NEWS RELEASE - WDVA Director to Retire in Jan 2023 - Washington Department of Veterans Affairs Director Alfie Alvarado-Ramos Announces Retirement
Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs News Release
December 21, 2022
The Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs announces the retirement of Director Lourdes E. “Alfie” Alvarado-Ramos effective at the end of January. Alfie was Governor Jay Inslee’s first cabinet appointment on January 16, 2013 and was confirmed by the Washington State Senate on February 28, 2013.
Alfie joined WDVA in 1993 as the Associate Superintendent of the Washington Soldiers Home. She then became the Superintendent of the Washington Veterans Home, a position which required her to maintain a Nursing Home Administrator License, then she was appointed as the agency’s Assistant Director, and served as the Deputy Director before her appointment as Director.
Under Alfie’s leadership, new programs and services were established to meet the needs of Washington’s Veterans and their families. From opening the new State Veterans Home in Walla Walla in 2017 to creating new programs to serve Military Spouses and LGBTQ+ Veterans, Alfie is known for her desire to find a way to ‘yes’, if it means the agency can fulfill its mission of Serving Those Who Served.
In recent years, Alfie worked with state elected officials and leaders to create a framework for suicide prevention efforts throughout our state, and most recently unveiled a 988 Suicide Prevention Emblem to generate awareness for the 988 Crisis Lifeline. The efforts will result in a message being spread on our state’s highways that There is Hope by inspiring vehicle owners to place the suicide prevention emblem on their license plates.
Alfie was also heavily involved with several Executive Orders, including Governor Inslee’s first Executive Order 13-01, which created the Military Transition Council (modified in EO 19-01 to the Military Transition and Readiness Council), the Veteran Employee Resource Group or VERG, and set requirements for State Agencies to increase purchasing with WDVA Certified Veteran Owned Businesses.
“Alfie was one of my first cabinet appointments and has been a trusted and valued leader for the last ten years. She has improved the quality of life for Washington’s veterans and their families every day. Her work to provide quality care for veterans, end veteran suicide, and create the Veterans Peer Corps are all part of her legacy. As a veteran herself, Alfie’s contributions reflect the best characteristics of America: courage, strength and sacrifice,” said Governor Jay Inslee.
“I am also so proud of Alfie’s work implementing my very first executive order, which focused on helping veterans transition to civilian life. Through that work we established the first-in-the-country certified WorkSource inside a military base. That effort culminated in the hire of our Military Spouse Initiative Liaison, who works with public and private organizations to improve federal and state childcare policy and services for our military and veteran families. Our state – and our nation – is a better place thanks to Alfie’s service.”
Perhaps the accomplishment closest to her heart was her creation of the Women Veterans Advisory Committee in 2007. Alfie’s passion for ensuring Women Veterans have a voice in the Veterans Community has resulted in annual Women Veterans Conferences, monthly learning sessions, and Washington State’s participation in the I Am Not Invisible Campaign.
“There is no state Department of Veterans Affairs in this nation that has the diversity and quality of programs and services we offer,” said Alfie. “This is testament to our team’s hard work and our collective vision as a community to serve those who served.”
Throughout her time at WDVA, Alfie has received numerous awards and accolades. Some of the most memorable are the five VA Pillar or Excellence Awards received between 2014 and 2018, her election as President of both the National Association of State Veterans Homes and National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs, a Seahawks Salute To Service 12’s Flag Raiser, a Secretary of State Legacy Washington feature and book entitled Alfie-Alvarado-Ramos, What Alfie is All About, and most recently her induction into the VA Puget Sound Health Care System Wall of Heroes.
Prior to joining WDVA, Alfie served 22 years in the U.S. Army, retiring as the Command Sergeant Major for the Madigan Army Medical Center and Troop Command, Joint Base Lewis McChord.
A recent post on Alfie’s social media summarizes her thoughts. “I am filled with immense gratitude for all we have accomplished together and for your support and friendship. The time has come to pass the colors to incredibly talented people who will provide the leadership and inspiration to take our WDVA to new heights. I will go on “permanent vacation” feeling that my cup is full and joyful that I did all I could to serve with you our Veterans, their families, and our state.”
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