HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Tuesday announced the appointment of Gary Gill as Acting Director of the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH), effective immediately.
"During this interim period, Gary is ready to ensure that the important work of the Department of Health continues without interruption," Gov. 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."
Pursuant to Hawaii Revised Statutes § 26-33, the Governor has until Feb. 9, 2014, to name a permanent director.
Born in Honolulu, Gill worked closely with the late Director Loretta Fuddy as Deputy Health Director for the Environment, to which he was appointed in January 2011. In that capacity, he has overseen hazardous evaluation and emergency response as well as the clean air, water and solid waste programs delegated to the state by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In addition, sanitation, food and drug, indoor and radiological health, vector control and the State Laboratories Division programs have been his responsibility.
At age 26, Gary successfully ran for a seat on the Honolulu City Council, where he served two terms representing District 6 (Downtown Honolulu) – including two years as council chair. Leaving elected office after 8 years of service, he was appointed as the state Director of the Office of Environmental Quality Control (1994-1998) and state Deputy Director of Health for the Environment (1999-2002).
Gill has also worked within the hospitality industry and nonprofit community, including as development director for the Hawaii Sierra Club, program manager for Kokua Kalihi Valley community health clinic, executive director of Waimea Valley on Oahu's North Shore, and program director for Blue Planet Foundation of Hawaii.
On December 11, Health Director Loretta Fuddy died after the plane she was a passenger in lost power and crash-landed in the water off Molokai.