WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Mayor Muriel Bowser has announced the departure of DC director of health Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt after seven and a half years of serving the community according to a press release.

Dr. Nesbitt has spent her tenure focusing on health equity and improving the quality of health programs and healthcare services for DC residents.

The mayor’s office gave the following statement regarding her 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.” 

The agency established an office of health equity in 2015 under the leadership of Dr. Nesbitt, she also helped launch major initiatives to expand school health services and maternal/child health programs.