Dave Kears is a retired healthcare executive and consultant, having served in multiple health administrative positions with Alameda County and the state of California for over 40 years. He retired as Alameda County's Health Care Services agency director in mid-2009, a position he held for over 23 years. He then served as a part-time special assistant to the county administrator for Alameda County until May 2012, functioning primarily in the role as representative and facilitator for some of the county's multi-jurisdictional partnerships and initiatives. In this capacity, he continued his role as chair of the Alameda County, city of Oakland, and Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) Joint Powers Authority, charged with promoting collaboration and integrated services for high-risk children and youth, and securing major national grants aimed at improving graduation and health outcomes for OUSD children and youth. He also continued his role as chair of the Partnership for Children and Youth Board, a greater Bay Area nonprofit organization committed to improving integration and outcomes for the region’s most vulnerable children and youth populations.
In his previous position as Alameda County Health Care Services Agency director, he provided overall direction, consultation, and trouble-shooting to the agency’s four major departments: Indigent Care; Public Health Department, including Emergency Medical Services; Environmental Health Services; and Behavioral Health Care Services, including Mental Health and Alcohol and Drug Services. From 1993 to 1998, Mr. Kears assumed the additional responsibility of developing a public-private Medi-Cal managed care program, the Alameda Alliance for Health, pursuant to California Department of Health Services directives. The Alliance is now a fully-licensed HMO composed of traditional Medi-Cal and safety net county and community providers.
Since 1996, Mr. Kears has chaired Alameda County's Interagency Children's Policy Council. Mr. Kears also completed the development of an alternative governance structure for the County's Medical Care System and the transition of both governance and hospital employees to a separate, public hospital authority in 1999. With the passage of Proposition 10, Mr. Kears led the development and provided initial funding support for Every Child Counts/First 5 Alameda County. Mr. Kears also serves as chair of Blue Shield of California Foundation’s Board of Trustees.
In December 2005, Mr. Kears was appointed by the Senate Rules Committee as commissioner on the Legislative Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism under legislation authored by Senator Don Perata. In May 2006, he was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger to the First 5 California State Commission, eventually becoming vice-chair until his retirement in 2009.
Mr. Kears began his career with Alameda County as a psychiatric social worker in 1974 and has held a number of major department-head positions in the Health Care Services Agency.