NOVEMBER 29, 2018 – Thirty years ago, Georgetown nursing alumna Maria S. Gomez (NHS’77), MPH, RN, founded Mary’s Center to provide needed prenatal care to women who had immigrated to the United States and were living in the District of Columbia.
Last night, dozens of colleagues, faculty, students, alumni, and friends gathered in Riggs Library at a special reception to thank Gomez and mark the center’s 30th anniversary.
Over that three-decade timespan, the center has grown from a basement-level clinic in the Adams Morgan neighborhood serving about 200 women to a multi-site organization serving about 50,000 women, men, and children each year.
Undergraduate students at the School of Nursing & Health Studies attended the reception.
The evening included remarks by Gomez, DC Council member Brianne K. Nadeau (Ward 1), MA; Patricia Cloonan, PhD, RN, dean of the School of Nursing & Health Studies (NHS); Christopher Murphy, JD, Georgetown’s vice president of government relations and community engagement (GRACE); and Stuart Butler, PhD, who chairs the center’s board of directors. NHS and GRACE co-hosted the reception in collaboration with colleagues at Mary’s Center.
Career of Giving Back
Gomez, who is the president and CEO of Mary’s Center, discussed how her organization began to provide care to pregnant women, with a special focus on individuals who had experienced trauma.
She spotlighted how the center’s social change model, including education, health care, and social services, has been successful with a particular emphasis on the value of education – both her own and for the individuals who have engaged with Mary’s Center over time.
“Without the education, you really are not going to be able to have the good health care,” she said. “You’re not going to be able to have the appropriate housing or the employment that you need. And things will fall apart. So Georgetown gave me that initial professional head start . . . …