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Gill named interim director at state health department

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 11:19 a.m. HST, Dec 24, 2013

Gary Gill has been named acting director at the state Department of Health in the wake of Loretta Fuddy's death after a plane crash off Molokai earlier this month.

His appointment by Gov. Neil Abercrombie is effective immediately. 

"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." 

Under state law the governor has until Feb. 9 to name a permanent director. 

Fuddy was the sole fatality out of nine people aboard a Makani Kai Air flight that crashed in the water soon after taking off from Kalaupapa on Dec. 11. A cause of death has not been determined.

Gill was appointed Deputy Health Director for the Environment in January, 2011, overeseeing hazardous evaluation and emergency response, clean air, water and solid wate programs. In addition, sanitation, food and drug, indoor and radiological health, vector control and the State Laboratories Division programs have been his responsibility. 

The former City Council member served two terms representing Downtown Honolulu's District 6, including two years as council chair. 

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, according to a press release from the governor's office.

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