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Global Health Forum

Global Health Forum

March 25, 2023

Helping Others Thrive: A Conversation with Maria Gomez Blog Post

by Madeline Jones (H’26)

In our Conversations in Health: Global to Local class on March 14, Maria Gomez (N’77) spoke about her mission in founding Mary’s Center. She began the center to serve pregnant women fleeing violence from war in Central America during the 1980s. Her primary focus was providing what people in the area actually needed to thrive, even when it extended beyond health services. In order to do this, Gomez drew on her experience making home visits for her patients, which allowed her to observe all of the factors that contributed to a person’s well-being—or lack thereof. Although the term “social health determinants” was not commonplace back then, the phenomenon was always present.

March 24, 2023

Addressing the Social Determinants of Health: A Conversation with Maria Gomez Blog Post

by Maddie Marran (H'25)

On March 14, our Conversations in Health: Global to Local class had the pleasure of hosting Maria Gomez (N’77), a retired nurse and community health leader, as a guest speaker. After listening to Gomez’s life stories and professional experiences, I got a sense of the powerful work she has done in our own Washington, DC, community. Gomez founded and served as CEO for Mary’s Center, which is now a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) serving over 65,000 people. In 2012, Gomez was awarded the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Award for Health Equity and the Presidential Citizens Medal from President Barack Obama for her work, and her model for Mary’s Center has become widely esteemed.