Today, Mayor Tishaura O. Jones announced the appointment of Dr. Matifadza Hlatshwayo Davis, MD, MPH, as the new Director of the Department of Health for the City of St. Louis.
“The City’s Director of Health is a key player in keeping residents safe and healthy, from increasing the life expectancies of our most vulnerable communities to managing our administrative healthcare systems,” said Mayor Tishaura O. Jones. “As the COVID-19 crisis deepens across the country, St. Louis needs a health leader who can reach hesitant communities about the importance of mitigation and vaccination. With her impressive background and extensive experience as an infectious disease expert, I am confident in Dr. Hlatshwayo Davis’ ability to lead our COVID-19 response as well as our efforts to improve health outcomes across the City.”
Dr. Mati Hlatshwayo Davis (Pronounced: Dr. Mah-tee Shla-ch-WHY-oh Davis) brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in both medicine and public health with a focus on addressing infectious disease disparities among marginalized communities, including her most recent position on the Infectious Diseases faculty at John Cochran VA Medical center in St. Louis. Dr. Hlatshwayo Davis is well-known locally, nationally and internationally as a leading voice in the fight against COVID-19 and HIV/AIDS as well as for her leadership on the Fast Track Cities Initiative in St. Louis and work on the City of St. Louis Board of Health.
Dr. Hlatshwayo Davis received her medical degree from Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine and a Master’s in Public Health Degree from Case Western Reserve University. She completed her internal medicine residency at University Hospitals Case Medical Center. She went on to complete her Infectious Diseases fellowship at the Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM), also completing a one-year dedicated non-ACGME HIV fellowship and a two-year dedicated Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) fellowship. Her full bio is below.
On Monday, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen voted unanimously to extend St. Louis’ mask mandate, implemented by Mayor Jones in July. The City of St. Louis is making efforts to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates by meeting hesitant communities where they are at, increasing mobile vaccination capacity, partnering with the Courts for innovative new vaccination incentives, and more. The City’s first round of American Rescue Plan investment contains $8 million to further develop much-needed public health infrastructure.
While starting in October, Dr. Hlatshwayo Davis is already working with the Department of Health on transition, planning, and other key issues. Acting Department of Health Director Dr. Fredrick Echols will continue in his role as the City’s Health Commissioner.
Dr. Hlatshwayo Davis Biography
Dr. Hlatshwayo Davis received her medical degree from Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine and a Master’s in Public Health Degree from Case Western Reserve University. She completed her internal medicine residency at University Hospitals Case Medical Center. She went on to complete her Infectious Diseases fellowship at the Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM), also completing a one year dedicated non-ACGME HIV fellowship and a two year dedicated Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) fellowship. She was a Clinical Instructor at Washington University School Medicine for two years and an Associate Program Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases fellowship program. She was also in the leadership of the Office of Inclusion and Diversity at the WUSM where she wrote a policy dedicated to addressing patient bias against faculty, trainees and staff with an accompanying toolkit and curriculum for the residency program. Dr. Hlatshwayo Davis is an Infectious Diseases physician at the John Cochran VA Medical Center where she is the Lead HIV Clinician, Graduate Medical Education Coordinator and Outpatient Parenteral Antibiotic Therapy supervisor.
Her passion for community engagement, diversity and inclusion and patients living with HIV (PLWH), culminated in her becoming the co-chair for the Fast Track Cities initiative in St. Louis, which in collaboration with the City and County health departments as well as major HIV community organizations in St. Louis, is dedicated to end the HIV epidemic by 2030. She was later appointed to the City of St. Louis Board of Health where she helps lead the city and region in upholding the highest possible medical and public health standards. Dr. Hlatshwayo Davis is now a national and international medical contributor on COVID-19 with a particular focus on marginalized populations, and has been featured in outlets such as CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, MSNBC, and Newsweek, among others. She is also an Associate Editor for Disparities and Competent Care for the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA).
Dr. Hlatshwayo Davis’s research interests include HIV retention and the impact of COVID-19 infection in marginalized populations. She was the co-PI for a study comparing the impacts of COVID-19 on HIV between St. Louis, Missouri and São Paulo, Brazil. She was also the clinical co-lead for a regional COVID-19 Population Prevalence grant where she brought her expertise in Infectious Diseases and roots in the community to write protocols for the management of COVID-19 positive individuals, design a program to provide wrap-around services to those in need and manage a workforce around this clinical response effort.
Dr. Hlatshwayo is active in medical education where, in addition to being the Graduate Medical Education supervisor, she also serves on the IDSA Medical Education Community of Practice Mentorship Work Group and the Grants for Emerging Researchers/Clinicians Mentorship committees. Additionally she is on the Board of Directors for the IDSA Minority Interest Group. She mentors four trainees and has given over twenty lectures as well as invited talks including Medicine Grand Rounds at the John Cochran VA Medical Center and Orthopedic Grand Rounds at Washington University. She was recognized as one of the Chiefs of Service at the John Cochran VA Medical Center.
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