A top D.C. official will step down from their post at the end of July, according to a release from Mayor Muriel Bowser sent out last Wednesday.
Director of DC Health LaQuandra Nesbitt is stepping down at the end of the month. She will step down after almost eight years at the helm of DC Health where she established the Office of Health Equity within D.C. Health, worked on increasing access to primary and urgent care, with a special focus on Anacostia and led DC Health’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Under Dr. Nesbitt’s leadership, D.C. 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,” Bowser said in the release. “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.”
Nesbitt graduated from the University of Michigan in 1999, before going on to earn her doctor of medicine in 2003 and masters in public health in 2007 from Wayne State University and Harvard University, respectively, according to her Linkedin.
Nesbitt recently received criticism for the District’s management of COVID-19 data earlier this year. From April 27 to May 8, the District did not manually submit COVID-19 case data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which prompted a letter signed by six D.C. council members calling for an investigation into the data gap in May.
“Trust in public health is critical to our response not just to the COVID-19 pandemic, but to all our efforts to keep residents safe and healthy,” Nesbitt said in a response letter in May. “If there are concerns in the future about our public health practices, I encourage you to first reach out to me directly in hopes that I can address your concerns. I know that we share the mutual goals of using evidence-based decisions to keep residents safe and healthy and look forward to the continued support of the Council of the District of Columbia in our efforts.”
Nesbitt was also the keynote speaker at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences’ 2022 doctor of medicine program diploma ceremony on May 15.