STAND. COM. REP. NO. 3526
RE: GOV. MSG. NO. 640
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2020
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health, to which was referred Governor's Message No. 640, submitting for study and consideration the nomination of:
Administrator, State Health Planning and Development Agency
G.M. No. 640
SERAFIN COLMENARES, JR.,
for a term to expire at noon on 12-05-2022,
begs leave to report as follows:
Your Committee reviewed the personal history, resume, and statement submitted by Serafin Colmenares, Jr. for service as the Administrator of the State Health Planning and Development Agency within the Department of Health.
Your Committee received testimony in support of the nomination for the appointment of Serafin Colmenares, Jr. from the Department of Health; State of Hawaii, Executive Office of Aging; County of Hawaii, Office of Aging; Hawaii Medical Service Association; Catholic Charities Hawai‘i; State Long Term Care Ombudsman Program; and fifteen individuals.
Serafin Colmenares, Jr. earned a master's degree in public health from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in addition to master’s and doctoral degrees in political science from the University of Delhi in India. He also earned a bachelor's degree in political science and a graduate certificate in governmental management from Mindanao State University in the Philippines. Before moving to Hawaii, Dr. Colmenares was the Assistant Dean and a Professor at Mindanao State University.
Since then, Dr. Colmenares has accumulated nearly thirty years of experience working on various public health issues in Hawaii, mainly in language access. Specifically, Dr. Colmenares was the Executive Director for the Office of Language Access in the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations from 2007 to 2012 and the Executive Director for the Office of Language Access in the Department of Health from 2012 to 2015. During that time, he received the 2013 William J. Harris Equal Opportunity Award from the National Association of State Workforce Agencies for achieving a national standard of excellence in the development and implementation of an effective equal opportunity program in Hawaii.
In 2015, Dr. Colmenares became the Comprehensive Health Planning Coordinator of the State Health Planning and Development Agency and provided staffing for health planning councils in West Oahu, Windward Oahu, Kauai, and Maui. On July 1, 2019, he was appointed as its acting administrator. As the Acting Administrator of the State Health Planning and Development Agency, Dr. Colmenares oversees the State’s Certificate of Need (CON) program, which regulates the construction, expansion, initiation, or modification of a health care facility or services in Hawaii, and the State’s Health Services and Facilities Plan, which addresses the health care needs of the State including inpatient care, healthcare facilities, and special needs.
Your Committee finds that testimony submitted in support of Dr. Colmenares' nomination speak to his strong work ethic, sincere compassion for people, and a deep understanding of the health system in Hawaii. Additionally, testifiers commended his record of working for the betterment of the community, particularly its underserved and vulnerable populations. Testimony submitted by the Department of Health specifically praised his focus on health equity and the social determinants of health, which are key to the State Health Planning and Development Agency's mission to assure access to health care as equitably and economically as possible for Hawaii's residents.
With the breadth of his leadership, experience, and expertise in scholarship and advocacy on the quality of health care and language access in Hawaii, your Committee finds that Serafin Colmenares, Jr. is eminently qualified for the position to which he is nominated.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health that is attached to this report, your Committee, after full consideration of the background, experience, and qualifications of the nominee, has found the nominee to be qualified for the position to which nominated and recommends that the Senate advise and consent to the nomination.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health,
ROSALYN H. BAKER, Chair