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Tue, 07 Feb 2023 15:30:30 -0600
2018-03-07 Print

Mary’s Center Celebrates 30 Years of Service in the DC Metro Area

From a small basement to eight locations, the Center has touched thousands of lives.


Today Mary’s Center announced the kick-off of its 30th anniversary celebration, a year-long commemoration that will bring to life the contributions of the Center in the region.

What started in a small basement in 1988 to meet the needs of Central American women fleeing poverty, war and death has become a multi-location and multi-disciplinary organization with more than 30 programs providing healthcare, education, workforce development and social services to nearly 50,000 people annually from 50 countries.

“In 1988, when a handful of women joined this venture, I never imagined how much we would accomplish,” says Maria Gomez, founder and president of Mary’s Center. “Looking back and reflecting on our growth and impact, I’m extremely grateful to our Board of Directors, staff and supporters for helping us develop this gem throughout the Metropolitan area.”

Under Ms. Gomez’s leadership, Mary’s Center’s has become a point of reference for excellence in healthcare and wraparound services that help individuals break the cycle of poverty, improve their standard of living and move up the economic ladder. The organization’s outstanding work was recently recognized by the Department of Health and Human Services, which presented Mary’s Center with the 2017 Health Center Quality Leader award for achieving the best overall clinical performance among all health centers in the country. President Barack Obama presented Ms. Gomez with the 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal and two First Ladies, Mrs. Michelle Obama and Mrs. Hillary Clinton, visited the center in 2009 and 1995 respectively. In addition, delegations from more than 20 different countries have come to the center to learn about its innovative model.

“We’ve grown by listening to the needs of our community and our Social Change Model, which integrates our array of programs, provides our families with a holistic approach and unique experience that sets them on the path to good health and economic stability,” says David Tatro, Chief Operations Officer.

Mary’s Center’s model and impressive outcomes which exceed national federal standards are currently being evaluated by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Urban Institute, with the goal of replicating its best practices throughout the country. The results of the evaluation will be presented on October 12 at a symposium that will precede the Center’s 30th Anniversary Gala.

To learn more about other events scheduled throughout the year, please visit


Founded in 1988, Mary’s Center is a Community Health Center that provides a model of care including healthcare, education and social services to nearly 50,000 individuals from 50 countries through eight locations in Washington, DC and Maryland. Using a holistic, multipronged approach, Mary’s Center helps each participant access individualized services and find the path towards wellness, stable families, educational success and economic opportunities. For more information please visit us at or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

Contact Info
Lyda Vanegas
2333 Ontario Road NW,
Washington DC 20009

Phone: 202-420-7051