DOH whistleblower who exposed contact tracing problems returns to work

DOH whistleblower who exposed contact tracing problems returns to work
Dr. Jennifer Smith came forward to tell state senators and the public that DOH had been untruthful about its contact tracing capabilities while cases were exploding on Oahu. (Source: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state Health Department whistleblower who exposed flaws in the state’s COVID-19 contact tracing program has returned to work.

In an email, the DOH told Honolulu Civil Beat that Jennifer Smith returned to work on Thursday after being placed on paid administrative leave for more than two months.

It’s unclear why she was put on leave in the first place.

Smith was an investigator in the state Disease Outbreak Control Division. In August, she came forward to tell state senators — and the public — that the Health Department had been untruthful about its contact tracing capabilities while cases were surging on Oahu.

The revelation led to vast changes in the contact tracing program and its leadership. Former Health Director Dr. Bruce Anderson retired, while state epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park was put on leave.

Park remains on leave and it’s not clear whether she will return.

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