East Hawaii News

Gary Gill Named Interim State Health Director

December 24, 2013, 11:52 AM HST
* Updated December 25, 4:32 PM
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Gov. Neil Abercrombie has appointed one of the late health director’s deputies as acting director of the state Department of Health.

The appointment of Gary Gill, chief of the DOH’s Environmental Health Administration since January 2011, is effective immediately.

Gill worked closely with Loretta Fuddy by overseeing hazards evaluation and emergency response involving clean air, water and solid waste programs delegated to the state US Environmental Protection Agency, Abercrombie said in a press release.

Fuddy’s died on Dec. 11 following a forced landing of a commuter aircraft off Kalaupapa, Molokai. The cause of death has not been determined. The other eight people aboard the Makani Kai Air Cessna Grand Caravan survived.

Gill previously served as deputy director of health for the environment from 1999-2002, and as head of the state Office of Environmental Quality Control from 1994-1998.

Before that he served two four-year terms on the Honolulu City Council, including two years as the council chair.

Gill has also worked in the hospitality industry and in the nonprofit sector. His roles in the latter included development director for the Hawaii Sierra Club, program manager for the Kokua Kalihi Valley community health clinic, executive director of Waimea Valley on Oahu’s North Shore and program director for the Blue Planet Foundation of Hawaii.

Under state law, Abercrombie has until Feb. 9, 2014 to name a permanent director.

“During this interim period, Gary is ready to ensure that the important work of the Department of Health continues without interruption,” Abercrombie said. “He shares my utmost confidence and that of the entire DOH ohana in moving the department forward until a permanent director is identified.”

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