FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - October 15, 2012
ontact: Rebecca Lara, AHNA,,
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American Holistic Nurses Association Releases October Magazine Focused on Caring for Veterans

In April 2012, the American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA) signed on to the Joining Forces campaign, recognizing the important need to support U.S. military men, women and their families.  Joining Forces is a national initiative established by First Lady Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden, and the White House to bring mainstream awareness to Veteran issues including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI).

The AHNA has dedicated the October focus of Beginnings magazine to “Holistic Nurses Caring for Veterans”, as part of its continued commitment to the Joining Forces Campaign.  “The expectation is to educate and bring greater awareness to holistic nurses across the country with the goal of providing improved person-centered care to Veterans and their families” explained Glenda Christaens Ph.D, RN, AHN-BC.  She further stated that “Holistic Nurses practice holistic healing, a form of healing based on attention to all aspects of an individual; physical, mental, emotional, sexual, cultural, social and spiritual.”

A brief summary of the articles focused on Veterans’ care that are included in the October Beginnings magazine include:

• p. 3—AHNA President Glenda Christiaens PhD, RN, AHN-BC introduces the topic of holistic nurses caring for Veterans and their families in her message to association members, stating “The families of injured and recovering soldiers also need support, education and reassurance that the wounds will heal with time. As holistic nurses, we can influence these life altering transitions for our Veterans through the promotion of self-care and our presence during healing.”

• pp. 4-6—Holistic nurse Francie Halderman RN, BSN, HN-BC provides an overview of PTSD and how holistic nursing interfaces with the trauma Veterans suffer. She reminds us that “it is not enough to assess and treat the body without caring for the whole person, body-mind-emotion-spirit . . . (this includes) holistic practices such as caring presence that every nurse can embody.”

• pp. 8-10—Long time AHNA member Marie Fasano RN, MN, MA highlights an incredible support system at the Merritt Center for Returning Combat Veterans located in the rural community of Payson, Ariz. She describes how Veterans in this program learn to recognize and practice ways to release negativity through various educational activities that offer effective ways to heal the heart, body, mind and spirit.

• pp. 14-16—VA holistic nurse Richelle Rapaport RN, MSN, NPP, AHN-BC, PMHCNS-BC writes about her experience implementing a grant for mind-body interventions at the VA Medical Center in Northport, N.Y. With support, Richelle was able to develop a year-long program focused on training VA clinical staff in holistic modalities such as aromatherapy, guided imagery and relaxation, Reiki, Tai Chi Easy method and clinical meditation.

• pp. 18-20—Finally, former AHNA Education Coordinator and VA holistic nurse Debra Copp RN, BSN, HN-BC offers three heart-opening stories that involve deep listening and insight, all of which communicate the essence of holistic, caring-healing practice. She reiterates that holistic nurses are “specially prepared to face communication challenges in working with our Veterans and others who have experienced trauma.” Using theory guided practice, along with authentic, unconditional caring, holistic nurses have the ability to create that sacred space for our Veterans’ healing.

• In addition, a number of the above authors have cited the research of Jill Bormann, et al. in their articles. This Beginnings magazine issue also includes a research abstract originally printed in the Journal of Holistic Nursing that describes just one of Dr. Bormann’s studies (p. 12). These VA nurse pioneers at the San Diego VA Medical Center are adding credibility to integrative therapies by conducting research on mind-body-spiritual interventions such as mantram repetition in Veterans suffering from PTSD.

The American Holistic Nurses Association invites the media to explore the many ways that holistic nurses are working to provide compassionate, person-centered care for our Veterans. Please contact AHNA to request a copy of Beginnings magazine or to arrange interviews with the above mentioned authors and other holistic nurses actively providing care for Veteran populations.


The American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA) is a non-profit membership association for nurses and other holistic healthcare professionals. Founded in 1981, AHNA is the definitive voice for holistic nursing, and promotes the education of nurses, other healthcare professionals, and the public in all aspects of holistic caring and healing, serving as a bridge between conventional medicine and complementary and alternative healing practices. Holistic nursing is recognized by the American Nurses Association as an official nursing specialty with defined scope and standards of practice. AHNA’s mission is to advance holistic nursing through community building, advocacy, research and education. For more information:


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