February 2019

A Message from the Director

A New Look at Outreach


At WDVA, our vision is that all Washington veterans and their families are connected to their earned benefits. For veterans living in rural areas of our state, this can be a challenge.  So our Veterans Services team is working to reshape our outreach efforts to create more opportunities for access and awareness about the benefits and services available to veterans and their families.


In Washington, 25% of veterans are in receipt of VA Disability Compensation or Pension benefits.  And while this number is higher than the national average, we do have areas of our state that are significantly lower than the national average.  Not only do these benefits provide veterans and their families with stable monthly income, they can also open doors to medical care, vocational rehabilitation benefits, and other programs aimed at making the lives of veterans better.


Helping aging veterans increase their VA Disability Rating may also help them should they need long term care.  The Federal VA will pay the full cost of care for a veteran with a service connected rating of 70%-100% or a veterans whose service connected disability is the primary reason they need long term care.  It could also mean that a widow(er) may be eligible for DIC benefits in the future.


We have a number of programs that are reaching into communities across the state already such as our Veterans Peer Corps, TBI Program, Vet Corps and many others.  Along with these ongoing efforts my goal is to target areas of the state where additional outreach will make the largest impact.


I would like to hear from you what your ideas are for better connecting rural veterans and their families to their earned benefits.  If you’ve seen something work in your community, please send me your ideas so we can capitalize on best practices or community partnerships already in place!


Washington State Patriotic Day - Show Washington State 
Your Patriotism 

If interested in joining as a group, organization or just to register for the event, please visit: 












































For more information on this event or to register as a group, please contact carrolldickson@comcast.net


​​​​​NOW HIRING: Certified Nursing Assistants - Walla Walla Veterans Home 

Are you a CNA looking for a career that allows you to give back to your community
and provide compassionate care to Veterans? Contact Recruiters@dva.wa.gov for more information


Learn more about the Walla Walla Veterans Home by visiting: 


Coffee with Cops - Port Orchard Veterans Home 

Port Orchard Veterans Home residents held their 6th Monthly Coffee with Cops community meeting at the home.  Several residents are former cops, so they enjoy sharing stories and spending time with public servants.  These regular interactions also help to increase the awareness of the facility fro local police and state patrol.  We would like to thank all of the officers for spending some time with the residents. #WeLoveOurCommunity

Learn more about the Washington Veterans Home in Port Orchard by visiting: 

Spokane Veterans Home Resident Honored at Spokane Chiefs Hockey Game / Valentines Day King & Queen / Super Bowl Party

The Spokane Veterans Home had a very busy month in February.  The residents and staff visited a Spokane Chiefs Hockey game where one of our veteran residents was honored as the Fan of the Game – Ann Hough. They introduced her to thousands of fans and even asked her several questions about her military experience. 

Next, the residents and staff enjoyed a festive Super Bowl party and were joyous to have the Vietnam Vets of America Chapter 879 come and serve pizza while visiting and enjoying the game with our residents. Lastly, staff and residents enjoyed a lovely time during the Annual Valentine’s Day party where staff, visitors and veterans voted for their Valentines Day King and Queen.

Learn more about the Spokane Veterans Home by visiting: 


Bowling Away the Afternoon with the Washington Soldiers Home 

Residents, staff and family members had a ball during a recent bowling outing in the community. We would like to thank the many volunteers that made this event possible and we just love seeing the many interactions taking place during fun outings like this.

Learn more about the Washington Soldiers Home by visiting: 


Become a Certified Veterans Peer Corps Mentor - Eastern WA

































To register for this event, please visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/veteran-peer-corps-peer-mentor-training-tickets-56120344461 or email Bryan.Bales@dva.wa.gov


New Training Videos Available for Max Impact TBI Mobile App

Learn more about how the WDVA's Max Impact Traumatic Brain Injury Mobile Application can                 better serve those that served and their families!

The mobile app even includes a free TBI screener, relaxation exercises,
a list of WA State TBI/PTSD resources and more!


TBI Presentation on Max Impact Mobile App - Quick Overview: https://youtu.be/3wqMTbX-wOQ

TBI Presentation on Max Impact Mobile App - Relaxation Tools: https://youtu.be/qf8vNomBUlw

TBI Presentation on Max Impact Mobile App - Play Section: https://youtu.be/YwoJ_OfX5ps

TBI Presentation on Max Impact Mobile App - Resources Section: https://youtu.be/I17VOWoeuNc

TBI Presentation on Max Impact Mobile App - Tips and Tricks: https://youtu.be/oEDfzYv54uE


Download the #MaxImpactTBI Mobile App today!!!


Join the Spokane County Regional Veteran Services Center for a Grand Opening at their New Location

In partnership with the Spokane County Regional Veterans Services Center, your Washington Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) is ready to serve even more Eastern Washington Veterans and their families.


Need information here on what types of services are offered at the center?  Veterans can receive financial assistance…


“Our new service center is in a safer, more veteran-centric environment which creates a great positive workplace culture and atmosphere, in order to better serve our veterans,” said Spokane County & Eastern Washington Regional Veterans Services Administrator, Cathrene Nichols. 


Accessibility was a number one priority when looking for a service center site.  The new location is fully ADA accessible, offers free parking, and is located on a main bus route only 14 minutes directly from downtown Spokane.  Bus passes are available for veterans needing transportation to the new service center from our partner locations downtown, Goodwill, Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center (VAMC), WorkSource and the Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) Program.


The new location is 1117 North Evergreen Road, Spokane, WA 99216 in Spokane Valley.


The doors are open now to serve veterans and their families, but the public is invited to visit and tour the new center at a Grand Opening Celebration on March 1, 2019.


“This new service center represents a regional strategic partnership of service providers and a true realization of holistic veteran-centric services for veterans and their families in Eastern Washington,” said Nichols. 


The Spokane County Regional Veterans Services Center is a multi-jurisdictional public/private partnership with Spokane County, the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs, and WestCare Foundation. 


“This unprecedented collaboration has yielded a new best practice for local and state government partnerships in veterans services that was recently featured in the National Housing Assistance Council Conference and the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans Conference in Washington D.C. and was even nominated for a VA Pillar of Excellence Award,” added Nichols.


For more information on this brand new service center and/or to set up an appointment, please visit www.SpokaneCounty.org/Veteran or contact Administrator, Cathrene (Cat) Nichols at cathrenen@dva.wa.gov or
(509) 477-3690.


Update on Measles in Washington State

Measles is in the news and Washington is experiencing an outbreak.  We care about your health and your family’s and need to ensure you stay informed and safe.


In February, Governor Inslee declared a public health state of emergency allowing the state to support the Department of Health and local officials in responding to the crisis and also allowing Washington to request additional medical resources from other states.  A current statewide case count for the measles outbreak is available on DOH’s website and will be updated daily. As of today, there are 35 confirmed cases in Clark County and one confirmed case in King County. 35 may not sound like a lot, but lack of awareness could make that number grow exponentially.  You can find additional details on exposure sites on the Public Health — Seattle & King County and Clark County Public Health websites.


Measles is extremely contagious, and can be dangerous, especially for young children, pregnant women, and those individuals with a suppressed immune system, like patients being treated for cancer and other illnesses.


If exposed to the measles virus, a person without immunity is likely to get measles. Rare but serious complications from measles can be dehydration, pneumonia, intellectual disability caused by encephalitis, permanent hearing loss and death.  If you believe you or a loved one has been exposed and develops an illness with fever or illness with an unexplained rash, call a health care provider.  To avoid possibly spreading measles to other patients, do not go to a clinic or hospital without calling first to tell them you want to be evaluated for measles.


The best defense against measles is to be vaccinated. We urge everyone to check their own and their family’s immunization records to be certain that they’re up to date on all recommended doses of MMR vaccine.  


This is a great time to sign up for a MyIR account if you haven’t already! It accesses the state database and allows you to check your records online, and those of your children as well. https://wa.myir.net/  You can print the school certificate, see what may be missing, and see what’s due next. If you cannot find your records in MyIR, call your healthcare provider to check your immunization status.


You can find more about measles and any updates about the outbreak at www.doh.wa.gov/measles and www.doh.wa.gov/measlesoutbreak




Nursing Assistant Certified (Various Shifts)- Port Orchard

Nursing Assistant Certified (Various Shifts)- Walla Walla

Nursing Assistant Certified (Various Shifts)- Orting

Assistant Director of Nursing Services- WMS 2- Port Orchard

Licensed Practical Nurse 2- Port Orchard and Orting

Registered Nurse 2- All Veteran Homes


More Info: Please visit Employment to see the opportunities that we have! 
You can also contact a recruiter at Karimah.Ly@dva.wa.gov


Hired a Veteran? Sign Up Today at www.YesVets.org

After you’ve notified us that you’ve hired a veteran, we will contact you to arrange delivery of your YesVets decals, to be prominently and proudly displayed at your place of business.

Thank you for your support of those who served!

Visit www.YesVets.org for more information and to signup!

Upcoming Events

View our WDVA Calendar to stay updated with upcoming events to attend



WDVA Web Calendar: www.dva.wa.gov/calendar

WDVA Facebook Calendar: www.facebook.com/WSDVA/Events


Alliance Northwest Coming March 7, 2019 to the Washington State Fairgrounds in Puyallup

Join us at Alliance Northwest Government Contracting Conference, March 7th in Puyallup.  The event has keynote speakers, workshops on government contracting, a tradeshow, and 1:1 meetings between buyers and sellers.  Any business interested in government contracting will find the day valuable to build relationships, learn about trends in the marketplace, and promote their firm. 

Veteran Business Opportunity Showcase Keynote & Buyer Panel Featuring Gary Condra, Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs
Panelists include: Marc Frederick, US VA; Richard Steffey, US VA; Thomas Ebenhoh, US VA; Erin Lopez, Washington State Department of Enterprise Services, and Lelanie Rivera, Federal Aviation Administration
Veteran Owned Small Businesses will have an opportunity to hear from a panel of buyers on how to do business with their agency, upcoming contracting opportunities at the federal and state level, and what’s new in certifications.

And, be sure to visit us in booth #102!


Veteran Owned Businesses use discount code VETBOSS for 50% off registration.  Register at www.alliancenorthwest.org  
You can pre-register for matchmaking here https://www.alliancenorthwest.org/matchmaking/

Plan your day https://www.alliancenorthwest.org/agenda/



Please take a few moments and provide us with feedback to make us better in 2019 at Serving Those Who Served. 

Your feedback is instrumental in the continued improvement of your Washington Department of Veterans Affairs.

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