U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

On today's program: The U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs wants to cut wait times and improve mental health care for veterans; unionized cleaners in Pittsburgh have a new and improved contract; Pirates management is cleaning house; and the annual Pittsburgh Shorts Film Festival returns with more than 100 stories, including that of Steelers great Rocky Bleier. 

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs could prevent nearly 600 unintended pregnancies a year by adjusting how it dispense oral contraceptives, according to new research from the University of Pittsburgh.

The VA is the largest integrated healthcare system in the U.S., and provides about 24,000 female veterans with oral contraceptives. Like most insurance systems in the country, the VA distributes three-month supplies of birth control pills, which must be refilled. 

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

There are more than a dozen research laboratories run by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs across the country, all with the common goal of developing new ways to help veterans adjust to life after the military.