Former DC Health Director will hold endowed professorship, officials say

Media Credit: Danielle Towers | Staff Photographer

LaQuandra Nesbitt will serve as the executive director for the new Center for Population Health Sciences and Health Equity, the senior associate dean for population health and health equity and the bicentennial endowed professor in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, according to a University release.

LaQuandra Nesbitt, the former director of DC Health, will hold the first of the University’s 14 endowed professorships, officials said in an announcement Monday.

Nesbitt will serve as the executive director for the new Center for Population Health Sciences and Health Equity, the senior associate dean for population health and health equity and the bicentennial-endowed professor in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, according to the release. The release states that Nesbitt joined the University Monday after stepping down from her position in DC Health in July.

Nesbitt’s appointment follows officials’ allocation of more than $50 million from the University’s sale of GW Hospital in May to fund 14 endowed professorships to bolster GW’s academic medical enterprise.

“In her role leading the new center, Nesbitt will advance SMHS’ population health initiatives to improve the health and well-being of patients and communities served by the academic medical enterprise,” the release states.

The release states that Nesbitt, who is also a board-certified family physician, will oversee the planning and implementation of clinical, education and research programs at the Cedar Hill Regional Medical Center in Southeast D.C. The facility will be staffed by GW’s medical enterprise and is set to fully open in 2024.

“I look forward to working with many colleagues and community members I have known throughout the years in continued service to the residents of the District of Columbia and beyond to achieve better health and equity in the health care space,” Nesbitt said in the release.

Nesbitt will also expand GW’s Clinical Public Health program in collaboration with Lawrence Deyton, the senior associate dean for clinical public health.

Barbara Bass, the dean of SMHS, said in the release that Nesbitt demonstrated her “incredibly resilient and effective” leadership skills while navigating the COVID-19 pandemic as the director of DC Health.

“This response, coupled with her longstanding efficacy in leading health care delivery and public health programs in D.C., demonstrate her knowledge and skills as a nationally recognized health care leader,” Bass said in the release.

Interim University President Mark Wrighton said Nesbitt is an “exemplary individual” to earn the first of the 14 endowed professorships.

“Endowed professorships are a cornerstone of world-class research institutions, and they are very important to our ability to recruit faculty and fulfill our mission of teaching, research, patient care and service,” Wrighton said in the release.

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