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VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System

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About the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System

VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System is among the most innovative and forward-looking in the nation. The institution provides exceptional health care to our nation’s Veterans, trains America’s future health care providers and conducts research that contributes to American medicine advancements.

Health Care and Services

VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System (VAPHS) is comprised of seven sites of care including: medical centers (main sites of care) located at University Drive in Oakland and H.J. Heinz III in O’Hara Township, and five community-based outpatient clinics located in Beaver, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland counties in Pennsylvania, and Belmont County in Ohio.

In 2018, VAPHS served 78,652 Veterans from within its 13-county service area. There are 3,792 employees in clinical, administrative and facilities roles. The annual operating budget is approximately $650 million.

VAPHS provides inpatient acute, critical, surgical and psychiatric care; and operates a large community living center and a variety of residential rehabilitation programs including those for post-traumatic stress disorder, substance use disorder and homelessness. There are 549 operating beds between the main sites including 87 internal medicine; 78 psychiatry; 59 surgery; 38 ICU; 225 Community Living Center (nursing home); and 100 domiciliary. In 2018, there were 10,237 admissions and 7,706 surgical procedures performed including 49 kidney and 39 liver transplants.

VAPHS offers extensive outpatient specialty care and services, primary care and mental health care through in-person visits and telemedicine; capacity, appointment volume and geographic reach continues to expand. In 2018, there were 737,778 outpatient visits and 32,188 telemedicine encounters. VAPHS operates one of the most developed virtual programs in the nation, serving Veterans at 104 individual sites in 22 states. As part of its telemedicine footprint, VAPHS is among the first VAs to establish a regional mental health telemedicine hub, providing evidence-based mental health care to Veterans throughout the nation. In 2018, there were 14,617 mental health telemedicine encounters.

VAPHS is the largest and most complex VA health care system in Pennsylvania. It serves as a highly specialized care referral center for Veterans Integrated Service Network 4 or VISN 4, which is comprised of medical centers in Altoona, Butler, Coatesville, Erie Lebanon, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Wilkes-Barre in Pennsylvania, and Wilmington in Delaware; and 44 VA outpatient clinics in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Ohio.

The Southwestern Pennsylvania health care market is increasingly competitive and has a large Veteran population. Pittsburgh is home to a community of hospitals and universities including UPMC and University of Pittsburgh, respectively, which are recognized world-wide as industry leaders in health care delivery and innovation.

Research and Development

In 2018, 110 VAPHS-affiliated research investigators continued efforts on or completed 330 research projects with nearly $30 million in funding. Nationally recognized research investigators and programs develop cutting-edge therapies that help Veterans and contribute significantly to American medicine. VAPHS-affiliated researchers pioneered organ transplant surgery, harnessed brain waves to move robotic arms, expedited the approval process of quick-cure hepatitis C drugs, and developed lightweight aluminum wheel chairs that are now the VA standard.

VAPHS is home to four VA Research Centers: Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion (CHERP); Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC), Human Engineering Research Laboratory (HERL) and Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC) and partner with UPMC, University of Pittsburgh and other entities.

Teaching and Learning

The VAPHS primary academic affiliate is the University of Pittsburgh. The partnership began 40 years ago and has grown over the last 20 years. The University of Pittsburgh attracts top students and continues to rely on VA to provide opportunities for 550 interns, residents and fellows who rotate through the health care system annually. VAPHS maintains academic affiliations with hundreds of associated health educational programs in fields including nursing, clinical pastoral care, pharmacy and more, and commits $4.5 million annually to one of VA's three core missions: training future medical minds. 

VAPHS has established and maintains a highly respected presence in the continuing education of VA health care professionals across the nation. VAPHS holds advanced level certification in the Simulation, Learning, Education and Research Network (SimLEARN), and is among only a handful of VA facilities in this top-tier classification. A state-of-the-art Simulation Center opened in 2018 and has expanded learning opportunities for VA employees nationwide. Current simulation-based trainings focus on realistic scenarios that health care professionals encounter including mental health emergencies, code response, inpatient suicide attempts, and there are plans to expand suicide prevention scenarios. 

VAPHS is uniquely positioned in the health care delivery, academic and research worlds, and continues to maximize its strengths and partnerships to improve medicine for all Americans.

University Drive campus

Our University Drive campus serves as the acute care facility and has 146 operating beds distributed among medicine, surgery, neurology and critical care. A range of outpatient services and 78 secure, private psychiatric beds are also located at this campus.

H.J. Heinz campus

Our H.J. Heinz campus is home to a 262-bed community living center as well as an ambulatory care center that offers outpatient services including dental, primary care, pharmacy and rehabilitation services. The campus also offers a 65-bed Veterans recovery center and 31 psychiatric residential rehabilitation treatment beds.

Community Based Outpatient Clinics

Our community-based outpatient clinics are staffed by caring professionals who provide primary care services including general medical care, physical exams, and laboratory, radiology, dietary and podiatry services. Our Veterans deserve not only the best health care available but also care that is easily accessible and convenient.

Fisher House

In collaboration with the Fisher House Foundation, VAPHS operates a Fisher House on its University Drive campus. The Fisher House assists families that are in need and ensures that they are provided with the comforts of home in a supportive environment.

VA Healthcare-VISN 4

VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System is part of VA Healthcare - VISN 4, an integrated system consisting of ten VA medical centers throughout Pennsylvania and parts of West Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Ohio.

Our Mission Statement

The mission of VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System is to honor America's Veterans with world-class health care, train their future providers and advance medical knowledge through research.

Our Vision Statement

Our shared vision is to partner with Veterans and their families to optimize their health and quality of life through integrated, innovative and compassionate care.