From Interim DHW Director Dean Cameron: A tribute to the people and progress at DHW

May 31, 2024
Interim DHW Director Dean Cameron

For the past five months I’ve had the great honor of serving as interim director of the Department of Health and Welfare. It’s been my great honor to do so.

During that time, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing firsthand the dedication, compassion, and resilience of our department’s employees. Despite facing numerous challenges and complexities, our eight divisions and nearly 3,000 staff have remained steadfast in their commitment to serving the needs of Idahoans with integrity and compassion.

One of the most inspiring aspects of my experience has been the opportunity to work alongside such caring and dedicated people who go above and beyond every day to make a difference in the lives of others. From frontline workers to administrative staff, the passion and commitment of the team at DHW has been inspiring.

At the same time, it’s impossible to ignore the myriad challenges confronting the department on a daily basis. From navigating legal issues, court cases, and political conflicts to grappling with complex questions surrounding the best interests of children in our care, the road ahead is far from straightforward or easy. However, I believe it’s because of these challenges that we are stronger and that our resilience and commitment will be evident.

Reflecting on the department’s accomplishments over the past five months, I’m proud of the progress made in addressing several key issues. These have included resolving audit findings, implementing department-wide policies, restoring relationships with foster families, and improving communication with the Legislature. Each of these achievements represents a step forward in our mission to promote the health and wellbeing of all Idahoans.

Specifically, I am grateful for the opportunity to improve our financial oversight processes and conflict of interest policies. I appreciate the efforts to address concerns surrounding the department’s involvement with syringe exchange programs, where we eliminated misconceptions about the role the department played and shored up oversight and processes to make sure invoices are itemized appropriately.

By reinforcing our commitment to ethical practices and compliance with state guidelines, we’ve taken important steps toward fostering confidence in DHW and building relationships with key stakeholders.

As I reflect on this experience, I’m reminded that the true measure of our success lies not in the obstacles we’ve overcome, but in the impact we’ve had on others. I want to express my gratitude to all of DHW’s talented staff for doing their part. I’m honored to have been associated with this team and to contribute in some small way during my time with the department.

DHW is here to serve you. Have a great weekend.

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

Join the Discussion

Please note the following terms of participation in commenting on the DHW Voice blog.

To ensure a productive discussion you agree to post only comments directly related to this post and to refrain from posting obscenities; threatening, abusive or discriminatory language; sexually explicit material; and other material that would violate the law if published here; promotional content; or private information such as phone numbers or addresses. DHW reserves the right to screen and remove inappropriate comments.