A Message from the Director -
Find Your Why - COVID-19 Vaccines
By WDVA Director, Alfie Alvarado-Ramos
As our state continues to open up, we take this time to urge you on the importance of taking your COVID-19 Vaccines.
We are reaching out to “Find Your Why” on taking a vaccine. Are you doing it for your family? Your children? Your church? Your school? What about the community you serve? Your friends, neighbors and families? Who are some of the people that you want to protect in your life by taking the COVID-19 vaccine?
Together, we have a mission of combatting this pandemic and continuing to keep our veterans in our Veterans Homes and all of our communities safe.
We have made tremendous strides in our roadmap to recovery in becoming a healthy Washington, but this is where the support MUST continue. Even if you are healthy or have doubts on taking the vaccines, we remind you of the 550,000 veterans in Washington State, who are counting on each other to stay healthy.
Below, we have provided several links and additional information on the COVID-19 Vaccine, as well as where to locate the closest vaccine site near you!
We hope that each and every Washingtonian that is eligible, will at least consider the vaccine and we ask that you please reach out if you have questions.
Visit Vaccine Locator to find and schedule an appointment.
Homebound and need a COVID-19 vaccine?
Fill out a secure online form to let Washington Department of Health know if you or someone you know is homebound. Your answers will allow us to connect individuals to available County and/or State Mobile Vaccine Teams.
Need help? Call the hotline at 1-833-VAX-HELP (833-829-4357), then press #. Language assistance is available. You can also text your zip code to 438-829 (GET VAX) or 822-862 (VACUNA) for vaccine locations near you.
Lonna Leno Named Walla Walla Veterans Home Administrator
The Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs is proud to announce the appointment of Lonna Leno as the Administrator of the Walla Walla Veterans Home. Leno assumed responsibility of the Veterans Home on May 18 and relieved Victor Odiakosa, who served as Interim Administrator while Leno participated in an Administrator in Training Program. Leno completed her AIT and obtained her Washington State Nursing Home Administrator License in April, 2021.
Leno’s professional background in healthcare spans 28 years and includes variety of leadership and other roles in hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. When Leno fully transitioned into skilled nursing and long-term care, she began as a Certified Nursing Assistant, followed by Social Services, marketing and admissions, and finally she became a licensed Nursing Home Administrator in Oregon where she worked for several years.
In 2016, Leno joined the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs, at the Walla Walla Veterans Home, as the Admissions Coordinator and Veterans Benefits Specialist, helping to prepare the new 80 bed facility which opened in June of 2017. Since then, Leno and the WWVH team have continued growing the Walla Walla Veterans Home community ‘from the ground up’.
“We are so pleased that Lonna pursued her Nursing Home Administrator license in Washington State and continues to serve the Walla Walla Veterans Home in this new capacity,” said WDVA Deputy Director David Puente, Jr.. “Lonna is deeply committed to this Home, our residents, and the staff who care for them, and we look forward to more positive contributions under her leadership.”
“I value and aim to consistently demonstrate transparency, servant leadership, and inclusivity. One of my goals in team-building is to nurture and grow from the inside out,” said Leno. “To empower others to not only strive to understand those around them, but to identify and work on their own core strengths - to develop into the best version of themselves. In that light, while holding high standards for professionalism, I am equally passionate about respecting diversity and individuality. It’s an honor having the opportunity to continue Serving Those Who Served alongside the fabulous team at Walla Walla Veterans Home.”
Lonna resides in the Walla Walla Valley and enjoys spending time with family, music composition, travel, photography, martial arts, and the outdoors, and is working toward a Masters in Healthcare Administration.
Donation to Spokane Veterans Home
Earlier this month, the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association dropped off a motorized wheelchair for our Spokane Veterans Home.
Our Veterans had the chance to surprise present them with a plaque for all they consistently do for the facility! #WeLoveOurCommunity
Cinco De Mayo at Washington Soldiers Home
Earlier this month, our honored residents celebrated Cinco de Mayo down the halls of the Washington Soldiers Home in Orting.
Residents enjoyed mock Margaritas and snacks while being serenaded with Mariachi band music! We would like to thank all of the staff and volunteers that assisted with helping us celebrate! #TheseAreOurHeroes
The purpose of TOGETHER WASHINGTON – WDVA SUICIDE PREVENTION SUMMIT is to update suicide prevention stakeholders on current status of suicide prevention legislation, the Statewide Plan on SMVF Suicide Prevention, and Governor’s Challenge Implementation Plan Strategies. The aim is to create solidarity and collaboration among suicide prevention services/agencies and tribal communities, and learn about the causes of suicide, raise awareness of available intervention services, suicide prevention models and share promising best practices.
Project Updates: Washington Veterans Home &
Washington Veterans Home Cemetery
We are pleased to announce that our Washington Veterans Home (WVH) Cemetery update project is still moving along.
Last week, we installed signs that include our cemetery history, map and the names of every Veteran and Spouse currently interned...just in time for Memorial Day!
Along with updates being made at the WVH Cemetery, demolition also took place of Building 6 & 7 on the WVH Campus.
On April 21, demolition began to remove two buildings at the Washington Veterans Home in Port Orchard. Building’s 6 and 7 previously housed veterans living in a domiciliary program, a U.S. Post Office, snack bar and other activities for the Veterans Home.
They have been unused since 2005 when a new nursing care building was opened. Demolition is scheduled to be complete by April 21, and the entire project, including terracing and landscaping to provide a serene outdoor space for Veterans Home Residents and Transitional Housing Program Clients is scheduled to be complete by Fall 2021.
Photos are available at: Building 6 & 7 Demolition at Washington Veterans Home in Port Orchard | Flickr
Available Internships with
Veterans Conservation Corps
Get connected, while giving back to your community!
Veterans Conservations Corps is currently offering several internships in locations like Orting, Olympia, Okanogan, Tumwater, Spokane, Colfax, Shelton and Lake Stevens.
Veterans Conservation Corps serves those who served by providing veterans with self-directed connections to the lands, waters, and communities in WA State.
REGISTER FOR AN APPRENTICESHIP TODAY
Lower Columbia Fish Enhancement Group (Vancouver)
Salmon Habitat Restoration Intern
Conservation Northwest (Remote Work)
Community Wildlife Monitoring Intern
Palouse Conservation District (Pullman)
Natural Resource Conservation Intern
Mother Earth Farm (Orting)
Garden-Raised Bounty (Olympia)
GRuB Garden Project Intern
Thurston Conservation District (Tumwater)
Habitat Field Crew Intern
CCEW Food For All (Spokane)
Farm to Community Program Intern
Whitman Conservation District (Colfax)
Conservation and Restoration Intern
Mason Conservation District (Shelton)
Field Restoration Crew Intern
Snohomish Conservation District (Lake Stevens)
Stormwater Resource Project Intern
For more information on available internships or how to get connected with Veterans Conservation Corps, please contact Kim Pham at VCC@dva.wa.gov.
Register Now for Upcoming
Veterans Training Support Center Trainings
Trainer: Laurie Lynch, Tacoma Rainbow Center
When: Friday, June 4, 2021 (9-11am), PST)
Whether you are new to learning about the LGBTQ community or consider yourself well-informed, this training will equip participants with current and accurate information surrounding laws, terminology, and more so that you can feel confident in your knowledge and be an effective ally to the LGBTQ community.
1.To increase knowledge about LGBTQ health/housing/employment needs.
2.To increase LGBTQ-affirming attitude
3.To increase LGBTQ-affirming behavior
Trainer: Laurie Lynch, Tacoma Rainbow Center
When: Friday, June 11, 2021 (9-11am,PST)
Society’s construction of gender, how it is defined, and how it is expressed has impacted us in ways we may not easily recognize. This, in turn, has created barriers for transgender and GNC (gender nonconforming) people to be affirmed in their gender identities. Learn more about gender identity, gender expression, and how to deconstruct social constructions of gender so you can be an effective ally and contribute to creating a sensitive, affirming, and welcoming space for trans and GNC folks.
*Note: LGBTQ Core Competency is required before taking this training.*
1. To increase knowledge about LGBTQ health/housing/employment needs.
2. To increase LGBTQ-affirming attitude
3. To increase LGBTQ-affirming behavior
NOW OPEN: 2020-21 Vet Corps Award Nominations
We are excited to send out the nomination forms for the 2020-21 Vet Corps award nominations. This service term has been unlike any other service term that Vet Corps has experienced. With that said, you all stepped up in the most unique and amazing ways and continued to support and serve our veterans and their families.
Please take a moment and nominate a Vet Corps Member, Vet Corps regional coordinator, or site for an end of the year award!
Any questions, please email Program Manager, Jason Alves at JasonA@DVA.WA.GOV.
Nomination Link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/EOYA21
Nomination deadline: May 29th, 2021
May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
During Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, we honor the perseverance, and we celebrate the meaningful impact the AAPI community has made on our nation.
Today there are more than 300,000 living Asian-American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander American veterans. The Library of Congress' Veteran's History Project honors those veterans who have shared their stories, including Kurt Chew-Een Lee, Jaden Kim, Kenje Ogata, Maginia Sajise Morales, Peter Young, and Veasna Rouen. The digital collection Asian Pacific Americans: Going for Broke highlights different stories from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq.
Left: Kenje Ogata in uniform, Sterling, Illinois. 1943.
Right: Jaden Kim in flight gear, beside a plane.
AAPI Heritage Month is not just for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders — it's a celebration that every American can partake in. Since many AAPI individuals are pressured to assimilate, it can be difficult for some to take pride in their cultures and truly embrace their identities. But when they know that allies are willing to uplift AAPI stories, it is easier for everyone to understand that our differences make us all beautiful and unique.
Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month this May and every day with a special PBS collection of stories that explores the history, traditions, and culture of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States.
The recent rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans is just another reason why we all need to show extra support to the community at this time and continue to do so every day by showing up for our AAPI neighbors, colleagues, and friends.
Join us in celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Month by exploring AAPI history, culture, and accomplishments.
Now Hiring at Four Veterans Homes Across the State
Are you a CNA, RN or LPN looking for a career that allows you to give back to your community and provide compassionate care to Veterans?
More Info: Please visit Employment to see the opportunities that we have!
You can also contact a recruiter at Recruiters@dva.wa.gov
Washington Veterans Home Staff Members Receive Extra Mile Award from State of Washington
This year, all 763 WDVA Veterans Home Staff Members received the Extra Mile Award during Public Service Recognition Week!
Awards were presented last week during a virtual ceremony attended by the Governor and Secretary of State.
Here are a few excerpts from the nomination for All Veterans Home Staff Members:
- Administrators and staff of WDVA’s four Veterans Homes worked tirelessly overcoming multiple obstacles in combating the spread of the coronavirus while protecting vulnerable residents and staff.
- Teams devised innovative visitation solutions such as window visits, purchased mobile devices for use by residents for virtual and telehealth visits, and built visitation cubes to allow outdoor visitations.
- Installed high-efficiency particulate absorbing filters in all Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning systems that removed 95% of pollutants to include the coronavirus.
- Partnered with other state agencies and state veterans homes across the country to identify PPE supply chains due to a national shortage. Partnerships resulted in increased supply of PPE and prevented a shortage that would have been catastrophic to both residents and staff.
- When possible, coordinated with the VA Medical Centers and local hospitals to transfer and care for positive COVID-19 residents to reduce the spread of the virus as well as provide an opportunity for staff to focus on caring for the remaining residents, self-care and deep cleaning.
- Veterans Homes’ Administrators and staff worked countless hours and endured safety and occupational risks not only to themselves but to their own families. Throughout the pandemic, they demonstrated resilience, steadfast judgement, and dedication to Serving Those Who Served.
Congratulations to each and every staff person in our State Veterans Homes! Thank you for the work you do day in and day out, and the caring and compassionate way that you do it!
David Puente Jr.
WA Department of Veterans Affairs
If you or someone you know has hired a veteran in 2021,
please visit: www.YesVets.org
Video PSA - Highlighting WDVA Programs -
Washington Veterans Homes
State Veterans Homes are Medicaid and Medicare Certified and provide 24-hour nursing care.
The Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs serves veterans in four Veterans Homes, where veterans are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve in settings that provide a sense of belonging unique to veterans.
We’d like to welcome you to our home!
Please e-mail or call our admission team at 1-877-838-7787 so we can arrange your tour.
All Washington State Veterans Homes are Medicare and Medicaid certified facilities.
Our State Veterans Homes are Medicaid and Medicare Certified and provide 24-hour nursing care, medical care and pharmacy services.
Veterans Home Program Video Overview:
Learn More about the Washington Veterans Homes at:
Now Accepting Admissions for Four Skilled Nursing Facilities - Walla Walla, Orting, Port Orchard and Spokane
Caring for veterans who need skilled nursing, rehabilitation, or long-term care.
For veterans needing care following a qualifying hospital stay, we offer Medicare rehabilitative care. Our admissions team works closely with hospital discharge planners to quickly process applications.
Veterans rated 70%-100% Service Connected Disabled, or whose service connected disability is the reason nursing care is needed, may have their nursing home care paid by the Federal VA
Download an application now: https://dva.wa.gov/veterans-their-families/veterans-homes/admission-application
Call 1-877-838-7787 or e-mail us directly at:
Port Orchard: MelissaJ@dva.wa.gov
Walla Walla: LoriR@dva.wa.gov
LEARN MORE AT: https://dva.wa.gov/veterans-their-families/veterans-homes
WDVA HOT JOBS
WDVA Health Records Technician 2, Spokane
WDVA Truck Driver 1, Part-Time, Spokane
Truck Driver 1 (Bus/Van Driver) On-Call Walla Walla
Engineer, Non-Perm, Orting
Nursing Assistant Certified Walla Walla
Nursing Assistant Certified, WA Soldiers Home, Orting
Nursing Assistant Certified - Port Orchard
WDVA Nursing Assistant Certified, Spokane
Licensed Practical Nurse 2 Port Orchard
To Apply or for more Information on Available Employment Opportunities:
View our WDVA Calendar to stay updated with upcoming events to attend
WDVA 2021 EVENTS
TO VIEW OUR WDVA CALENDAR, CLICK HERE
WDVA Web Calendar: www.dva.wa.gov/calendar
WDVA Facebook Calendar: www.facebook.com/WSDVA/Events