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Senate confirms Pressler as DOH director


In an unanimous decision, members of the State Senate have confirmed Dr. Virginia Pressler as the Director of the Department of Health (DOH).

“She’s a powerful advocate for those who need health care. She’s been very close and embedded to the work we do here on coordinated care, always focusing on those who need it the most,” said Sen. Josh Green (D 3rd District), chair of the Senate Health committee. “She has extraordinary chops on taking care of women and women’s health issues. There was not a single person who came and testified before us who didn’t glow about Dr. Pressler, who is an extraordinary candidate.”

The confirmation marks the return to the DOH for Pressler. From 1999-2002, Pressler served as deputy director for Health Resources Administration. She was in banking before starting in cardiovascular research at Queen’s Medical Center.

She was a private practice physician and an associate professor of surgery before becoming vice president at the Queen’s Health Systems. Pressler also was president and CEO for HMSA’s Premier Plan, Queen’s Health dba.

Most recently, she served as the executive vice president and chief strategic officer at Hawaii Pacific Health.

“I am honored and humbled to be able to serve the State once more,” said Pressler. “We have lots of exciting opportunities to improve the health of everyone in the State.”

The full Senate also confirmed Keith Yamamoto as Deputy Director of the DOH. Yamamoto continues his service in the position he has held since 2011.

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