Governor Abercrombie Appoints Barbara Yamashita as DHS Deputy Director
News Release from www.hawaii.gov/gov January 31, 2012
HONOLULU – Governor Neil Abercrombie today announced the appointment of Barbara Yamashita as deputy director of the state Department of Human Services (DHS). She 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 (BESSD).
“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 Governor Abercrombie.
Ms. Yamashita most recently served as chief of the Department of Health (DOH) Maternal and Child Health Branch, providing strategic leadership and oversight for programs on child abuse and neglect prevention, sexual assault, domestic violence, Healthy Start federal and state models, family planning services, and other child and women’s health issues.
Ms. Yamashita also served as the chief of the DOH Community Health Division, a criminal justice planning specialist with the state Department of the Attorney General, and a hospital administrator for Sutter Health Systems in the expansion of its practice on the island of Moloka'i, 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,” DHS Director Patricia McManaman said. “Her service at the Department of Health and her commitment to serving the community will be of great benefit to the DHS as we move forward to better serve the public.”
A resident of 'Aiea, Ms. Yamashita earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sociology and social work, respectively, at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. She also earned certificates from the Department of Human Resources and Development Center for Executive Leadership’s Top Management Certification Program and the former UH College of Business Administration’s Manager in State Government Course.