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Learn what the PACT Act means for your VA benefits

New Employee Information

Welcome to VA Pittsburgh! We strive to hire only the best and we’re glad to have you coming on-board.

COVID Restrictions and Mandates

For the safety of our Veterans and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, we limit physical access to our facilities and to some areas of our campuses. Certain areas may require COVID screening and face masks. Please ask your supervisor if a face mask is mandated for your work area. Masks are available at most entrances. If you are sick or have any symptoms, do not report to work. Reach out to your supervisor and HR specialist for further guidance.

NEO Schedule

Day 1: Human Resources (HR) in-processing, welcome and orientation
  • NEO will be held at the H.J. Heinz III campus in Aspinwall in the Learning Exchange (Building 71, Room C150) from 8 a.m.–4 p.m. New employees should report between 7:30-7:55 a.m., attendance will be taken from 7:55–8 a.m., and HR in-processes will start at 8 a.m. Some employees, including remote and VISN staff, may be instructed to log in to NEO remotely via the Teams link below. Please refer to HR’s communication if you are to report virtually.
  • Human Resources will lead in-processing from 8–9:45 a.m. when we will finalize onboarding paperwork and initialize your VA access. New employees will need to bring two forms of approved ID as instructed by HR. Staff may be required to sign and submit forms online, so please bring mobile devices. Tablets and/or laptops may be available and new employees can use the VA's guest wi-fi. Once HR in-processing has concluded, some new staff (human resources, students, interns, etc.) may be released back to their departments and will not need to attend the remaining orientation portion of NEO.
  • Orientation will begin at 10 a.m. with a welcome from members of our Executive Leadership Team (ELT). We will listen to presentations from many of our departments outlining VA policies, procedures, and practices. Day one of orientation will conclude at 4 p.m. and staff will be released for the day.

NEO Teams MeetingJoin online or call 872-701-0185 (conference ID: 846572979).

Day 2: Orientation (continued)
  • Day two of NEO will continue at the H.J. Heinz III campus in the Learning Exchange from 8 a.m.–4 p.m. New employees should report between 7:30–7:55 a.m., attendance will be taken from 7:55–8 a.m., and orientation will continue at 8 a.m. We will hear additional presentations from more of our departments and leaders throughout the day.
  • Day two of orientation will conclude at 4 p.m. and new employees will be provided instructions to report to their departments the following day and will be released. Some employees, such as nursing staff (outlined below), will have additional orientation and will be provided instructions on where and when to report from their supervisors.

Please note, there may be specific circumstances where a new hire or transfer may only need to attend HR in-processing or orientation, but not both. Refer to the emailed instructions on which portion(s) you need to attend or ask your HR specialist for further guidance.

Additional Orientation for Nursing Staff

All nursing staff, with the exception of CRNPs, will have additional orientation on days 3 and 4 of the new employee's first week. This orientation will be conducted in the Heinz Learning Exchange and will last from 7:30 a.m.–4 p.m. each day unless directed differently from the nursing education team. Please see the nurse education SharePoint (VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System Nursing Education (sharepoint.com)) for additional information once you gain full access. If you have questions about this portion of nurse orientation, please contact your Nurse Manager or Martin Kaasa (Martin.Kaasa@va.gov) or Kara Anderson (Kara.Anderson@va.gov).

If for some reason you are running late or unexpectedly cannot make it to work, please contact your supervisor immediately by phone and email. 

Directions

If you’re stationed at the H.J. Heinz III campus:
Enter through the main entrance. Be prepared to stop and show your driver's license or other form of government ID to the officer at the guard booth. Inform the officer you are a new employee. You can park only in any section marked for employees (see H.J. Heinz III campus map for reference).

If you're stationed at the University Drive campus:
Enter the parking garage through the Patient/Visitor Parking entrance (see University Drive campus map for reference). Be prepared to show your driver's license or other form of government ID to the officer at the guard booth. Inform the officer you are a new employee. You can park only in employee parking on floors B1, B, G, 5 and 6.

Note: New staff may be required to shuttle from an off-site parking lot once orientation is completed. Please check with HR and your supervisor if you are required to park off-site.

Personal Identity Verification (PIV) Cards

New employees will be escorted to the PIV office to get their picture taken and should receive their PIV card within the first week. Please have two forms of ID ready for PIV appointments. Clinical staff, including physicians, nurses, therapists, etc., will be prioritized during the first two days of NEO. We will attempt to get all new staff their PIV card during NEO, but any staff unable to receive theirs can go to the PIV office at any time during the first week.

Additional Resources

Prepare for your first day with VA Pittsburgh! Make sure to review the attached Smoke-Free Policy and note that smoking is prohibited everywhere on our VA campuses. For those employees whose positions are in the bargaining unit, information regarding the master agreement with the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) and the local (2028) that represents bargaining units at VA Pittsburgh is included.

FAQs

Who must attend NEO?

All new staff, returning staff and transfers to VA Pittsburgh must attend NEO within the first 90 days of onboarding. VISN level staff will coordinate orientation separate from VA Pittsburgh.

What is covered during NEO?

NEO consists of multiple presentations from VA Pittsburgh departments and reviews important VA policies and procedures. During NEO, you will also work with HR to finish onboarding documents and will be sworn in as a VA employee.

When does NEO take place?

NEO occurs the first workday of each pay period. NEO will be one or two days depending on modality. Additional orientation may be required for certain departments or positions.

Will NEO be in person or virtual?

Each new hire and their supervisor will receive an email the week before NEO. This email will detail the location and modality of NEO along with any further instructions.

What happens if I miss all or part of NEO?

HR in-processing and swearing in is required for any account creation and to start employment. The remainder of NEO must be completed within 90 days of onboarding if not completed during the first week.

Where will I get information about benefits?

We provide a virtual benefits presentation every Tuesday at 10 a.m. and Thursday at 2 p.m. For additional information, see the benefits link above.

Questions?

For any questions related to virtual new employee orientation, please contact vhapthemployeeengagement@va.gov.