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Idaho State News

Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen to retire, Dean Cameron named interim director

Boise, Idaho – Governor Brad Little announced today changes in the leadership of Idaho’s largest state agency, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (DHW).

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Dave Jeppesen will retire at the end of 2023 after five years as DHW director, and Governor Little selected Idaho Department of Insurance Director Dean Cameron to serve as interim director.

“Dave Jeppesen promised me two to four years in this position, and I am grateful he gave us five. Dave has always had my full support and confidence, and I am glad to see him enjoy retirement after a successful career. He deserves it,” Governor Little said. “Dave led the agency through major changes and improvements, and I join many, many people in Idaho in expressing my appreciation for his accomplishments and service.”

Before Governor Little appointed him DHW director in January 2019, Jeppesen served as Chief Marketing Officer at Blue Cross of Idaho. He also ran a successful international bank consulting business after serving as Chief Marketing Officer for Barclays Bank’s United Kingdom Retail Bank in London and as Deputy Chief Risk Officer at Capital One in Richmond, Virginia. Jeppesen is a native of Burley and Ammon and will enjoy retirement with his wife, Stacey, in Eagle, as well as with his four children and three grandchildren.

“Serving as DHW director has been the greatest honor of my career, and hands down my favorite job. I am grateful to Governor Little and the people of Idaho for entrusting me with such an important role. The department and its valuable employees work tirelessly to carry out a significant mission – to strengthen the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans. I know I leave the agency in good hands with Dean Cameron, who I consider a mentor and friend,” Jeppesen said.

As DHW director, Jeppesen helped advance historic new behavioral health resources in the state as co-chair of the new three-branch Idaho Behavioral Health Council. Under his leadership, the agency implemented the Idaho 988 suicide and crisis lifeline, stood up four youth crisis centers, started five certified community behavioral health centers, and created a recovery coaching academy. On his watch, Idaho created more than 85 new beds that will be available in the next 12 months for youth in crisis when the state previously had no in-state psychiatric residential treatment centers for youth. He made improvements to state run hospitals, including opening a new state-run psychiatric hospital for youth, and his team stabilized and improved a southwest Idaho facility that serves individuals with developmental disabilities. Jeppesen implemented the voter-passed Medicaid Expansion, helped the state navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, and made significant improvements to child welfare systems, adoption, and foster care.

Cameron is currently serving as director of the Idaho Department of Insurance since Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter appointed him to the position in 2015. Since his appointment, Cameron has been actively involved in the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and served as NAIC president in 2022. Cameron served in the Idaho State Senate for 25 years. During his tenure in the Senate, he co-chaired the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee, the state budget committee. He also chaired the Health Care Task Force, the Senate Commerce and Human Resources Committee, and the Senate Finance Committee. He was a third-generation insurance agent for 32 years. He and his wife, Linda, have three children and seven grandchildren.

“Dean Cameron brings a wealth of experience and knowledge both in the legislative branch and the executive branch as well as the private sector. I have been fortunate to have Dean in my cabinet since I took office, and I appreciate him for stepping into this role after so many years of working together,” Governor Little said.

The Governor’s Office will begin the process of recruiting a permanent DHW director in the spring of 2024. Cameron will continue to serve as director of Idaho Department of Insurance while serving as interim DHW director.

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