Veterans Integration to Academic Leadership (VITAL)

The VITAL initiative is a partnership between the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System and Robert Morris University to aid in the academic retention and success of student veterans. 

VITAL is here to support student veterans’ transition from service-member to student. Our mission is to provide seamless access to VA healthcare services, on-campus mental health services, and outreach to the campus community highlighting the unique strengths and challenges of student veterans. VITAL aims to meet your needs and maximize your potential in the academic setting. 

Who is eligible for VITAL services?

General eligibility for VITAL services: 

  • Student veterans Enrolled in VHA health care.
  • Student veterans who meet VHA Veteran status criteria for health care services.
    • This may include members of the National Guard, reservists, and active duty personnel depending on eligibility criteria.
    • Some veteran family members may also be eligible.
  • If you are unsure if you are eligible, please contact the VITAL coordinator to discuss eligibility.

**Unfortunately, most ROTC students and Military Family students do not qualify for VITAL services; However, VITAL is happy to facilitate care with RMU’s Counseling Center as needed. 

How can VITAL help me?

  • Assistance with enrollment and care at VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System.
  • Counseling and ongoing treatment for readjustment, stress, anger, depression, anxiety and sleep problems.
  • Coping strategies for classroom difficulties – attention, concentration, restlessness.
  • Refer and work with RMU’s Disability Services to request academic accommodations.
  • Obtain help and resources from within the VA and its affiliates including VBA and Vocational Rehabilitation Services.
  • Education and outreach for the RMU community about military culture and veteran-specific issues that impact performance and success.

What to expect? 

  • VITAL will maintain absolute confidentiality.
  • Prompt response to inquiries about the VITAL program.
  • Veteran-centered perspective, keeping the veteran’s well-being and best interest in mind.
  • The primary goal of the program is to support the individual veteran’s efforts to complete his or her education and transition to civilian life.

For more information contact our VITAL Coordinator, Dr. Sabrina Hakim at veteransaffairs@rmu.edu, 412-397-5426, or stop by her office in CVMF (Jefferson Center 110) during regular weekday business hours.