Louisville COVID Response Leader Dr. SaraBeth Hartlage Has Died Unexpectedly

Mar 18, 2022 at 1:26 pm
Dr. SaraBeth Hartlage also created a charity in honor of her daughter called I Heart Camille.
Dr. SaraBeth Hartlage also created a charity in honor of her daughter called I Heart Camille.

Dr. SaraBeth Hartlage, who helped lead Louisville Metro Public Health’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, has died. 

In a statement released on Friday, Louisville Metro Public Health & Wellness Director Dr. Sarah Moyer said she was “stunned and deeply saddened by the sudden and unexpected passing” of Hartlage. Her statement and one from Mayor Greg Fischer did not reveal a cause of death.

“Our hearts and prayers are with her family as well as the many employees, partners and volunteers who have worked closely with her over the past two years,” said Moyer. “We are so grateful for the opportunity to have known and worked with her. As a result of her leadership, knowledge and planning, thousands of our Louisville residents received life-saving COVID-19 vaccines.”

Hartlage was the associate medical director of her department. In a statement, Mayor Greg Fischer said that she commanded LouVax, the city’s mass vaccination site, where she and her team vaccinated tens of thousands of people “in a previously unthinkable short amount of time.”

“LouVax and our community's wider vaccine efforts have saved countless lives and will long be celebrated as one of the city's signature achievements, and with it Dr. Hartlage's central role and leadership,” said Fischer. “Our thoughts are with her family and the colleagues and volunteers who worked so closely with her." 

Earlier this week, Hartlage was in the news for helping a man who experienced a medical emergency on a flight she was on. Hartlage was flying to the HIMSS Global Health Conference in Orlando, Florida, to speak about Louisville’s COVID-19 response. 

Hartlage earned her MD from the University of South Alabama in 2012 and served her residency in anesthesiology at UofL, where she was named chief resident according to the city’s website. Hartlage also served on the national executive board for Women in Anesthesia, where she participated in a working group for gender equity in medicine and helped pass a statement of support for parental leave and breastfeeding support for physician mothers. 

Hartlage leaves behind a husband and her daughter, who was born with congenital heart disease. Hartlage created the charity I Heart Camille in her daughter’s honor. Hartlage’s family is asking that those who wish to honor Hartlage make a donation to the charity, which raises money for the Children’s Hospital Foundation.

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