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NEWS RELEASE - Washington State COVID Grant Notice of Award to Washington Department of Veterans Affairs

April 12, 2021

OLYMPIAToday, the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) received confirmation that the agency will receive more than $13 million in funding for our four State Veterans Homes.  The grant funding is provided through the CARES Act Extended Care Facilities Construction Grant.

“WDVA staff have been working tremendously hard throughout the pandemic and this grant helps to continue our mission of providing the best care for veterans and their families,” said WDVA Deputy Director, David Puente Jr.  “We are extremely appreciative of receiving this grant funding from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

WDVA applied for the grant funds in 2020. 

“Your Washington Department of Veterans Affairs took decisive and quick action to capitalize on this funding opportunity that will strengthen our defense against the current and future pandemics,” said WDVA Director, Alfie Alvarado-Ramos.

Each of Washington’s State Veterans Homes (Orting, Port Orchard, Spokane and Walla Walla) applied for funds for specific projects addressing critical upgrades, repairs and replacements related to our COVID-19 pandemic response.  In addition, some funding awards will cover projects at all four Homes. 

SPECIFIC BUDGET INFORMATION FOR VARIOUS PROJECTS -

COVID-19 – Air Systems, UV Light Systems – Statewide - $3,691,271.25

This project impacts all four State Veterans Homes.  With this grant WDVA will attach photohydroionization air purification modules to each home’s HVAC air handling system, install germicidal UV lighting inside each building to filter air and decontaminate surfaces, furniture, equipment, and other items. This will include: (1) wall and ceiling mounted UV lighting air filtration in corridors, common rooms, and nursing stations; (2) construction of rooms and/or buildings with germicidal UV lights to decontaminate large items (e.g., equipment, PPE, and large delivery packages); (3) residential germicidal UV lights to decontaminate and deep clean individual rooms when they are unoccupied; and (4) installation of germicidal UV cleaning machines at entrances, exits, and nursing stations to decontaminate portable items brought into or carried around the facility (e.g., tablets, phones, and mail).  Furthermore WDVA will create portable negative air pressure rooms for quarantined residents and PPE storage space at each of the facilities.

COVID-19 – HVAC Upgrades - Spokane Veterans Home - $1,218,750
This project is specific to the Spokane Veterans Home and includes the replacement of the Roof Top Units, duct cleaning, and added humidification as part of the HVAC system.  These upgraded systems along with higher filtration as part of the new roof top units and the photohydroionizatoin will provide heating and cooling within the building that will be largely free of bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that could impact the health and safety of residents and staff. 


COVID-19 – Upgrade Access Points, Outdoor Space, Security Lighting, and Sanitization Equipment - Statewide
- $695,250
This project impacts all four State Veterans Homes. This project continues to build on the increases sanitization efforts to the Skilled Nursing Facilities.  It provides equipment including electrostatic ion spray guns for sanitization of surfaces, equipment and other items and industrial floor scrubbers for sanitizing and cleaning of floors.  Throughout the pandemic access to our skilled nursing facilities has been limited, and in order to provide better opportunities for family visits with residents outdoor family visit space improvements are needed to increase the number of veteran residents who can receive family visits, while preventing illness due to exposure to cold weather.  This will include blanket warmers at each of our four homes.  At our Walla Walla Veterans Home WDVA would install permanent outdoor heaters at existing patios to allow for outdoor resident visits.  Additional upgrades to security at each facility are needed including cameras and access point security at our Port Orchard and Orting facilities to provide a safe environment for residents and staff.  Lastly our Walla Walla Veterans Home is in need of industrial washers and dryers to provide proper heat for sanitization of resident clothing within the facility. 

COVID-19 – Flooring Upgrade - Orting and Port Orchard - $3,211,000
This project will replace flooring at the Port Orchard and Orting skilled nursing facilities.  This will remove all carpeting from the Port Orchard Facility including resident rooms and common spaces.  WDVA’s intent is to replace the carpet and other flooring throughout the 160,000 SF building with vinyl plank which will continue to provide a home like feel, while allowing for significantly better cleaning and sanitization capabilities.  WDVA will also replace the flooring at the Washington Soldiers Home in Orting.  The current flooring has been in place over 25 years and has exceeded its useful life due to normal use and damage from years use, cleaning, and sanitization.  By installing vinyl plank the home will be able to maintain the standards needed to maintain a clean and healthy environment for residents and staff. 

COVID-19 – Storage and Maintenance Building Construction - Walla Walla - $850,500
The Walla Walla Veterans Home requested funds to build a new storage and maintenance building.  As a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic, staff, residents, and other necessary personnel have been required to use additional pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE).  It was quickly apparent that additional storage was necessary to accommodate the use of thousands more pieces of PPE, which was being ordered more frequently and stored in higher quantities than ever before to be sure an adequate supply was available at all times.  In addition, due to the frequency of cleaning required, additional cleaning supplies and sanitizing equipment all must be safely stored out of the way of residents and staff members.  This new space will provide a secure and accessible location for the additional PPE, cleaning supplies, and equipment and keep these items from being stored in hallways and other areas of the Walla Walla Veterans Home. 

COVID-19 – Bathroom Upgrade, Tub Replacement - Statewide - $2,202,525
This project will impact our three older homes, Spokane, Port Orchard, and Orting.  The plan for this project is to completely renovate the homes bathing suites. This will entail the total remodel and replacement of equipment in the bathing facilities.  The current layouts are based on traditional bathing practices that need to be updated to align with new infection control rules and processes.  By replacing the current finishes WDVA can provide surfaces that are easier to maintain and sanitize.  The bathing suites are critical to the health and care of the residents and protection from the impact of germs, viruses, and bacteria.  Along with replacing the finishes and the tubs with self-cleaning units, WDVA will also install wall mounted UV air cleaners in each of the bathing suites.

COVID-19 – Food Servery Replacement - Port Orchard - $1,218,750
This project will only impact the Port Orchard Facility.  The plan is to replace all four serveries with stainless steel counters, integrated sinks, stainless steel casework, reconfiguration of walls to meet new layout, epoxy flooring, upgrade plumbing and electrical.  Also included is the cost for some equipment that is integrated into the function of the serving area, including steam tables and garbage disposals.  Furthermore the replacement of the serveries will take into consideration the health and safety issues for staff by reducing the counter heights and distances while still meeting code requirements, and residents by providing a space that will be easier to clean and maintain.

All public members, residents, families and staff are being continuously notified of COVID-19 updates and we will continue to provide updated information online at: www.dva.wa.gov/covid.  All media inquiries should be addressed to communications@dva.wa.gov.

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Media Contact
Gary Lott
Community Relations/Social Media Manager
Washington Department of Veterans Affairs

360-810-0238 | mailto:garyl@dva.wa.gov
http://www.dva.wa.gov