VA Pittsburgh health care facility operating statuses and emergency information.
Situation updates and information
Wednesday, Jul 1, 10:48 a.m.
Moving Forward Together: Safe Care is Our Mission
Updates to VAPHS’s visitation and outpatient policies
On June 15, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System will begin to gradually expand health care services that were put on hold due to the coronavirus.
As always, the safety of our patients and employees is our top priority.
- Visitors are not permitted in the University Drive Emergency Department’s treatment area or waiting room. Clinical staff may grant exceptions for one caregiver, transportation provider or family member of Veterans who are gravely ill.
- Visitation for residents at the H.J. Heinz III Community Living Center is limited to two family members of Veterans in hospice care whose death is imminent (hours to days).
- Clinical staff may permit some outpatients or University Drive inpatients to have a support person on-site with them. A support person is a single individual, 18 years of age or older, who is identified by the patient to serve in one of the following capacities: help manage care during the visit or at home, assist with communication about care or serve as the designated driver for patients under sedation.
- Support persons accompanying patients for outpatient care will be allowed entry into the University Drive facility between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.
- Support persons accompanying patients to University Drive for outpatient surgical or other procedures will be permitted to escort patient to the procedural check-in area; once the patient is successfully checked in for the surgery or procedure, the support person will have to leave the area to either wait in a common area on the ground floor or in their car until completion of the procedure or surgery.
- Support persons for most University Drive inpatients will be allowed in the building between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.
- o Support persons for University Drive Behavioral Health inpatients will be allowed in the building between 1 and 2 p.m. or 6 and 7:30 p.m.
- We will continue to offer telehealth, wellness checks and phone consults as much as possible.
- We will prioritize face-to-face appointments based on clinical need.
- If your appointment was deferred, you won’t have to call us to reschedule — we’ll call you.
- We ask you not to bring family/guardians to appointments to limit exposure. You can request we call them on speaker phone or make other arrangements, if needed, during your appointment. Escorts are available at University Drive for mobility-challenged
- Veterans. Please contact the Veteran’s care team in advance if an outside escort is required for medical, behavioral or other reasons. • You should arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time for screening and clearance.
- Some surgeries or procedures may require a COVID test within 48 hours of your appointment. Your care team will work with you to arrange this.
- Pharmacy pickups are restricted to urgently needed medications. All other medications and refills are mailed. We will use overnight shipping if medically necessary.
- Urgently needed prescriptions are medications that the patient cannot wait until the next day to start.
- If you are a Veteran in urgent need of a medication, please contact the pharmacy to arrange for pickup:
- Call 412-360-3373 between 7:30 a.m. and 9 p.m. on weekdays or between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekends.
- Send a secure message in My HealtheVet to “Ask a Pharmacist.”
- Reminder: Veterans can sign in to www.myhealth.va.gov anytime to send a non-urgent, secure message to your care team. Do not use secure messaging for urgent communication; staff may not be able to respond immediately.
- VA has temporarily disabled online direct scheduling for making appointments, but you can still go online to request, view and cancel appointments. To learn more about the temporary changes to online, direct self-scheduling, please visit https://www.va.gov/health-care/schedule-view-va-appointments/
- No one under the age of 18 will be admitted to any of our facilities for any reason.
- Credit union ATM use is restricted to staff and Veterans in the facilities on official business. Do not visit our campuses solely to use the ATM machines.
- No visitors are permitted at the H.J. Heinz III Veterans Recovery Center (building 69).
- Patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 may not receive visitors under any circumstances.
- On-site branch visits to the credit union at our University Drive and Heinz campuses is restricted to current staff and Veteran patients who are in the buildings on official business. Other branch visits are limited and by appointment only. Questions? UD: 412-360-1150 HZ: 412-822-3185.
ALL ENTRANTS SHOULD KNOW THAT WE:
- Screen all patients, visitors, support persons, and employees at entrances.
- Require everyone in our facilities to wear face masks when in 6 feet of another person. Bring your own or we will provide one. Please see CDC’s recommendations for cloth face masks. We will make an exception only for Veterans who have a documented medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask. Other entrants who do not agree to wear a mask will not be admitted to our facilities.
- Have eliminated valet services at the University Drive campus. Veteran parking has been expanded and personnel are available to assist patients to appointments, as needed.
HELP LIMIT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19 AND OTHER ILLNESSES
Veterans with a sore throat, dry cough, shortness of breath or fever should call 412-360-6000 and select option #3 to speak to a nurse before visiting our facilities.
Veterans who have established care at VA Pittsburgh may be eligible for COVID-19 testing. Veterans with symptoms must call the Nurse Helpline at 412-360-6000 and select option 3 to schedule an appointment for drive-through testing at University Drive. No one should report to the Emergency Department for testing. Do not report for drive-through testing without an appointment.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR VETERANS
- For more information on how VAPHS has prepared to expand health care services that were put on hold due to the coronavirus, please read VA Pittsburgh Moving Forward: Safe Care is Our Mission.
- For answers to frequently asked questions, please visit Coronavirus FAQs: What Veterans Need to Know and VA’s public health response.
- For more information about the coronavirus, please visit the CDC’s Coronavirus (COVID-19).
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR VAPHS PATIENTS
- Patient advocates are not providing face-to-face interactions. You can contact them by phone at 412-360-3614 weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. or by sending a secure message through My HealtheVet at Pittsburgh-Veterans Experiences (Patient Advocate).
- Adult Day Health Care, Tobacco Cessation Support Groups, religious services in both campus chapels, and public access to both campus libraries are not currently available.
- The Pittsburgh VBA Regional Office is closed to walk-in visits. Veterans can still file claims online and VBA benefits and services will continue. For details, please visit https://www.benefits.va.gov/pittsburgh/. The shuttle service from University Drive to the federal building in Pittsburgh is on temporary hold.
Tuesday, Mar 17, 1:09 p.m.
Call before visiting our medical centers for scheduled appointments or surgery:
Primary Care – 412-822-3000
Surgery – 412-360-6700
Veterans with a sore throat, dry cough, shortness of breath or fever should call 412-360-6000 and select option #3 to speak to a nurse before visiting our facilities. Veterans can always ask their provider about care by phone or video instead of an in-person visit.
Visitors who feel unwell should postpone visits. Visitation is now limited.