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Louisville Public Health Director LaQuandra Nesbitt Heading to Washington, D.C.

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Louisville’s public health and wellness director is leaving to become the leader of the Washington, D.C., health department, the mayor's office announced Monday.

Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt has led the Louisville department since July 2011.

Chris Poynter, spokesman for the mayor's office, said Nesbitt has done bold work for Louisville in three and a half years, from creating the Healthy Louisville 2020 plan to designating no-smoking areas at playgrounds and parks.

“She has been an excellent leader and we really hate to lose her, however, this says great things about Dr. Nesbitt and her work in Louisville that Washington, D.C., wanted to tap her to come run the health department there,” he said.

Nesbitt wasn't available for comment on Monday.

Nesbitt held leadership roles in Washington’s health department before accepting the job in Louisville.

Poynter said the search for a successor begins immediately. He said the role is a very important part of Fischer's mission.

“The mayor has three foundations of his administration. One is to make Louisville a city of lifelong learning," Poynter said. "No. 2 is to make Louisville a more compassionate city and No. 3 is to make Louisville a healthier city. The public health director is a very important choice for the mayor and will help set that vision for the next four years."

Poynter said Nesbitt's last day is expected to be in mid-January.

Update: Until a new director is found, the Department of Public Health and Wellness will be operated by the department's executive team and Sadiqa Reynolds, the city's chief of community building, and the rest of the mayor's office, Poynter said.