From DHW Director Dave Jeppesen: Saying goodbye to the best job I’ve ever had

November 15, 2023
DHW Director Dave Jeppesen

Anyone who’s heard me talk very long about my work at the Department of Health and Welfare has also heard me say it’s the best and most challenging job I’ve ever had. It’s also been the greatest honor of my career.

My decision to retire at the end of December has not been easy, but after significant reflection I’ve chosen to move on to the next phase of my life and spend more time with my wife, four children, and three grandchildren.

My personal mission throughout my life and career has been to help others achieve their full potential, and I’ve found invigorated meaning in that mission at DHW. That’s because it’s what DHW’s 3,000 employees working in eight divisions do for Idahoans every single day. I often say that my job, and the job of the senior leadership at DHW, is to support staff so they can do their best work in service of Idahoans. It’s been my highest honor to help make that happen.

It should come as no surprise that this work also comes with diverse challenges, and in considering retirement I wanted to pause and consider my core reasons for taking this step. The fact is, even if working at DHW was without any challenges or stress at all, I’d choose to retire now. I have loved this job, but my other job is grandpa. I want to focus on my family while my grandchildren are still young, and my wife and I are in good health.

While I’m looking forward to retirement, I’m going to miss many things about DHW, and I’m most going to miss working with DHW’s outstanding employees who do life-changing work for Idahoans every day. I’m inspired by the skill, talent, compassion, and empathy they bring to work. The people at DHW are everyday heroes who inspire me and make a tangible difference for Idahoans, and I know their work will continue because Idahoans will continue to need DHW’s services.

Gov. Brad Little has announced an interim DHW leader and will make decisions about DHW’s long-term leadership. I’ll work to make the transition as seamless as possible for DHW’s staff and for my successor.

In reflecting about this chapter of my life, I’m grateful for the opportunities, challenges, and shared accomplishments. But most of all I’m grateful to have worked alongside so many hard-working and talented people to advance the mission of helping our neighbors live their healthiest lives.

Thank-you for that honor.

I hope you have a safe and healthy weekend! 

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is dedicated to strengthening the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans. Learn more at 

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