Barbara Yamashita Appointed DHS Deputy Director
By Maui Now Staff
Governor Neil Abercrombie today announced the appointment of Barbara Yamashita as deputy director of the state Department of Human Services.
Yamashita fills the vacancy left by Pankaj Bhanot, who returned to his previous position as chief administrator of the DHS Benefit, Employment and Support Services Division.
Yamashita’s ties to Maui County include previous work as a hospital administrator for Sutter Health Systems in the expansion of its practice on the Island of Moloka’i.
She most recently served as chief of the Department of Health Maternal and Child Health Branch. While there, she provided oversight for programs on child abuse, neglect prevention, sex assault, domestic violence, healthy start models, family parenting services, and women’s health issues.
“I’m confident that Ms. Yamashita’s extensive, cross-departmental knowledge and practical experience in social work, emergency preparedness and health issues will be invaluable as we strengthen Hawai’i’s safety net for those who most need it,” said Gov. Abercrombie.
Yamashita also served as: chief of the DOH Community Health Division; a criminal justice planning specialist with the state Department of the Attorney General; and the Hawai’i Area Region IX coordinator on child abuse issues for the Kapi’olani Women and Children’s Medical Center.
“Ms. Yamashita brings a breadth of professional experience from the private and public sectors to the Department of Human Services,” said DHS Director Patricia McManaman.”
*** Supporting information courtesy State of Hawaii.