session and a separate exercise session. You will need adequate space in your residence (at least 3 feet by 3 feet), wi-fi and technology (tablet or computer with camera). 
When: Thursdays, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. PT and a separate exercise session weekly
Contact: Ruby Farinas, OTR/L 206-764-2202
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When: second and fourth Wednesdays of the month, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. PT
Contact: Kyle Czeh, LICSW 206-277-6020 or Kevin Skiena, MSW 206-277-3366
When: first Thursdays of the month, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. PT
Contact: Samantha Overstreet, PhD 253-583-1727
Learn more how the Veterans Health Library provides a no-hassle way to get answers to your health questions
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Gerofit is a supervised exercise program for Veterans 65 years and older from all VA Puget Sound locations. Gerofit exercise sessions aim to increase endurance, build strength, and improve balance. The program includes an individual physical fitness assessment, group classes, and Veteran comradery. Gerofit exercise sessions are held on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings over VA streaming video. Request a Gerofit consult from your Primary Care Provider. Or, for more information call 206-764-2723
When: Monday, Wednesdays, and Friday mornings
Contact: Alan Wesley, Program Manager 206-764-2723
MOVE! is a weight management, health promotion program designed to improve your life. MOVE!’s core ideas—encouraging healthy eating behavior, increasing physical activity, and promoting even small weight losses—are easy to follow and based on the latest in nutrition science. The program guides you to make lifestyle changes through goals YOU set. MOVE! is not a diet; it is a life-changing program. All of our support options are offered virtually via VA Video Connect or Telephone.
 
When: call or send a Secure Message in MyHealtheVet for information
Contact: 253-583-3183 or MOVE!_Puget Sound_HPDP
Access www.move.va.gov for general weight management information. 
This is 4-week cooking class presentation highlights concepts of weight management. You will you learn kitchen basics and delicious food options for breakfast,  lunch and dinner all from your home. Explore recipes such as Egg Scramble in-a-mug or a delicious and colorful Buddha Bowl. Hone your skills at adjusting recipes to meet your taste preferences.
When: Thursdays at 1:00 p.m. PT in March or May
Location: Online via VA Video Connect
Contact: 253-583-3183
This is a one-time, 60-minute basic nutrition class. You will learn about non-disease specific topics such as my healthy plate, how to read food labels, healthier options when eating out, healthy cooking techniques, meal planning strategies, grocery shopping tips, deciphering fad diets, and an overview of a plant-based diet.
When: twice a month on Fridays at 12:00 p.m. PT
Location: online via VA Video Connect
Contact: 253-583-3237
This is an adapted Tai Chi program based on traditional Yang style Tai Chi involving movements that are performed while standing. These basic moves are easy to learn and can be used in daily life. Tai Chi can build strength and balance, improve posture and your overall sense of well-being. There is an initial individual session prior to group enrollment to assess balance, strength and goal setting prior to group enrollment. You will need adequate space in your residence (at least 3 feet by 3 feet), wi-fi and technology (tablet or computer with camera) and a consult from your PCP to outpatient occupational therapy in order to participate.
When: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PT
Contact: Ruby Farinas, OTR/L 206-764-2202
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This 1-time class provides Veterans with information about sleep apnea and helps them become more comfortable with their CPAP machines. 
When: first Monday of the month, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. PT
Contact: Joshua Breitstein, PsyD 253-583-2571
This is a class focused on supporting Veterans with disabilities to improve their sleep. Sessions focus on building behavioral strategies to improve sleep within the context of disabilities that may impact your sleep-wake cycle or activity level. 
When: Thursdays, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. PT
Contact: Megan Miller, PhD 206-768-5401
Learn behavioral strategies to improve your sleep.
When: second Monday of every month, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. PT
Contact: Joshua Breitstein, PsyD 253-583-2571
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This 6-session class teaches Veterans how to deal with negative emotions, get unstuck from unhelpful patterns of behavior, and develop skills to live more fully and engaged with values.
When: Mondays, 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., via VA Video Connect
Contact: Mary-Catherine Kane, PhD 253-583-1405
This 8-week structured class for women addresses the most common issues related to MST. Pre-screening is required. Veterans must have access to video, email address, and MyHealtheVet secure messaging. Must be signed up by October 7 for start date of October 21. Please contact Dr. Katz with a secure message, or through your provider.
When: call for information
Contact: Lori Katz, PhD 360-419-3668
This 6-session group is focused on using cognitive and behavioral strategies to improve overall functioning and wellbeing. 
When: Tuesdays, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. PT, via VA Video Connect
Contact: Amee Epler 253-583-3720
Topics discussed in this 8-session series include mindfulness, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness skills. Veterans can start any time.
When: Fridays, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. PT
Contact: Rosamond Smith, PhD 253-448-9061
This 4-session class is intended for Veterans with mild-to-moderate symptoms of depression, as well as for Veterans experiencing difficulties after a recent life change (e.g., retirement, divorce, separation from the military, moving, death of a loved one). Information covered includes practical, evidence-based coping skills to help reduce symptoms of depression and increase life satisfaction. 
When: Wednesdays, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. PT
Contact: Evelyn Larsen, LICSW 206-277-6579
Two 4-session modules teaching iRest®, a guided meditation that is often deeply relaxing and can assist with body awareness and emotional tolerance. People who practice iRest meditation report more relaxation, improved mood, improved sleep, and less pain. Available to Veterans enrolled in VA Primary Care.
When: Thursdays, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. PT
Contact: Lori Katz, PhD 360-419-3668
Additional details: No appointments are needed. To attend the group, dial 1-872-701-0185 and enter the pin 605 959 437# when prompted. If you can, let your provider know that you intend to call. 
This 5-week class helps Veterans learn new ways of responding to uncomfortable emotions in order to improve their ability to cope with life’s difficulties. This class combines elements of mindfulness, cognitive therapy, and behavioral (exposure) therapy. Participants must join the class at session one and patients already enrolled in a mental health or addition treatment center are ineligible. 
When: Fridays, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. PT
Contact: Grant Shulman, PhD 253-583-3174
The Inipi (Sweat Lodge) is a place of purification-new beginnings-healing-direction-pathway-letting go. This Ceremony is provided by traditional native Veteran elders and helpers from the community, helps release the "sickness of being in battle with people and self.  We have your "6". Please view our website at http://vasweatlodge.net/
When: call for information
Contact: Mike L. 253-312-5431
This class covers skills for coping with emotions, improving relationships, and practicing good self-care. A new coping skill is presented at every class. No appointments are needed. Just call in to 800-767-1750, conference number: 06279#. If you can, let your provider know that you intend to call.
When: Mondays, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. PT
Contact: Lori Katz, PhD 360-419-3668
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Get support through your journey to be nicotine free. Learn a variety of behavioral strategies while receiving support from other Veterans becoming nicotine free.
When: Wednesdays, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. PT
Contact: Emily DiNatale, PhD 253-583-3284
VA’s free telephone Quitline offers tobacco cessation counseling to any Veteran who receives their health care through VA. Quit VET is staffed by trained counselors who will help you during any phase of quitting—whether you are thinking about it, you started your quit attempt, or you are trying to get back on track after a slip or relapse to tobacco.
When: Quitline is open Monday-Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. PT
Contact: 855-784-8838
This group is designed for Veterans who are interested in exploring their tobacco use including goal setting and behavioral strategies to reduce/quit using tobacco. Access to nicotine replacement therapy and other tobacco cessation agents will be available to interested Veterans.
When: Mondays, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. PT
Contact: Tory Durham, PhD 206-762-1010 x67123, Fabienne Chou, PharmD, BCPP 206-716-5788
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The Post 9/11 Era Veteran Orientation Briefing assists Veterans who have recently separated from military service with navigating the VA health care system and understanding the overall VA structure, programming and time-sensitive benefits. The Transition and Care Management (TCM) Program staff is available to answer individual questions following the briefing related to the topics addressed.
When: every other Wednesday, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and every other Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PT
Contact: 253-583-1165
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