Remembering Gary Thompson, Beloved CAB Member

Read Gary's Voices for Birth Justice Profile

At the start of February, we learned that our beloved Community Advisory Board (CAB) member Gary Thompson passed away. His biggest contribution to PTBi was not only as our first male CAB representative but for being a vocal member who represented fathers affected by preterm birth. Gary’s energy, passion, infectious smile, and laughter will be missed by all of us. 

Gary was our first male representative on our CAB and he consistently lifted up the experiences and perspectives of our fathers. His deep knowledge, wisdom, passion for the work, integrity, and spirit will be deeply missed. His record of service to families in the Bay Area was honorable and impactful. Gary was an example of true leadership and dedication to improving outcomes for our communities. He will be missed by so many. 

Shanell Williams

Director of Community Engagement

In his professional life, Gary served as the Fatherhood Initiative Manager at Alameda County for almost 10 years before his retirement in June 2020. Gary had a long and impactful career in Alameda County serving families in a variety of ways. In addition to building out the Fatherhood Initiative case management and group support program within MPCAH (Maternal, Paternal, Child and Adolescent Health), Gary also co-founded the Alameda County Fathers Corps in 2013. The Fathers Corps was formed to support fathers’ participation in the lives of their children, and has been recognized locally, statewide, and nationally as a model for building father-friendly systems of care. Through his efforts, the Board of Supervisors passed a resolution calling for the county-wide incorporation of father-friendly principles, which has had a ripple effect – a state policy resolution to integrate father-friendly principles into the delivery of health and human services across California is currently in development. 

I loved Gary. I’d see him over the years at ACPHD. He has always had such a beautiful spirit. I’ll never forget his warm and inviting smile, his kind words, and the encouragement he always shared with me. His passion for this work and commitment to community was so profound. He blessed Alameda County for so long. As a Black man and father, he was a beacon of light and a great example for the younger men in our community.

TaNefer Camara

CAB Member