Mary’s Center Marks 30 Years of Impact in the DC Metro Region
2018 marks 30 years of community impact since Mary’s Center opened its doors in a humble basement in Adams Morgan, DC, on October 8, 1988. Since then, we have helped thousands of pregnant moms have healthy pregnancies and safe delivery through our prenatal services; our pediatricians have helped the children in our community thrive; and our adult providers have helped participants manage and even reverse chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes. Mary’s Center’s dentists have provided tens of thousands of participants, many of whom had never seen a dentist in their lives, treatment, education, and preventive care to ensure good oral health in the future. Our behavioral health therapists have supported participants on site and at 21 public schools in the District of Columbia, helping them overcome trauma, fear, and depression; while our Social Services staff and education partner, Briya Public Charter School, has helped individuals and families throughout the region to eliminate obstacles, providing them with access to community resources, and assisting them in acquiring critical job skills and in building better futures for themselves. We have much to be proud of, thanks to the support of our donors and partners.
NIH and Urban Institute Evaluate Our Social Change Model
In commemoration of our 30th anniversary, Mary’s Center partnered with the Urban Institute and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct an extensive qualitative and quantitative evaluation of our Social Change Model. The results of this comprehensive study will reveal how collaboration and integration of medical care, education, social services, and workforce development impact the health and well-being of our participants. A preliminary and very positive report was presented in October 2018 at a symposium called Successful Pathways to Education, Health, and Well-Being: The Role of a Community Health Center. The final report will be released in early 2019.
Awards and Recognitions
2018 was an important year for Mary’s Center as it marks 30 years of community impact since we opened our first clinic in a basement in Adam’s Morgan. Our accomplishments in 2018 demonstrate our continued commitment to quality, responsibility, and care as well as the diverse ways we are working to improve the community.
For the second year in a row, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded Mary’s Center the Health Center Quality Award, demonstrating our top quality among nearly 1400 U.S. health centers.
The Henry Schein Cares Foundation awarded Mary’s Center a Gold Medal in Oral Health for demonstrating excellence in expanding access to oral care for the underserved.
DC Councilmember at-Large, Anita Bonds, recognized Mary’s Center for making an “indelible impact” on the District of Columbia.
The D.C. Mayor’s Age-Friendly Task Force designated Mary’s Center as one of 75 Age-Friendly Businesses in the District of Columbia.
Both of our Founder and CEO’s, Maria Gomez’s, alma maters awarded her prestigious awards for her dedication to service. The University of California School of Public Health named Maria as one of the school’s 75 Most Influential Alumni for building better futures for the DC area’s underserved, and Georgetown School of Nursing and Health Studies hosted a special reception to honor Maria for her 30 years of innovative leadership that has improved access to care for some of the most vulnerable members of our community.
Our Marketing Department won a Gold Award from the MarCom Awards in the category of Special Events for putting on an amazing Pride Campaign that included a special logo featuring headprints of all different colors.
MAT Program Helps More Patients in Opioid Recovery
In response to the national opioid crisis, Mary’s Center increased its capacity to help people addicted to heroin and other opioids through our Medication Assisted Treatment Program (MAT), which combines Suboxone—a medication that suppresses opioid withdrawal symptoms and helps reduce cravings—with behavioral health care. Sadly, the program doubled its enrollment to 353 people in 2017, but we are extremely proud to be able to serve everyone that needs the program.
“I don’t think I would have gotten this far,” said Debra Medlock, a participant of the MAT program. “I just can’t believe that I was homeless at 60 years old and I’m so glad that I am plugged into Mary’s Center; otherwise, I don’t know where I would be.”
In 2018 we introduced MAT services at our new site in Montgomery County and we will continue to expand our MAT program to Southeast DC, south of the Anacostia River.
Expansion in Montgomery County
Our expansion in Montgomery County became a reality in the fall of 2018. Since then, we’ve been gradually transitioning from our existing location in Silver Spring to the new building on 344 University Blvd. West, in the Four Corners neighborhood of Silver Spring. The new site has nearly 25,000 square feet and more than 30 rooms for medical, behavioral health, social services, and for the first time in Maryland, dental care.
This expansion will allow us to triple our space and serve over 12,000 Maryland residents in 2019.
We thank the State of Maryland, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, Adventist Healthcare, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Healthcare Initiative Foundation, The Meltzer Group, and Delta Dental for their generous support, which made this project possible.
NCQA Features Video with Mary’s Center Patient-Centered Care Model
In 2018, the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), which has recognized Mary’s Center as a Patient-Centered Medical Home since 2014, featured our work in a compelling video. The video presents testimonies from our staff and patients that highlight our success in centering our healthcare around the patient.
Receiving national recognition through the NCQA is another wonderful reminder of the effectiveness of our mission, our Social Change Model, and our commitment to our participants. Click on the image to watch the video.
Briya PCS Accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
In May 2018, Briya Public Charter School, our partner in education, was recommended for re-accreditation by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
The re-accreditation process involved 18 months of gathering and reviewing input from stakeholders, evaluating the school based on the best practices in education, and setting goals for the coming years. The process culminated in a site visit from Middle States evaluators in the spring. The re-accreditation will allow Briya to continue to offer its life-transforming services—including high school diplomas, Medical Assistant certifications, and Child Development Associate certifications—and to improve those services to best serve families.
PRSA Selects Mary’s Center as its Pro Bono Client
In June 2018, the Public Relations Society of America – National Capital Chapter (PRSA-NCC) announced Mary’s Center as its new pro bono client for the next two years. PRSA is the world’s largest organization for public relations professionals with nearly 32,000 professional and student members. The DC chapter is the largest and most active PRSA chapter in the nation with more than 1,100 members and 40-plus events each year. The pro bono committee selected Mary’s Center after a rigorous process with more than 30 applications. During the two-year pro bono period, PRSA-NCC will offer free communication services, tools, and resources to Mary’s Center, and create a self-sustaining communications strategy for years to come.