State veterans affairs director announces retirement

Lourdes E. “Alfie” Alvarado-Ramos

Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) Director Lourdes E. “Alfie” Alvarado-Ramos will be retiring effective at the end of January.

Alvarado-Ramos joined WDVA in 1993 as the associate superintendent of the Washington Soldiers Home. She then became the superintendent of the Washington Veterans Home, and later served as the agency’s sssistant director and deputy director before Gov. Jay Inslee appointed her as director in 2013.

According to a WDVA press release announcing her retirement, Alvarado-Ramos established new programs and services 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.

In recent years, Alvarado-Ramos worked with state elected officials and leaders to create a framework for suicide prevention efforts statewide, and most recently unveiled a 988 suicide prevention emblem to generate awareness for the 988 Crisis Lifeline.

“Alfie was one of my first cabinet appointments and has been a trusted and valued leader for the last 10 years,” Inslee said. “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.”

Perhaps the accomplishment closest to Alvarado-Ramos’ heart was her creation of the Women Veterans Advisory Committee in 2007.  Her 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, the WDVA press release said.

“There is no state Department of Veterans Affairs in this nation that has the diversity and quality of programs and services we offer,” Alvardo-Ramos said. “This is testament to our team’s hard work and our collective vision as a community to serve those who served.”

Prior to joining WDVA, Alvardo-Ramos 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.

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