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Abercrombie announces DOH team, DOT deputy


Gov. Neil Abercrombie has announced the team leading the Department of Health: Dr. Neal Palafox, Director, Loretta Fuddy, MSW, First Deputy Director, and Gary Gill, Deputy Director for the Environment.

“The Department of Health needs strong leadership to overcome its current organizational challenges,” Abercrombie said. “Our team of professionals has the ability and proven track record to rebuild our system of public health.”

Abercrombie also announced Jan Sekiya Gouveia as the Department of Transportation Deputy Director of Administration, completing the leadership team of DOT.

“This Administration is changing the way some of the Departments, including the Transportation Department, are structured to improve operational effectiveness,” Abercrombie said.

Palafox will have to be confirmed by the State Senate. Abercrombie has announced directors for all but one department, the Attorney General. He has also announced 15 deputy directors.

Abercrombie will name one additional Deputy Director for the Department of Health at a later date.


Dr. Neal Palafox (Director, DOH) is Professor and Chair of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine and former Director of the Family Practice Residency program.

Palafox, 58, received his medical degree from the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine; served in a Family Practice residency at the University of California, Los Angeles; and earned a Master of Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health.

He is on the active medical staff at Wahiawa General Hospital.

Loretta Fuddy, MSW, (First Deputy Director, DOH) is Chief of the Family Health Services Division, Hawaii Department of Health. She holds degrees in sociology, social work, and public health from the University of Hawaii and Johns Hopkins University.

Fuddy, 62, is a recognized leader in the public health field having served as Chair of the Hawaii Public Health Association, President of the Association of State & Territorial Public Health Association, Treasurer and Secretary of the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs.

She is a recipient of a various awards including the Hawaii Outstanding Advocate for Children and Youth, and the DOH Sustained Superior and Exemplary Performance Award.

Raised in Kaimuki, she is a graduate of the Sacred Hearts Academy.

Gary Gill (Deputy Director for the Environment, DOH) is a Program Director for Blue Planet Foundation. He served two terms representing Makiki to Kalihi on the Honolulu City Council, including two years as Council Chair.

Gill, 50, served as Director of the Office of Environmental Quality Control and Deputy Director of Health for the Environment under the Cayetano Administration. He has worked extensively in the nonprofit community as Development Director for the Sierra Club, Program Manager for Kokua Kalihi Valley, and Executive Director of Hiipaka LLC, which oversees Waimea Valley on Oahu’s North Shore.

He was born in Honolulu.

Jan Sekiya Gouveia (Deputy Director for Administration, DOT) is Vice President for Executive Operation at Waimana Enterprises, where she works on special projects, such as advancing biofuel in Hawaii.

She previously served as the chief legal counsel for the Board of Water Supply, and the associate legal counsel and director of risk management at UH.

Gouveia, 42, holds an MBA and law degree from Gonzaga University; and a bachelor’s degree of political science from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She is a graduate of Iolani School.

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