Alexandria Health Department Gets New Director


Lisa Kaplowitz, M.D., M.S.H.A, has been appointed Director of the Alexandria Health District. She replaces Dr. Charles Konigsberg, who served in that capacity for nine years.

Dr. Kaplowitz has been a part time resident of Alexandria for the past four years, while maintaining a second residence in Richmond. I very much enjoy living here, Kaplowitz said. I have family ties here and find coming back and being part of a local effort very appealing.

The Alexandria Health Department is one of 35 state health district offices of the Virginia Department of Health. It is not a department of the Alexandria City Government. The health department is funded through a combination of city funding, city and state cooperative funding, state and federal grants and client fees. The cooperative budget consists of the states General Fund appropriation to the Health Department, which is matched by the City, resulting in an allocation that is 55 percent state funding and 45 percent city funding.

Kaplowitz served as the first Deputy Commissioner for the VDH Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response Programs. Before joining VDH, she was on the faculty of the Department of Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical School, where she established and directed the VCU HIV/AIDS Center for 20 years. As a member of the Virginia General Assembly AIDS Study Committee for 10 years,  Kaplowitz helped develop HIV-related legislation in the commonwealth. She was inducted into the Womens Hall of Fame in 1992 and named VCUs Woman of the Year in 1995. The National Library of Medicine included her in Local Legends, a program honoring women in medicine.

My decision to take this position was partly influenced by the former director, Dr. Konigsberg. the new director said. He enjoyed his work here and thought highly of the staff and their commitment to collaborate with the community. I also missed working locally and I like the citys commitment to health care and the broad range of programs offered here in Alexandria.

Increasing community involvement, commitment to the Casey Clinic and Arlandria/ANSI remain a key part of the safety net for citizens, said Kaplowitz in speaking of collaborative efforts within the city. Other major efforts she mentioned are for preventative measures against diseases such as  HIV/AIDS, adolescent health, chronic disease prevention and immunization, diabetes and hypertension, emergency preparedness and environmental health where increased community education, contacts an involvement are critical.