Leadership Bios and Photos

DHW Interim Director Dean Cameron is supported by three deputy directors and eight division administrators.

Director's office


Dean Cameron 

Interim Director

Director Dean Cameron was appointed interim director of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare by Gov. Brad Little, effective Jan. 1, 2024. He concurrently serves as director of the Idaho Department of Insurance, a post he has held since 2015 when he was appointed by former Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter. Director Cameron has been active in the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, (NAIC), serving in many leadership positions, including National President in 2022. He is currently past president of the NAIC. Director Cameron is a third-generation insurance agent, working for 32 years. He has three decades experience serving in state government, with 25 years in the Idaho State Senate. He and his wife, Linda, have three children and seven grandchildren.  
Miren Unsworth

Deputy Director 

Miren Unsworth is a deputy director and interim Family & Community services division administrator at the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. In this role she oversees the divisions of Family and Community Services (FACS), Behavioral Health, Medicaid, and the department’s Strategic Business Office. Miren received her bachelor’s degree in social work from Idaho State University and her master's degree in social work from Portland State University. She has spent 21 years working in service to children and families, including 18 years of work in public child welfare programs as a case manager, supervisor, policy manager, as well as a deputy administrator and administrator for FACS. Miren is a native Idahoan. She enjoys travel and spending time outdoors, and especially enjoys spending time with her husband, Jeremy, and her 14-year-old son, Owen.
Lisa Hettinger

Deputy Director 

Lisa Hettinger is a deputy director who oversees the divisions of Management Services, Information Technology Services, and Licensing and Certification. She has worked for the department since 2011 and was the division administrator for Medicaid and the Medicaid chief financial officer before taking the role of deputy director in 2016.  Lisa has an bachelor’s degree in zoology and a master’s in business administration, with a focus on healthcare administration.
Jennifer Palagi

Deputy Director 

Jennifer Palagi, DNP, MPH, RN, CIC, is a deputy director at the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare with oversight of the divisions of Public Health and Self-Reliance (Welfare). She is a member of the Idaho Workforce Development Council, and she attends the Idaho Commission on Aging for the Department. As a community health nurse leader at heart, she is dedicated to addressing the social and public health needs of Idahoans. 



DHW divisions
Behavioral Health
Ross Edmunds 


Ross Edmunds is the administrator for the Division of Behavioral Health. In this role, Ross oversees the outpatient mental health and substance use disorders treatment system in Idaho, as well as the operations of the three state psychiatric hospitals. Ross’s professional experience includes administration, management, and direct practice in outpatient treatment and inpatient mental health facilities.
Gina Westcott


Gina Westcott is the administrator for State Hospital West, a 16-bed psychiatric treatment facility for adolescents. She has worked for the Department of Health and Welfare since 1994 serving in multiple capacities over the course of her career. In the Division of Behavioral Health, Gina has provided clinical services to people with mental health challenges, managed regional mental health programs, and has worked on many statewide initiatives. She began her career over 35 years ago as a US Army behavioral science specialist providing social services to military members and their dependents. She served on active duty and as a member of the Idaho National Guard. Gina holds a master’s degree in mental health counseling from Idaho State University, a bachelor’s degree in social work from Boise State University, and is a certified public manager for the State of Idaho. 
Teresa I. Shackelford


Teresa I. Shackelford is the administrator of State Hospital North (SHN). Teresa earned her undergraduate degree in psychology and her master’s degree in social work, both from Boise State University. Teresa has worked for the Department of Health and Welfare since 2008. Prior to this role, she held various positions in the Division of Behavioral Health, including clinician, clinical supervisor, regional program manager, and a special assignment leading DBH’s transition project. Teresa is passionate about the mission of SHN and honored to lead the SHN team. She and her husband, Mike, have three adult children and are considered empty-nesters, but they’ve filled their nest with dogs.
Randy Rodriquez


Randy Rodriquez is the administrator for State Hospital South, a 110-bed adult psychiatric treatment facility and an additional 42-bed skilled nursing facility. He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Idaho and his master’s degree in social work from the University of Kansas. He has worked for the Department of Health and Welfare since 1998 in multiple capacities as a licensed clinical social worker.
Family and Community Services
Jamie Newton

SWITC Administrative Director 

Jamie Newton is the administrative director of the Southwest Idaho Treatment Center. She has worked for the department since 1997 and was promoted to her current position in 2016. She has more than 30 years of experience working with and for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She is currently working on a project team with others in DHW to improve the system of care for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities and experiencing crisis. She is a graduated from the University of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in general studies with an emphasis in psychology.
Information Technology Services
Chuck Weber 


Chuck Weber is the administrator of the Division of Information Technology Services. He has over 25+ years of experience in healthcare, financial services, technology and operations. He joined DHW in February 20222.

Licensing and Certification
Laura Stute


Laura Stute is the administrator for the Division of Licensing and Certification. Prior to joining DHW in 2022, she spent 18 years working in healthcare. She has served in both clinical and leadership roles focused on regulatory compliance, patient safety, and improving clinical outcomes. Laura spent the majority of her healthcare career working in the inpatient rehabilitation setting where she focused on program development for disease-specific accreditations from the Joint Commission and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). She has a master’s degree in speech-language pathology from Plattsburgh State University.

Management Services
Staci Phelan



Staci Phelan is the administrator for the Division of Management Services. She oversees finance, contracting/purchasing, building and support operations, audits and investigations, department and division budgets, accounts payable, revenue operations, grants and cash, electronic benefits, financial systems, and employee services. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, a master’s degree in Public Administration, and a doctorate in Higher Education Administration. Staci’s more than 20 years of professional experience includes fiscal and budget oversight and forecasting, personnel administration, team building, strategic planning, compliance, data analytics, policy development, internal audit, grant management, and financial reporting in the public and private sectors.

Juliet Charron


Juliet Charron serves as the Idaho Medicaid administrator, a role she began in November 2021. She oversees administration for the Idaho Medicaid program serving about 400,000 Idahoans. Previously, she held leadership positions with the Texas Medicaid program and the Texas Office of the Inspector General. Juliet previously worked in government programs and compliance roles in a community-based health plan in Arizona. She received her bachelor’s degree in public policy, planning, and management from the University of Oregon. She holds a master’s degree in public health from the University of Arizona. 

Public Health
Elke Shaw-Tulloch


Elke Shaw-Tulloch is the administrator of the Division of Public Health, and the state’s public health officer. She has worked for the department since 1996 and was promoted to division administrator in 2012. Since February 2020, she has focused a majority of her time on responding to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Dr. Christine Hahn

State Epidemiologist 

Dr. Christine Hahn is Idaho’s state epidemiologist and the Division of Public Health’s medical director. She is board certified in infectious disease and works in an Idaho tuberculosis clinic twice monthly. She also serves on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and since late February 2020, has been focusing almost solely on responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Kathryn Turner

Deputy State Epidemiologist 

Dr. Kathryn Turner is the deputy state epidemiologist in the Division of Public Health. She has worked for the department for 17 years and oversees the epidemiology, immunization, food protection, communicable disease surveillance, and refugee health screening programs for the division. She has been focused almost entirely on Idaho’s pandemic response since February 2020.

Dr. Christopher Ball

Laboratory Bureau Chief 

Dr. Christopher Ball is the laboratory bureau chief for the Division of Public Health, Bureau of Laboratories, where he serves as the laboratory director and clinical consultant. Dr. Ball is certified in molecular diagnostics by the American Board of Bioanalysis and serves as co-chair of the Governor’s Coronavirus Testing Task Force. Since February 2020, he has been focusing on providing testing, developing guidance, and expanding testing capacity to support Idaho’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Welfare / Self-Reliance
Shane Leach


Shane Leach is the administrator of the Division of Welfare. He has worked for the department since 2006 and was promoted to administrator in August 2021. He began working for the department in the Information Management Analysis Team, primarily supporting the Child Support program, and transitioned into supporting all data analysis and reporting needs for the Self-Reliance programs. In his previous role as deputy administrator for Self-Reliance, Shane oversaw and directed several elements for all division programs including budgeting, forecasting program participation, maintaining quality control for benefit programs, and contract development. Shane was born and raised in Idaho. He earned a bachelor’s degree  from Montana State University and his master’s degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix.