Editor, News Register:
I am proud to announce that VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System is the preferred provider for more than 63,000 veterans in our region, which includes Southwest Pennsylvania, parts of Ohio and West Virginia. Our top vendors and staff work hard to maintain the trust of veterans and employ advanced technology to ensure the best care possible, often with shorter waiting times than veterans in the private sector.
In order to best meet the health needs of veterans, we offer a wide range of health services and specialties in our two medical centers and five outpatient departments. In fiscal 2020, we looked after 72,647 unique veterans with 11,830 admissions and 675,675 outpatient visits. As one of the first health care institutions in the region to adopt telemedicine – long before the private sector seriously followed suit in response to the pandemic – we saw telemedicine visits up 42% from 2019.
Behind the scenes, many of our doctors, nurses, and support staff train to respond to natural and community disasters through VA’s voluntary emergency personnel system. This training was invaluable during the pandemic. Last year, 51 people were employed at hotspots across the country helping communities fight the pandemic.
Closer to home, we continue to provide veterans with quick and efficient access to the COVID-19 vaccine, including over five walk-in mass hospitals and ten out-of-town clinics that only have appointments. By March 18, we had administered more than 33,000 doses to veterans receiving medical attention. Of these, more than 14,500 have already been fully vaccinated. More than 3,200 employees are fully vaccinated.
On March 19th, we celebrated the delivery of our 40,000th dose!
All of Pittsburgh’s 4,000-plus employees take pride in serving our area veterans. Veterans deserve the best our nation can offer, and we at VA Pittsburgh are honored to provide them with the care they deserve.
Donald E. Koenig
VA Pittsburgh Health System
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