Who We Are:
Mary’s Center, founded in 1988 is a Federally Qualified Health Center that provides high-quality health care, family literacy and social services to 50,000 individuals in the DC metropolitan area whose needs too often go unmet by the public and private healthcare systems. Mary’s Center was established with the belief that in order to change the paradigm of poverty and hopelessness in our community, families need quality health services, resources on how to plan for a family if they wish to do so, safe and affordable housing, and the tools to move up the economic ladder through job training and educational opportunities for both parents and their children. Mary’s Center’s tremendous outcomes result from a social change model that is built on the principle that a person’s physical health cannot be treated in isolation from the many other social, educational, and economic factors that influence their wellbeing. We consider the obstacles in our participants’ lives and deliver an integrated set of services to put them on the path toward good health, stable families, and economic independence.
For families who have been touched by Mary’s Center, their futures are much brighter.
What We Do:
Mary’s Center provides comprehensive health, social, and educational services to residents of the D.C. metropolitan region as well as to newcomers from over 110 countries at six locations in D.C. and Maryland, including a Senior Wellness Center and two mobile units.
Services at Mary’s Center include: primary family health and dental care, chronic disease control, psychiatric care, social services, home visitation, early intervention for children with special needs, assistance in enrolling in the health exchange and any public benefit, health and wellness services specifically to seniors living alone, adolescent tutoring and college preparation, and family literacy for the entire family.
While working as a nurse at the District of Columbia’s Department of Health, Maria Gomez, President and CEO of Mary’s Center, witnessed a large increase in the number of Latin American immigrants migrating to the United States to escape war, poverty, and death. Many of the women had been raped or experienced other trauma in their journey north. Once in the United States, these women often went without prenatal care because they had nowhere to go. In 1988 with a grant of $250,000 from the D.C. Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs and less than 200 patients in that first year, Mary’s Center was established. Today, Mary’s Center is a beacon of hope to everyone that walks through its doors; from those living in a shelter to those working in Capitol Hill. Our goal is to keep people healthy, supported in their own neighborhood and moving up the economic ladder through education and job training. We know that parents can be and should be their children’s best and first teacher and we see this come to fruition through our integrated set of services. This model was the reason why the President and CEO of Mary’s Center bestowed the 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal, the second highest civilian award given out by the President of the United States.
As a Federally Qualified Health Center we are committed to serving everyone while guaranteeing sustainability overtime. This means taking care of the health of those with commercial insurance as well as those on Medicare/Medicaid and the uninsured.