HOLISTIC SERVICE DELIVERY MODELS
The Whole Person-Centered Optimal Health & Wellness Model identifies two (2) main pillars of success in holistic service delivery: accessibility and prevention. In order to sustain these pillars, services must be readily available year-round, affordable and focused on wellness and well-being rather than sickness.
Accessible services can be provided through five (5) main strategies:
Traveling to Community Hubs
Bringing whole-person centered optimal health and wellness education and services directly to the community is one of the most important strategies for ensuring accessibility. Going directly to workplaces such as factories, school systems, restaurants, churches and retirement homes can help meet potential clients where they are. In addition, community centers, day cares, military bases, and cultural and heritage events can allow people to feel more comfortable receiving services directly in their own familiar neighborhoods and communities. “In-community” outreach, such as to moms’ groups, social clubs, and population-based community centers also provide an opportunity to build rapport with clients.
In addition to traveling directly to the community, one-stop-shop facilities, particularly those with coordinated appointments, where the complete set of intervention modalities are available (including complementary and preventative services), and particularly those with coordinated appointment options, ensures potential clients are able to minimize travel and scheduling conflicts to create a more accessible day of wellness and well-being services.
Mobile services delivered directly to potential client homes or in places where clients might congregate (such as pharmacies and grocery stores) can also ensure greater accessibility, particularly for people with limited mobility capacities.
Virtual appointments, online education, information, tools, and other forms of internet-based services also provide a greater degree of accessibility, particularly for those with access to the internet.
Finally, specific health fairs and events hosted in accessible locations such as parks and city auditoriums provide a community-based one-stop shop atmosphere that can empower participants and build awareness of services throughout the community.
Preventative services rely on proactive education rather than reactive approaches. Specifically, prevention in service delivery relies on providing the appropriate education, reshaping the language of health care, and ensuring cultural competency of providers.
When it comes to education, continuous exposure to healthy lifestyles, options and foods is critical. The healthy choice should be the easy choice.
Reshaping the language of the health care includes setting client expectations to be well as a baseline, rather than as a goal to meet. Unhealthy outcomes can be mitigated when wellness is the default, rather than sickness, when seeking intervention. Prevention language should always be encouraging, rather than blaming or punitive.
Finally, it’s important for providers to recognize that some poor health choices are culturally and biologically ingrained in human beings, and that clients are not to blame for biomarkers that can lead to poor health outcomes. Often, external factors, such as adverse experiences, can also lead to unhealthy, but seemingly necessary, coping mechanisms. Affordability and accessibility of unhealthy foods and workplace conditions can also play an integral role in health choices that lead to unwellness. Poor healthy choices can also be generational and due to overexposure of unhealthy options (via ads, etc.), and underexposure to healthy options.
In addition, cultural awareness among practitioners can help to address traditions from various cultures, which can include specific choices about where certain cultures obtain sources of protein and carbohydrates, as well as what activities and routines are part of specific cultures.
These issues must be all considered as part of prevention strategies.