VA Pittsburgh health care facility operating statuses and emergency information.
Situation updates and information
Monday, Jul 27, 6:59 a.m.
Updated Sept. 10 to advise that radiology patients at the H.J. Heinz III campus will be permitted access only through the building 50 entrance.
Moving Forward Together: Safe Care is Our Mission
Updates to VAPHS’s visitation and outpatient policies
VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System (VAPHS) is gradually expanding 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 is only for hospice care residents at the H.J. Heinz III Community Living Center whose death is imminent. Visitation is limited to two family members.
- 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 and the H.J. Heinz outpatient clinics only between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.
- University Drive inpatients may not receive any visitors.
- Outpatient Radiology, H.J. Heinz III Campus - If you have an outpatient radiology appointment on our H.J. Heinz III campus, you will be permitted access only through the building 50 entrance. You will not be permitted to walk through the building 51/71 breezeway to get to radiology, the pharmacy, VCS Patriot store or cafeteria. Once your radiology appointment is complete, you must exit through building 50.
- 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.
- Please ensure you have an appointment scheduled before you come in.
- We may call you 24-72 hours before your appointment to preregister you. We will verify your identity before asking you to confirm your insurance information, address, emergency contact, etc. This new process is safer because it minimizes your face-to-face contact with administrative staff, once you arrive for your appointment. If you do not feel comfortable taking the call from us, you will have the option to call us back so you can be certain you are speaking with someone from VA Pittsburgh. You can even call us back after hours because we have staff in place who can preregister you. PLEASE NOTE: We will never ask you for your full Social Security number, credit card or bank information.
- When you arrive, follow the directions on the posted signs to check in with your mobile phone. If you don't have a mobile phone, enter the building no sooner than 15 minutes prior to your appointment.
- 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 412-360-3389 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 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.
- University Drive inpatients may not receive any visitors.
- 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.
- 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
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 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 a.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.