Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, leader of Metro's Department of Public Health and Wellness since July 2011
Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, leader of Metro’s Department of Public Health and Wellness since July 2011

Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, the head of Louisville Metro’s Department of Public Health and Wellness for over three years, has accepted a new position as the Director of Health for Washington D.C., where she had previously worked before moving to Louisville.

During her tenure, Nesbitt helped to create the Health Louisville 2020 plan, launched a data-rich website to track the city’s health statistics and indicators, and expanded smoke-free policies aimed at reducing smoking by minors. A search for Nesbitt’s replacement will begin immediately.

“Dr. Nesbitt has been an incredible asset to our city and has worked tirelessly to improve the health of our residents,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “She has also managed the health department with a constant focus on quality and performance improvement. We will miss Dr. Nebitt’s leadership and sharp wit, and we wish her well as she continues to further her career in public service, dedicated to improving health outcomes for everyone.”

Nesbitt was also a faculty member at the University of Louisville’s School of Public Health and Information Services.

“Dr. Nesbitt has been a breath of fresh air to the department, to the school and to the city,” said Dr. Craig Blakely, the dean of her department at U of L. “Her relentless work to try and move us all from our roots as providers of stop-gap clinical services to true servants of the public’s health has been a godsend. We will all miss not only her guidance and wisdom, but her energy as well. I wish her all the best. Washington will greatly benefit from her return. Her successor will have big shoes to fill.”

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Joe Sonka
Joe Sonka is a staff writer at Insider Louisville focusing on government, politics, education and public safety. He is a former news editor and staff writer at LEO Weekly and has also freelanced for The Nation and ThinkProgress. He has won first place awards from the Louisville Metro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists in the categories of Health Reporting, Enterprise Reporting, Government/Politics, Minority/Women’s Affairs Reporting, Continuing Coverage and Best Blog. Email him at [email protected]