Veteran nurse named interim health director as DC tackles coronavirus, monkeypox

Veteran health official Sharon Lewis has been named interim director of D.C. Health, following the recent resignation of Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt.

Lewis, a registered nurse who holds a doctorate in health care administration, was appointed by Mayor Muriel Bowser to lead the agency while the city conducts a nationwide search to officially replace Nesbitt.

“No one can fill her shoes, but I will say that she has set forth a great foundation for us that we will continue,” Lewis said.

Lewis has served more than three decades in D.C. government and most recently has held high-ranking posts at D.C. Health, overseeing health care licensing, compliance and investigations. She sees her role as interim director as an important job of maintaining the flow of critical health information to those in the city.

She will take the reins of DC Health as the agency continues the ongoing battle against COVID-19. The District agency is also tackling the new virus monkeypox. D.C. leads the nation in number of cases per capita at 179, Lewis said.

“Monkeypox does not know gender, so we all need to be aware of symptoms that we may see,” Lewis said.

The city has administered more than 5,600 doses of vaccine to guard against monkeypox.

With COVID-19 at medium transmission rate in the nation’s capital, Lewis said that residents and visitors should take common-sense health precautions, including regular hand-washing.

Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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