VA Pittsburgh

The VA Backlog Working Group has released a new report that shows wait times for care in the VA system are decreasing.

But chairs of the group, Sens. Bob Casey (D-PA) and Dean Heller (R-NV) said more needs to be done. To that end, they have introduced the 21st Century Veterans Benefits Delivery Act, legislation aimed at ensuring the VA can handle disability claims in slow and busy times, and provide accountability. One provision would require the controller general to audit the regional offices of the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA).

Administrators at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System Thursday temporarily closed the behavioral health units to new patients to prevent the spread of Norovirus. 

The virus, commonly known as stomach flu, was first believed to have been detected last Friday.

A few dozen veterans gathered at the VA Pittsburgh Hospital in Oakland Friday to discuss any and all concerns they may have about the system.

“It’s a really wide variety of subjects that come up,” said VA Pittsburgh spokesman Mike Marcus, “anything from changes to benefits, healthcare – different pieces that come up around that – as well as questions that come up around some of the controversies that have plagued the VA over the last year or so.”

The VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System is celebrating its annual "National Salute to Veteran Patients," a week-long series of events that applaud veterans' sacrifices and draws attention to those receiving medical care.

In Pittsburgh, the VA will hold events at both its University Drive campus in Oakland and H.J. Heinz campus in O'Hara Township.

A toy giveaway focused on veterans, active duty personnel and members of the National Guard makes its debut in Pennsylvania Tuesday.

The Toys for Troops event will pass out two gifts per child for every military family in the Pittsburgh area. Operation Once in a Lifetime runs the event, and East Coast Regional Operations manager Marc Morris said these kind of initiatives are important because often times vets won't speak up when they need something.