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January 9, 2014
  • Remember Loretta Fuddy’s Legacy

Loretta Deliana Fuddy Memorial Scholarship in Health, Human & Public Service

Remembering Hawai‘i’s Health Director, Loretta “Deliana” Fuddy, ASCW, MPH (1948-2013)

For more than 35 years, Loretta Fuddy worked in the field of health and human services at all levels from direct services experience, to program development and upper level management and leadership. Her career highlights included serving as the deputy director of health in 2002, and as chief of the Family Health Services Division of the Department of Health (DOH).

In 2011, Hawai‘i Governor Neil Abercrombie appointed Fuddy to serve as director of the Hawai‘i State Department of Health. She energetically and compassionately served the people of Hawai‘i in this leadership role until her tragic passing in December 2013.

Raised in Kaimukī on O‘ahu, Fuddy was a graduate of Sacred Hearts Academy. She held degrees in sociology, social work, and public health from the University of Hawai‘i. Her hobbies included singing in the choir and participating on various committees at Co-Cathedral of St. Theresa, enjoying her cat Flint, and spending time with her family including grand nieces and nephews.

During her life, she received numerous awards that recognized her for her service to the community,  including the Hawai‘i Outstanding Advocate for Children and Youth, the DOH Sustained Superior and Exemplary Performance Award, the National Association of Social Workers Hawai‘i Chapter Lifetime Achievement Award, Ford Foundation – Innovations in American Government, National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse, Pro Humanitate Literary Award – Center for Child Welfare Policy, and Director’s Award – Maternal & Child Health Bureau, HRSA. She also served as the chair of the Hawai‘i Public Health Association, president of the Association of State and Territorial Public Health Social Workers, treasurer and secretary of the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, and a member of the Policy Committee of the Association of State & Territorial Health Officers.

On December 11, 2013, Director Fuddy was returning from Kalaupapa, Moloka‘i, following her annual visit as honorary “Mayor” of Kalawao County (part of her role as state director of health), when the plane she was on was forced to make a water landing shortly after take-off. She was the only casualty. One day earlier, Hawai‘i was recognized as the healthiest state in the nation, up from third place since her appointment as state director of health in 2011.

Lasting Legacy

Loretta Deliana Fuddy Memorial Scholarship in Health, Human and Public Service (#126-7120-4) with the University of Hawai‘i Foundation to support University of Hawai‘i students on any UH campus, who are committed to pursuing a career in health, public and human services. 

Questions? / More Information

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