November 4, 2022

University of Washington School of Social Work graduate Michael T. Kilmer (MSW ’04) will receive the 2022 UW Distinguished Alumni Veteran Award. Kilmer will be honored on Friday, Nov. 4, during the halftime program at the UW-Oregon State football game.

Established in 2012, the Distinguished Alumni Veteran Award is given to a living UW alumnus veteran who made a positive impact on the local, national or international community, the University of Washington or the veteran community.

Kilmer, currently director of the Veterans Affairs Eastern Colorado Health Care System where he serves more than 100,000 veterans, spent 15 years in the U.S. Coast Guard, but was forced out in 2002 under the Department of Defense’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. In return, Kilmer began lobbying legislators, raising funds and counseling other veterans who faced expulsion because of their sexual orientation.

“Michael Kilmer is a great example of our School of Social Work alumni who transform their knowledge and skills into addressing complex problems and making a significant impact on our community,” said Edwina (Eddie) Uehara, professor and Balmer Endowed Dean of Social Work at the University of Washington. “Since beginning his career, he has been a social change agent, serving at the forefront of reforming case management and applying prevention science to improve outcomes for veterans and their families.”

Kilmer’s approach to care management helped modernize the way social services are provided to military veterans. He also helped create the VA’s Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Program. In 2014, he was the first recipient of the School of Social Work’s Early Career Achievement Award.

“What I learned as a student, and what I bring to my day-to-day work with veterans, is that service must be rooted in science to create change that matters,” said Kilmer. “The UW School of Social Work provided a solid foundation for the work I do now.”

Read more about Michael Kilmer and his passion to help fellow veterans in the University of Washington Magazine.

Join one of the UW Veterans Appreciation events offered on all three campuses.