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Head of Human Services department steps down

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 6:34 p.m. HST, Feb 7, 2014

The head of the state Department of Human Services, Patricia McManaman, has stepped down due to personal reasons, it was announced this afternoon.

McManaman is credited with developing a new online eligibility system for MedQUEST and reducing the mandatory waiting period for public benefits from 21 days to seven days, according to a press release on her departure.

McManaman had been with the administration of Gov. Neil Abercrombie since 2010.

"The Department of Human Services exists to improve the lives of the most vulnerable and needy in our communities," McManaman said in a statement. "I have worked alongside dedicated people in the department who truly believe in the work of helping others. I am extremely humbled and grateful to have served with them and know there will be a seamless transition to continue the work started under this Administration."

Deputy Director Barbara Yamashita has been named as acting director. 

McManaman practiced law in Hawaii for more than 30 years, holding a variety of public interest legal positions prior to being name DHS director. In addition, she also served as a per diem judge in District and Family Court for 17 years.

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