In a Wednesday morning press conference, Jones announced that Dr. Mati Hlatshwayo Davis, would take over at the head of the department. Dr. Hlatshwayo Davis is an infectious disease specialist at John Cochran VA Medical Center. She has also been the co-chair of an initiative to reduce local HIV and AIDS cases.

“I am humbled and honored to accept this position which affords me the opportunity to continue to serve the city that I love, now at the highest level,” Dr. Hlatshwayo Davis said after Jones’ announcement.

“In this city I have cared for patients in two different hospital systems, I have taught and led initiatives in our communities, and with my husband Jesse I have raised my own children alongside the residents of this great city.”
Dr. Hlatshwayo Davis then said she is thankful to step up and serve during the COVID-19 pandemic. She stated, “We are tired, many of us have lost faith, lost loved ones, but we must persevere.”

In the coming weeks Dr. Hlatshwayo Davis said she will review the current processes, initiatives and policies. She also plans to meet with local leaders, academic partners and residents.

“I will listen,” she said. “Together we will map a path forward that centers the health of everyone with equity, addresses gun violence, prioritizes mental health and gives St. Louis the foundation to provide all our communities the opportunity to achieve the very best quality of health.”

Dr. Hlatshwayo Davis succeeds Dr. Fredrick Echols, who has been acting health director. He will continue to serve as the city’s health commissioner.

-KMOV (Meredith Corporation).