DC Health director resigning this month

Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, DC Health director, joined Mayor Muriel Bowser in March 2020 for a news conference as the pandemic began. (AP/Luis M. Alvarez)

Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt is stepping down after leading DC Health for over seven years.

Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Nesbitt’s resignation in a statement on Wednesday.

“Under Dr. Nesbitt’s leadership, D.C. led one of the strongest responses to COVID-19 in the nation,” Bowser said. “ … Her passion for helping people and for building healthier, more equitable communities has been a tremendous asset to our city.”

Nesbitt joined DC Health in January 2015, after serving as the director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness. Bowser said when she hired Nesbitt, she knew Nesbitt was “someone who would focus on health equity, who had experience working with a wide range of populations, and who knew D.C. 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,” she added.

Nesbitt made regular appearances at news conferences with Bowser over the past two years to provide updates on the District’s response to the pandemic .

However, she was also criticized over the District’s handling of COVID-19 data. In the spring, D.C. failed to report COVID-19 data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for nearly two weeks. Several D.C. Council members sought an investigation into the lapse.

As DC Health’s director, Nesbitt also launched the Office of Health Equity in 2015 to help District agencies and others collaborate. She also led initiatives to expand health services inside schools, as well as efforts to improve maternal and child health programs.

In addition, Nesbitt led efforts to increase access to primary and urgent care, especially east of the Anacostia River.

Nesbitt’s last day on the job will be July 29. She will move on to “new endeavors” outside of D.C. government, Bowser said.

Jack Pointer

Jack contributes to WTOP.com when he's not working as the afternoon/evening radio writer. In a previous life, he helped edit The Dallas Morning News and Chicago Tribune.

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