Statement from Irfana Ali, MD, President, MCMS
On behalf of the Executive Board of Montgomery County Medical Society, a professional association representing more than 1,600 physicians practicing in and/or living in Montgomery County, we wish to thank Travis Gayles, M.D., Montgomery County Health Officer and Chief of Public Health Services, for his exemplary leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We commend Dr. Gayles for putting science first. Given the nature of the novel virus, his insistence on the use of scientific data, and public and population health guidelines has been critical to ensuring the safety of Montgomery County residents. The reason that COVID-19 cases in Montgomery County have not been greater is due, in large part, to the aggressive public affairs and collaborative public health initiatives under his direction.
Sometimes these decisions have been unpopular; however, we commend Dr. Gayles for being a physician first using his medical knowledge and experience, strategic leadership, and passion for and dedication to our community’s health to tackle the challenges associated with COVID-19. His efforts have been professional, fair, and tireless. He is committed to the best interests of ALL Montgomery County residents.
Prior to and during the pandemic, Dr. Gayles demonstrated his leadership and commitment to enhancing population health through improving access to care for Montgomery County residents, and to addressing racial and health inequities. Dr. Gayles’ stalwart public health advocacy makes physicians throughout the area very proud.
Dr. Gayles will be presented with Montgomery County Medical Society’s Public Health Leadership Award to recognize these extraordinary efforts during his tenure. We are fortunate to have had Dr. Gayles lead Montgomery County’s public health efforts. He has been a critical asset to our county and we wish him well in his future endeavors.
The medical society has appreciated his collaboration with our organization to ensure physicians in our community have been kept informed throughout this crisis. We look forward to continuing collaborative efforts with his successor and implore the County Council and the Maryland Department of Health to name a new health officer very soon as the pandemic is ongoing.