Maria S. Gomez RN, MPH ’87 is the founder and CEO of Mary’s Center, a community health organization that provides holistic health care, education, workforce development, and social services in the DC metropolitan region. Under Gomez’s leadership, Mary’s Center has grown from an initial budget of $250,000 serving 200 participants at a basement in 1988 to an annual budget of $59 million serving nearly 50,000 individuals at eight locations (five clinics, two senior wellness centers, and one program office) in the District of Columbia and Maryland. Gomez is frequently recognized for her role in the nation’s capital health care system and has become a recurrent health adviser for the District of Columbia Mayor’s Office.
On public health and the challenges we face
Public Health is an important field because it address the interconnection of individuals to their environment. Public health has addressed polio, HIV/AIDS, waterborne diseases, TB, and obesity, to mention a few. In the future public health will be addressing the effects of robots in the workforce and interconnection with humans.
A change to one U.S. policy that would transform public health
Get rid of the border walls, build friendly security checks that you can account for all that cross on either side. Open up opportunities to move up economically through education and work opportunities. Most people would choose to go back to make their own countries stronger, run for office back home, and the immigration census would be the same or less than now.
Theme song while at Berkeley/Movie of my life at SPH
“Have You Ever Seen the Rain” by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Kept me happy, provided company during tough times when I was missing home—Washington, DC!