Napa County Gives Nod to New HHSA Director

Howard Himes, from Fresno County's Dept. of Social Services, tapped for job.

Howard Himes. courtesy Napa County
Howard Himes. courtesy Napa County
Howard Himes, the director of the Fresno County Department of Social Services, is being recommended for the office of director of the Health and Human Services Agency, replacing Randy Snowden, who retired in October.

Napa County CEO Nancy Watt said she will ask the Board of Supervisors to confirm the appointment at their regular meeting on Dec. 10. Himes will start his new position on Jan 13.

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

The Health and Human Services Agency provides a variety of services to residents of Napa County, including public health, mental health, alcohol and drug services, child welfare, services for older adults and self-sufficiency services, such as CalFresh and MediCal.

Unlike many other counties, Napa County’s Agency is an integrated “super agency,” which includes all the services in one agency, rather than housed in separate departments. Himes will oversee a staff of more than 400 employees, with 10 division managers and an $89 million annual budget.

“Serving the community at the head of an integrated agency is a longtime professional goal for me,” Himes said. “Through collaboration, we can more effectively and efficiently serve each of our clients as a whole person.”

According to Watt, one of Himes’ first priorities 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.

Himes as been with Fresno County since 1987, in various positions in Social Services and Children and Family Services.

He also is 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 UC Davis and his master’s degree in social work is from California State University Fresno.


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