Taking the Lead: New Faces on the DHS Leadership Team

Posted on Sep 20, 2016 in Main, NEWS

On September 1, 2016, the Department of Human Services (DHS) leadership grew. As many are aware, former Director Rachael Wong left our department at the end of August. We are sincerely grateful for her vision and leadership during her nearly two years with the department. We wish her the best of luck in all of her future endeavors.

The turn of the month also marked the arrival of some new faces in the DHS Director’s Office. As former-Director Wong passed the reins to now-Director Pankaj Bhanot on Sept. 1, he welcomed four new members to his leadership team.

Bhanot served as deputy director with Director Wong as well as previously from Dec. 2010 to Jan. 2012. He looks forward to continuing the work the department has done in the first two years of Gov. Ige’s administration. Director Bhanot would like to introduce these new team members to our DHS team and our government and community partners.

Deputy Director Bridget Holthus

Deputy Director Bridget Holthus

Bridget Holthus is Deputy Director of the state Department of Human Services. Previously she served as Deputy Director of the Department of Community Services, City and County of Honolulu; as Special Assistant to the Attorney General; as Deputy Attorney General for Department of Health; and as Director of Philanthropic Services for the Hawai‘i Community Foundation. Holthus received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Berkeley, her Juris Doctorate from the William S. Richardson School of Law, and a graduate certificate in global health from the John A. Burns School of Medicine.

Special Assistant Lila King

Lila King serves as Special Assistant to the director providing support to the Director’s Office for special and continuing projects, initiatives, and other matters. She served as a Deputy Attorney General in the Family Law and the Health & Human Services Divisions, providing legal counsel to DHS, including to the Med-QUEST, Social Services, and Benefit, Employment and Support Services Divisions. She also comes with public health experience through her work with the Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women & Children, Healthy Start program and Coalition for Drug-Free Hawai‘i. King earned her Masters of Public Health from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.

Community / Project Development Director Kimberly Miyazawa Frank

Kimberly Miyazawa Frank serves as Community/Project Development Director, leading the implementation of ‘Ohana Nui. Translated as “extended family” in Hawaiian, ‘Ohana Nui is the State’s multigenerational approach that invests early and concurrently in children and families to improve health, education, employment, and other outcomes. The Departments of Health and Human Services are integrating ‘Ohana Nui into our programs, policies, and philosophies. Miyazawa Frank will work with each department as well as community stakeholders on implementation. As a business consultant, Frank has provided coaching to many leaders and non-profit organizations in Hawai‘i. She has also served as CEO of the YWCA of O‘ahu. Most recently, she led community engagement efforts and developed human services programs on the island of Lāna‘i as Senior Vice-President for Community Development at Pūlama Lāna‘i.

Policy Director Mark Forman

Policy Director Mark Forman

Mark Forman joins DHS as Policy Director and will serve a key role in synthesizing DHS policies and programs under ‘Ohana Nui. Forman has worked in various positions for county, state, and federal government offices and has worked in all three branches of Hawai‘i state government, including as director of the state Office of Community Services. He actively promoted the improvement of health and social welfare outcomes as the administrator of the HMSA Foundation.