DC Health Director Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt to step down, mayor's office announces

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 13: Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, C, director of the District of Columbia Department of Health, joins DC mayor Muriel Bowser, L, and Lewis D. Ferebee, R, chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools, and other District offici

DC Health Director Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt will be stepping down after leading the department for more than seven years and helping the District navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The mayor's office says Dr. Nesbitt will be moving on to new endeavors outside of DC Government. 

Mayor Muriel Bowser released the following statement on Dr. Nesbitt's departure:

"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." 

READ MORE: COVID-19 vaccinations for children under 5 now available in DC, Maryland and Virginia

Dr. Nesbitt established the agency’s Office of Health Equity in 2015 to facilitate collaboration with other District agencies and key partners.

She 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. The mayor's office says an announcement about interim leadership will be forthcoming.