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Senate confirms Wong as head of state human services

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Rachael Wong was confirmed on Friday by the state Senate as director of the Department of Human Services.

“Dr. Rachael Wong’s extensive experience, demonstrated leadership abilities and devotion to the well-being of our community qualify her for the position,” said Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland, chair of the Senate Human Services and Housing committee. “One of Dr. Wong’s strongest attributes is collaborative leadership, which enables her to make connections and act with compassion and sensibility, which is very much needed to lead a large and complex department with a broad mandate to assist children, youth, our kupuna, families and vulnerable individuals.”

Wong was the vice president and chief operating officer of the Healthcare Association of Hawaii, and also previously served as executive director of Kokua Mau and the Hawai’i Consortium for Integrative Healthcare.

“I’m just really honored to be serving in this capacity,” said Wong. “I’m appreciative of the governor for nominating me and the Senate for this formal confirmation and this opportunity to work with the amazing team at DHS.

“Our top priority is moving forward with our plan to streamline what we’re doing with IT, building on the technology that we’ve already put in place with our platforms, investing in our people here, moving quickly with what we’re doing with MedQuest and our social services division, BESSD and our public assistance,” she said.

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