Washington, D.C. ― Today, Mary’s Center President and CEO Maria Gomez, one of the founders of the organization, announced her departure after 33 years of service. Maria will leave by the end of 2021.
Maria founded Mary’s Center in 1988 with a group of health advocates and initial funding from the DC Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs to help immigrant women fleeing war and poverty in Central America. Under her leadership, Mary’s Center has grown from serving 200 participants in a small basement with an initial budget of $250,000 to serving more than 60,000 participants across seven locations in DC and Maryland with an annual budget of $76 million.
“I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunity to have served this vibrant, ever-changing, resilient community for the last 33 years,” said Maria. “Together with our dedicated staff, board of directors, government, philanthropists, partners, and neighbors, we built an infrastructure of compassion and innovation to provide a model of care that is comprehensive in nature; by offering healthcare, education, social support, and workforce development, we promote socioeconomic mobility within our most financially fragile community. Now it is time for a new leader to take the helm and continue to propel the organization forward.”
Over more than three decades of service, Maria has become one of the strongest leaders in the DC metropolitan region. As a testament to her commitment to giving back to the community, President Barack Obama presented her with the 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal, the nation’s second-highest civilian honor. She is frequently recognized for her role in the nation’s capital’s healthcare system as a recurrent health advisor for the DC Mayor’s office and County Executives in both Montgomery and Prince George’s County. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Maria, with her strong team, established Mary’s Center at the forefront of response and recovery in the area, providing life-saving services to thousands in a time of our country’s greatest crisis.
“For over 30 years, Maria has been a beacon of hope for every member of our community,” said Board Chair Todd A. Cox. “We are so grateful for her exemplary leadership, and in our search for a successor we aim to build on Maria’s powerful legacy and advance Mary’s Center’s well-established role in setting individuals on a path towards good health, stability, and economic independence.”
The Mary’s Center Board of Directors has retained Spencer Stuart to manage the CEO search. Learn more about Maria’s legacy
About Mary’s Center
Mary’s Center is a community health center serving over 60,000 people of all ages, incomes, and backgrounds in the Washington, DC metro area for over 30 years. With an integrated model of health care, education, and social services, Mary’s Center offers each participant individualized care on the path toward good health, stability, and economic independence. For more information, visit www.maryscenter.org.