County Executive Marc Elrich announced Wednesday the nomination of Dr. Kisha Davis to serve as the county health officer. The County Council is scheduled to vote Nov. 15 on her nomination.
“It’s important to note this is a joint appointment with the state. [Davis’] nomination has already been reviewed and approved by the state of Maryland Department of Health. I’m looking forward to welcoming and working with Dr. Davis in her new position,” Elrich said during a press briefing.
Davis, a Montgomery County native, is a family physician and community health advocate. She was most recently the vice president for health equity at Bethesda-based Aledale, an organization that works with independent medical practices, health centers and clinics to support the delivery of high-quality, equitable patient care. She served as a project manager on the Family Medicine for America’s Health project focusing on payment reform, practice transformation, technology and health equity. Previously she served as the medical director for CHI Healthcare, a primary care center in Gaithersburg.
As health officer, Davis will be responsible for continuing the county’s efforts on disease control and prevention, eliminating health inequities, promoting county-wide inclusion of health in all policies and working with the Maryland Department of Health coordinating disease control and the development and implementation of state health policies.
Davis will fill the role vacated by Travis Gayles, who resigned in September 2021 after leading the county’s COVID-19 pandemic response. Gayles was the recipient of racist and homophobic threats during the pandemic.
Davis earned a bachelor of science degree in biological anthropology and anatomy from Duke University, a master’s in public health from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and her medical degree from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. She was a White House Fellow at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, working to strengthen the connections between the food and medical safety net.
“I am a Montgomery County resident just like everybody else, and I’m accountable to the residents and to the soccer moms who my kids play with. I think having that level of civility is really important. I have been a Montgomery County native … and so I am here to stay. My kids go to Montgomery County Public Schools and my husband works here. And so that commitment to this county is quite strong for me,” Davis said during the press briefing.
James Bridgers, the county’s acting chief of Public Health Services and county health officer, will be responsible for ongoing service implementation, operations, fiscal oversight and the administration of public health programs.
Council President Gabe Albornoz said he is impressed by Davis’ experience. “Dr. Davis’ resume speaks for itself. It is extraordinary and the fact that she is a local Montgomery County resident, born and raised here, is also extraordinary as well. I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Davis personally several years ago and was immediately impressed by her and the council looks very much forward to taking up this nomination,” Albornoz said.