(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that after seven and half years of leading DC Health, Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt will be departing the agency and moving onto new endeavors outside of DC Government. In announcing Dr. Nesbitt’s departure, the Mayor released the following statement:
“When I asked Dr. Nesbitt to come back to Washington, DC to lead DC Health, I knew she was the public health leader our city needed – someone who would focus on health equity, who had experience working with a wide range of populations, and who knew DC and the issues our community faces. None of us knew then that the director of DC Health would also become responsible for leading us through a global pandemic. As DC’s doctor, she has made our community incredibly proud, leading DC Health with expertise, compassion, and a deep understanding of what it takes to build healthier neighborhoods. While there is more work to do, I am proud of the progress we have made in driving down new HIV cases, prioritizing maternal and infant health, and building a more equitable health care system. Under Dr. Nesbitt’s leadership, DC led one of the strongest responses to COVID-19 in the nation, and at countless situational updates, Dr. Nesbitt answered every question our community had about COVID-19, viruses, vaccinations, and so much more. Her passion for helping people and for building healthier, more equitable communities has been a tremendous asset to our city and now we wish her well as she moves on to the next chapter in her career.”
Throughout her tenure as Director of DC Health, which began in January 2015, Dr. Nesbitt has led with a focus on health equity and improving the quality of health programs and healthcare services for all DC residents, working to address the District’s most challenging health issues. In 2015, she established the agency’s Office of Health Equity to facilitate collaboration with other District agencies and key partners. Dr. Nesbitt has also spearheaded major initiatives to expand comprehensive school health services; improve maternal and child health programs, resulting in record improvements in the District’s teen pregnancy and infant mortality rates; expand HIV services to heterosexual and transgender women of color; and increase access to primary care and urgent care services, especially east of the Anacostia River. Dr. Nesbitt also served as co-chair of Mayor Bowser’s Safer, Stronger Advisory Committee to implement a public health approach to violence prevention and was a member of the steering committee for Live.Long.DC, the District’s initiative to end the opioid epidemic.
Dr. Nesbitt will step down on July 29, 2022 and an announcement about interim leadership will be forthcoming.