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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Lingle names heads of search committees

Advertiser Staff

Former Hawaii Medical Association president Dr. Phil Hellreich will head a search committee for the new director of the state Department of Health under Gov.-elect Linda Lingle's administration, Lingle's transition committee announced yesterday.

Travis Thompson, who is leading Lingle's transition team, also announced Hawaii Agriculture Research Center president Stephanie Whalen will head the search committee for the Department of Agriculture director, and Maui Visitors Bureau executive director Marsha Weinert will lead the committee to find nominees for the tourism liaison in the governor's office.

Thompson said the committees are among 17 that will be formed to make recommendations to fill various positions in Lingle's administration. Each of the committees announced yesterday have more than a dozen members representing various areas of expertise. Each committee will provide Lingle with three candidates per position.

Thompson said he hopes the entire process will be concluded within a couple of weeks, but "if we can't I'm sure the incumbents will stay on through the transition process until we find an appropriate candidate."

Lingle's term begins at noon on Dec. 2.

Hellreich said in addition to making suggestions as to who the new health director would be, the committee will also give Lingle a list of issues that it believes the administration should address. That would likely include integrating housing and health services for the poor, ensuring that Native Hawaiians have adequate access to healthcare, and helping people without prescription drug coverage.

Hellreich said he is hoping to finish by the end of the week.