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State to be temporarily without health director

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 4:45 p.m. HST, Feb 10, 2014

The state Department of Health will temporarily be without a director.

Gary Gill, who Gov. Neil Abercrombie named as interim director after Loretta Fuddy died in a plane crash off Molokai in December, returned to his deputy director for environmental health administration post on Monday after the interim appointment expired.

Abercrombie said an announcement on a new director could come "very, very shortly." The nominee would serve on an interim basis until the state Senate could review the nomination. Department decisions will be handled by deputy directors in the meantime.

"We're all well aware of the terrible circumstances that required us to have this great team at the Department of Health engage in carrying forward with director Fuddy's program and that period is coming to a close so I'll be making a nomination for interim director very, very shortly," the governor told reporters.

"The team at the Department of Health has stepped right up and worked very, very well together and their morale has held together very, very well with the department. So I'll make an appointment for consideration by the Legislature as soon as I possibly can. I 'm on it and we'll do this directly. The team is the team. And believe me -- that will continue apace. But we'll have a name down to the Legislature forthwith."

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