Alex Adams Takes Over at IDHW

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare might be the most troubled government agency in Idaho. Over the last two years, IDHW has sponsored gay pride events throughout Idaho, deliberately misappropriated federal money to support woke children’s programs, stonewalled the Office of the Attorney General when investigated, and had its needle exchange partners raided by law enforcement.

IDHW director Dave Jeppeson stepped down last fall after an audit by the Legislative Services Office found eight instances of the agency failing to follow proper procedures. Dean Cameron served as acting director through the legislative session. Today, Gov. Brad Little announced that Alex Adams would take over as permanent director next month.

Source: Alex Adams on LinkedIn

Who is Alex Adams?

Adams graduated from the University of Toledo with a BA in pharmaceutical services and then achieved a master’s degree in public health at Johns Hopkins. He returned to Toledo where he was awarded a doctorate in pharmacy. He served as the director and then vice president of pharmacy programs at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, a public policy organization advocating for pharmacies throughout the country.

In 2015, Adams took over as executive director of the Idaho State Board of Pharmacy where he received accolades for his work cutting red tape and improving government services. He brought the concept of “permissionless innovation” to the BOP, slashing the rule book to focus on patient safety rather than micromanaging local pharmacies. For this he was glowingly profiled by the Idaho Freedom Foundation in its 2018 Insider Magazine.

After briefly serving interim director for the Idaho Public Charter School Commission, Adams was appointed by newly-inaugurated Gov. Brad Little to administer the Idaho Division of Financial Management. He essentially became the governor’s budget guru, working with the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee to manage the billions of dollars handled by the state each year.

What is Alex Adams walking into?

In my conversations with legislative candidates this spring, one issue I keep asking about is that of the proper role of government. Many people seek a return to what the Founders envisioned —a government solely dedicated to the protecting life, liberty, and property of the citizens — but in many ways that ship sailed long ago. The New Deal turned our federal government into a charity and patronage machine, while our state constitution was written during the Progressive Era when statesmen saw the potential for what government could do rather than worrying about it going too far.

Our state constitution mandates certain programs, such as public education, but our government has still grossly expanded beyond our founders’ wildest dreams. The first step in rolling back the size and scope of government is to not only focus on core goals but to make programs as efficient, transparent, and accountable as possible. For too long, IDHW has operated outside the realm of accountability, zealously defending its right to your hard-earned cash while actively fighting oversight and audits.

Niklas Kleinworth of the Idaho Freedom Foundation shined a light on the IDHW’s myriad problems earlier this year:

I am hopeful that Alex Adams will restore accountability and transparency to Idaho’s most troubled government agency. Numerous people I trust have spoken highly of him, and his pharmaceutical background and experience with cutting government regulations make him perhaps the best person for this job. I commend Gov. Little for this choice and look forward to seeing what he can do.

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