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Board of Supervisors Chooses Yolo County Administrator as Director of Health Care Agency

The Board of Supervisors, ending a 10-month-long search, Tuesday chose the head of health services in Yolo County to be director of the Orange County Health Care Agency.

Tom Uram, 48, a health services administrator in Ventura County for 12 years before he went to Yolo County (west of Sacramento) in 1979 to set up the health agency there, will begin his new job Aug. 12.

Uram probably will be paid “in the $80,000 (annual salary) range,” Larry Parrish, Orange County chief administrative officer, said.

Uram said in a telephone interview that he first read of the opening in a pamphlet of job opportunities, and later got a letter asking if he was interested. He said the first consulting firm that Orange County used in the recruitment did not recommend him for the job, but that a second company nominated him as a finalist.

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Uram will succeed psychologist Charles D. Kerns, 34, who became the Health Care Agency’s first director when it was established three years ago. The agency has 1,400 employees and an annual budget of $72 million.

During budget hearings last August, county supervisors called Kerns’ spending proposals “atrocious,” and grand jurors criticized the agency’s provision of medical care at the Orange County Jail.

Kerns resigned last Aug. 20 without giving any reason. Supervisors said they did not believe his resignation was linked to the criticism he had received.

Robert Love, formerly an aide to Supervisor Harriett Wieder, has been interim director of the agency since Kerns’ resignation, but the supervisors said when they appointed Love that he was ineligible for the permanent post.

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