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North Bay Business Journal

Wednesday, December 4, 2013, 1:15 pm

Napa County names new head of health agency

Key priority is planned south Napa campus

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    NAPA — Howard Himes, director of Fresno County Department of Social Services, has been tapped as the new director of the county of Napa’s Health and Human Services Agency, replacing Randy Snowden, who retired in October.

    County of NapaNapa County Executive Officer Nancy Watt is set to ask the Board of Supervisors to confirm the appointment at its regular meeting on Dec. 10. Mr. Himes is scheduled to start his new position on Jan 13, according to a county announcement Wednesday.

    “I am impressed by Howard Himes’ broad base of experience in human and social services,” Ms. Watt said in a statement. “We will look to him to guide the agency through continuing changes brought on by health care reform and increased demand for services.”

    Mr. Himes said in  statement that leading an integrated agency has been a “longtime professional goal.”

    “Through collaboration, we can more effectively and efficiently serve each of our clients as a whole person,” he said.

    Mr. Himes would oversee a staff of more than 400 employees, with 10 division managers and an $89 million annual budget.

    Ms. Watt said a key priority for Mr. Himes will be to oversee the agency’s likely move to a consolidated campus in the Napa Valley Corporate Park in south Napa. He also will be tasked with implementing the agency’s overarching strategic initiatives of improving the community’s health and well-being; integrating HHSA services; focusing on continuous quality improvement; and investing in the agency’s workforce, as well as continuing to build the agency’s longtime successful partnerships with non-profit service providers.

    Mr. Himes has been with Fresno County since 1987, in various positions in Social Services and Children and Family Services. He is also an adjunct professor at California State University in Fresno, and is active statewide on many boards, committees and centers related to children, families, social services and racial equality. He has an undergraduate degree in psychology from University of California, Davis, and his master’s degree in social work from Fresno State University.

    The Health and Human Services Agency provides public health, mental health, alcohol- and drug-abuse, child welfare, and older adult and self-sufficiency services such as CalFresh and MediCal.

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