Dr. Kisha Davis has been nominated to be the next Montgomery County Health Officer.
County Executive Marc Elrich announced the nomination Wednesday. Davis, a county native and Quince Orchard High School graduate, works as a family physician. Most recently she served as s vice president of health equity for Bethesda-based Aledade.
The county health officer position is a joint appointment between the county and state. Elrich said the state health department has already reviewed and approved Davis as the nominee.
Council President Gabe Albornoz said councilmembers will formally interview Davis on Nov. 15 and plan to take action the same day, “so that Dr. Davis can get to work as soon as possible.”
Three other candidates previously withdrew from consideration. Dr. Travis Gayles, the county’s previous health officer, resigned last September. He received racist and hate-filled emails from those who disagreed with his policies as he led COVID-19 decision-making.
Regarding Gayles’ experience as County Health Officer, Davis said she thinks the pandemic in some ways brought out the best and worst in people. It “showed us how we could work together,” Davis said, “and in some ways it brought out the worst in terms of some of the furor that was thrown at him.”
Davis said she is encouraged by the support the county gave Gayles and hopes “we are getting back to a period of more civility and respect for the role.”
Dr. James Bridgers, who is currently acting Health Officer, will be responsible for ongoing service and administration of public health programs, per the county.