This is Whole Health: Dr. Glenn Forister

Glenn Forister“When working in family medicine, I had a 60-year-old patient with a history of coronary artery disease and prior stent placement. She was a smoker and was frustrated by multiple failed attempts to quit. She felt like a failure and was very concerned that her heart condition would worsen. She tried nicotine replacement and varenicline with only short-term results. I asked her how important it was for her to quit and how she would self-rate her confidence in overcoming her tobacco dependence.

“I asked her to describe her typical day and times when she craved cigarettes the most.

We discovered a behavioral pattern in her evening transition routine from work to home. She watched the 6 p.m. news every day, felt stressed and then smoked. I recommended that she start a “news fast.” We planned a transition from work to home, including a short walk in nature. She was empowered to change her self-care. With better surroundings and the physical means to deal with stress, she was successful.

At her 1-year visit, she was still not smoking. I learned that prescribing medication, while helpful for some, does not replace a deeper look into Whole Health!”

 Glenn Forister, PhD, PA-C

Dean, School of Health Professions

What areas of whole health are part of this story?

  • Self-Care
  • Physical Health
  • Mental Health

To learn more about HSC’s Whole Health Initiative, go to unthsc.edu/wholehealth. If you have an example of how you have implemented one or more whole health areas and want to be featured in the “This is Whole Health” series, please email news@unthsc.edu.

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