As Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt prepares to step down from her post as Washington, D.C.'s top doctor, she says she's proud of how she has led DC Health during the pandemic and that her decision to leave is for her "professional journey."
Nesbitt started working at DC Health in 2015. She was thrust into the public eye at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, and stood alongside Mayor Muriel Bowser during daily briefings to reporters and the public.
"I’ve had a remarkable tenure here at DC Health," Nesbitt said in an interview with News4.
Bowser announced Wednesday that Nesbitt would leave her position at the end of the month.
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“Under Dr. Nesbitt’s leadership, D.C. led one of the strongest responses to COVID-19 in the nation," Bowser said in a statement. "And at countless situational updates, Dr. Nesbitt answered every question our community had about COVID-19, viruses, vaccinations, and so much more."
When asked about the criticism of her handling of the city's pandemic outreach to low income and African American communities, she said the following:
"We undoubtedly saved many lives. We undoubtedly put forth our best effort in our COVID response and I am extraordinarily proud of the work that they have done."
Nesbitt told News4 she hasn't yet lined up another job.
"This is really about being in a space in my own personal and professional journey where I'd like to be able to serve people and serve community in a different way," she said.
"She's outstanding. I mean, and I think D.C. residents know that," Bowser said Thursday.
Nesbitt's resignation comes as the city grapples with a monkeypox outbreak.
"We’re in what almost feels like near daily conversations with our federal partners around our monkeypox response. ... We've moved aggressively forward in our vaccination efforts and campaigns and have been in constant communication about our ability to get as much vaccine as we can to vaccinate our community very quickly," Nesbitt said.
During her seven years, Nesbitt established the agency’s Office of Health Equity, served as co-chair on the Safer, Stronger Advisory Committee and was a steering committee member of Live.Long.DC, an initiative to end the opioid epidemic in D.C., a release said.