Fuddy remembered as a "quiet trailblazer"
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Even after Hawaii took over the top spot as the healthiest state in one national report, state Health Director Loretta Fuddy was advocating for even more services for the disadvantaged.
"We are concerned we need to have greater parity in providing for behavioral health," she said yesterday when the state rankings were announced.
Fuddy was the sole passenger who died when a nine-passenger Cessna aircraft bound for Honolulu from Molokai crashed into the ocean.
"She was a selfless advocate for healthcare in Hawaii," said former Health Director Bruce Anderson, who worked with Fuddy for over 20 years.
"She was exceptional in her ability to understand the plight of native Hawaiians and others who are underprivileged."
Fuddy regularly traveled to Kalaupapa, where as health director she was the honorary mayor of the town.
Senator Brian Schatz called Fuddy one of the finest public servants he's ever known.
"My condolences and aloha go to Loretta's ohana and the Hawaii DOH family. She was one of the very best," Schatz said.
Added Tom Matsuda, Interim Executive Director of the Hawaii Health Connector:
"I cannot even begin to convey what a terrible loss this is for Hawaii. I worked closely with Director Fuddy on the Affordable Care Act and came to know and respect her as a passionate advocate for public health and a warm, caring human being," he said.
Anderson said she was tireless when it came to serving the needs of the underprivileged.
"What I remember most is getting calls from her on weekend and after hours and she would work preparing grants," he said.
A native of Kaimuki, Fuddy graduated from Sacred Hearts Academy. She holds numerous degrees from the University of Hawaii and Johns Hopkins University.
She also has led numerous community groups and organizations and in 2009 was named Hawaii Outstanding Advocate for Children and Youth.
Remembered as a quiet trailblazer, Fuddy was 65.
Related story: Hawaii Health Director dies in Molokai plane crash
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