Rosa Delmy Alvayero is an Integrative Behavioral Health Therapist at our Adelphi clinic. She completed a Master’s Degree in Clinical Social at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, with a dual track in Program Management and Clinical Work and a sub-specialization and Certificate in Maternal and Child Health. Ms. Alvayero also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Certificate in Women Studies, both from the University of Maryland, College Park. Her professional work experience includes program development, staff management, and implementation of support services for at-risk youth in the immigrant community by providing comprehensive, culturally sensitive programs in education, workforce management, and social services. She has volunteered at an orphanage for children with HIV in Lima, Peru, and worked with an interdisciplinary team of doctors, social service workers, and nurses providing medical treatment and aid to earthquake victims in El Salvador. Ms. Alvayero uses the therapeutic space to work with people in their self-discovery of the affirmation that no one is broken. Her favorite quote, from Jenny Layton, is: “You are enough. You were born being enough. Nothing you say or do will ever add to or subtract from who you are”. Outside of work, Ms. Alvayero enjoys going to the beach.
Ayla Badell is a Behavioral Health Therapist at the Mary's Center locations in Adams Morgan and Fort Totten in Washington D.C. She did a BA in Psychology at Loyola University of Maryland and an MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Johns Hopkins University. She is also a Licensed Graduate Professional Counselor. Ms. Badell uses cognitive behavior therapy, trauma-focused CBT, play and filial therapy, art therapy, sand tray therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and parent-child interactive therapy. She has worked with children, teens, adults, people experiencing homelessness, recovering addicts, refugees and immigrants. Born in Bethesda, Ms Badell is proud of her Latina and Asian heritage. She speaks English and has a passion for yoga, mixed marital arts, ultra marathon running, ballroom dancing and painting. She believes in the healing power of exercise, meditation, the arts, and play.
Ms Badell says: "I chose to work at Mary's Center to help improve the quality of life for all members of our community, especially those who do not have easy access to therapeutic services. Mary's Center assists in many different realms of health, which helps people to live a happier life.
Dr. Baez-Sierra graduated from Universidad Central del Caribe School of Medicine in Puerto Rico. She completed her psychiatry residency training program at Boston Medical Center and her fellowship in Psychosomatic Medicine (Consultation - Liaison Psychiatry) at George Washington University/Inova Fairfax Hospital. She holds academic appointments at George Washington University and Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Baez-Sierra joined Mary's Center in May 2016 and works at the Ontario Road location. She has interests in academic psychiatry, HIV psychiatry, integrated behavioral health, cultural psychiatry, public health and women's behavioral health. She enjoys fitness activities, traveling and cultural events and is bilingual in English and Spanish. Dr. Baez- Sierra is passionate about delivering exceptional care for all.
Claudia Camargo began her work specializing in therapy for children and families at Mary’s Center in June 2014, and works at both the Flower Avenue and Adelphi locations. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Family Science from the University of Maryland in College Park, and a Master of Social Work from University of Maryland in Baltimore. Along with her degrees, she is also licensed in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She would like to remind people that “Every day is different.Tomorrow could be much better.” Ms. Camargo speaks both English and Spanish, loves dogs, and enjoys yoga, reading, going to the beach, and dancing.
Jessica Cates-Bristol (known as Jessi) is a School-Based Mental Health Therapist at City Arts & Prep, a charter school in Northeast Washington D.C.She received a Masters of Social Work degree from the University of Maryland and has been working with youth in educational settings for fifteen years. Prior to Mary's Center, Ms. Cates-Bristol worked with various community-based organizations in DC, and managed programs in Sub-Saharan African working to empower youth. She finds strength in the following quote by Maya Angelou, “You may not think you can reach it. Climb anyway. You may not think you'll be heard. Speak anyway. You may not think you can change things. Try anyway."
Helen Conway began her work as Behavioral Health Community Support Worker at Mary's Center in April 2016. She graduated from Georgetown University with a BA in Psychology and Women’s and Gender Studies. She then participated in a healthcare-focused language and cultural immersion program in Guatemala. From this experience, Ms. Conway gained Spanish language skills and an understanding of the social/political/cultural factors that affect the immigrant population in Washington DC. She tries to approach every client interaction with compassion and humility, recognizing the inherent dignity and strength in every person. Away from work, ms. Conway sings with the Capitol Hill Chorale, goes to yoga classes and tries out new recipes in her kitchen.
Begoña Cortina was born in Bilbao, Spain, and speaks English and Spanish. She is also fluent in Basque. She joined Mary’s Center in August 2016 and works as a bilingual School Based Mental Health Therapist at Cesar Chavez Prep. Begoña feels grateful to be able to work cross culturally in a diverse environment. She is a firm believer in team work and greatly appreciates the supportive environment at Mary’s Center. In addition, Begoña feels lucky to work in a setting inspired by César Chávez, and will not hesitate to paraphrase one her favorite quotes from the civil rights activist and community organizer: “From the depth of need and despair, people can work together, can organize themselves to solve their own problems and fill their own needs with dignity and strength”.
Lindsay Eidman is a School-Based Mental Health Therapist at Columbia Heights Education Campus. She is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in D.C. and is bilingual in Spanish and English. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Religious Studies from University of Richmond and a Masters of Social Work from Catholic University of America. Ms. Eidman has extensive experience working with trauma survivors, including survivors of sexual abuse, sexual assault, stalking, and domestic violence, as well as experience working as a mental health therapist in other school-based settings in Washington, D.C. In her free time she enjoys hiking, reading, is an amateur sewer, and loves spending time with friends and family.
Susan Fleischmann is a Licensed Social Worker. She joined the organization in June 2011 and is based at the Ontario Road site in Adams Morgan, Washington, D.C. Ms. Fleischmann is particularly interested in adult psychotherapy (relational and psychodynamic). She holds an MSW from the University of Maryland at Baltimore and a Certificate in Adult Psychotherapy from the Baltimore Washington Center for Psycho-analysis. She was born in Baltimore and is of German heritage. She enjoys the outdoors, going to the theater and making mosaics.
Ms Fleischmann says: "I chose to work in mental health because I think that mental health determines our ability to function in life at our maximum potential as well as to experience higher levels of life satisfaction. Find ways to get support and enjoy yourself. Do one thing each day that makes you feel good or at least better."
Gretchen Gates began working as a School-Based Mental Health Therapist at Mary's Center on Ontario Road in June 2014. She specializes in therapy for adolescents and families. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Communications from University of Dayton and a Master of Social Work from The Catholic University of America. She recommends that people exercise because it benefits both the mind and body. She speaks both English and Spanish, and enjoys running, biking, cooking and playing with her dog.
Ms. Gates says: "I love working in mental health in a school, because not only does it serve the individual needs of clients and families, but it also decreases the stigma surrounding mental health."
Dr. David A. Gaviria-Muñoz was born and raised in Medellin, Colombia. He received his medical degree from CES University Medical School. He has always been fascinated with human behavior and people’s motivation to create change in their lives. He completed a Master’s degree focused on Behavioral Health and Psychiatric Care at the University of Leon in Spain. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the United States and has been practicing in the field since 2004. He has worked in clinical practice and program management at the community level in Washington DC, focusing on underserved populations affected by HIV/AIDS. Dr. Gaviria-Muñoz’s primary counseling techniques are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Motivational Interviewing. He also works for a research institute and serves as board member for a community-based clinic in the District.
Morgan Kraybill Gross manages the Maternal Mental Health program at Mary’s Center and offers clinical services as a Mental Health Therapist with specialized training in the treatment of Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders through the Karen Kleiman Postpartum Stress Center and the Postpartum Support International Certificate Training. She holds a Master of Social Work degree from Catholic University and a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from Goshen College in Indiana and is independently licensed as a clinical social worker in DC and Virginia. Ms. Gross has been with Mary’s Center since August 2016, and previously worked in a variety of clinical settings and arenas, including community-based, residential, and inpatient programs, in the areas of community organizing, education, anti-human trafficking, alternatives to incarceration/restorative justice, emergency/crisis services including hotlines, and mental health. She grew up in South Africa and in spite of extensive travel, is only English speaking. She enjoys bike commuting, baking, growing things and worm composting, going on adventures, making jewelry and exploring other crafty avenues, and quality time at home with the people she loves.
Mental Health Therapist Maggie Hume joined the Mary's Center team in November 2010, after two years of service with the Peace Corps in Guatemala. She is bilingual in Spanish and English and obtained her MSW (Master of Social Work) degree from the University of Maryland. Ms. Hume is licensed as a clinical social worker in both Maryland and the District of Columbia. She has a certificate in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Training in Affect Dysregulation, Survival Defenses, and Traumatic Memory. Ms. Hume sees patients at the Ontario Road location and encourages them by reminding them that "Healing is always possible." She has many hobbies, including biking, hiking, yoga, swimming, laughing, learning, watching movies, listening to music, reading, traveling, playing Pictionary and chess, having long conversations with friends and family, and savoring a good meal that someone else cooked.
Ms. Hume says: "I chose to work in mental health because one of the things that matters most to me is seeing and helping people to free themselves from limitations, make the best of hard situations, overcome, and find meaning and joy that were missing. Mary's Center reaches out to the people I wanted to work with, and its mission is inspiring to me."
Inma Iglesias was born in Salamanca, Spain and speaks Spanish and English. She also has basic knowledge of sign language. She joined Mary's Center in September 2013 and works as a School Based Mental Health Therapist at Powell Elementary School. Ms. Iglesias is also a certified Parent-Child Interaction Therapist at Mary’s Center. She advises her patients to "be gentle to yourself so you can be gentle to others." She has many hobbies and loves outdoor activities like walking, biking, and having barbecues in the summer. She enjoys music and dancing, and was a Zumba instructor in the past.
Ms. Iglesias says: "I decided to join Mary's Center because I share its mission and values. Mary's Center has a holistic approach when serving the community; which I think is the most effective way to serve our clients. We support the family as a whole and in all the areas that we can. Also, there is a strong team spirit and collaboration among co-workers. The day to day work becomes easier when we support each other."
Born in in Baltimore, Maryland, Sidney Knight served as an Albert Schweitzer Fellow and a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala. He speaks Spanish and English and joined Mary's Center in 2011, working at the Ontario Road site in Adams Morgan. Mr. Knight was inspired to become a behavioral health worker by words from a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson: "To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." Mr. Knight advises his patients to sleep 7 to 8 hours a day when possible, to eat balanced meals and to "get the wiggles out" by doing physical activity for 30 minutes a day. In his free time, he enjoys long distance running, traveling and drinking coffee.
Vanessa León joined Mary’s Center in January 2016 and works as a School Based Mental Health Therapist at Barnard Elementary School. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from George Mason University and a Master of Social Work from Smith College. Ms. León believes everyone should take the time to care for themselves in order to continue juggling all the other roles they fill, a belief that motivated her to pursue the field of mental health. Bilingual in English and Spanish and the daughter of Peruvian immigrants, Ms. León feels grateful to utilize her language abilities in an effort to help expand access to such care across diverse communities. In her free time, Ms. León enjoys spending time with family and friends, eating good food, dancing and being outdoors.
Kara Lowinger joined Mary's Center in April 2012 and works at the Adams Morgan, Silver Spring and Adelphi sites. She is a Behavioral Health Manager and Behavioral Health Therapist. Her specialization is in Integrated Behavioral Health and School-Based Mental Health. In 2013, Ms. Lowinger developed and implemented the inaugural year of Mary's Center's School Based Mental Health Program and also provided direct care to our patient's in the Silver Spring Clinic and at E.L. Haynes Middle School. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Child and Family Studies from the University of New Hampshire and a Master's in Social Work from The George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University, with a concentration in Mental Health for Children, Youth and Families. Ms. Lowinger served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Dominican Republic for two years and speaks Spanish and English. She enjoys cooking, hiking, taking her dog for walks and spending time with her nephews.
Ms. Lowinger says: "To maintain a healthy lifestyle it's essential to incorporating activities that bring pleasure, enjoyment, and relaxation."
Marybeth Mangas began working at the Mary's Center location in Adams Morgan in September 2013. She specializes in children's psychotherapy. She holds a Bachelor of Science from St. Joseph's University and a Master's in Social Work from New York University. When discerning her desired career path, Ms. Mangas participated in service immersion programs in New Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Peru. She advises that self-care become a priority in people's lives because you cannot help others without first taking care of yourself. In her free time, Ms. Mangas enjoys traveling, cooking, listening to music, and spending time with her family and friends.
Ms. Mangas says: "I have chosen behavioral health as a profession because of my commitment to being a witness to the experiences and feelings of others, because I believe it is so important for us all to know that we are not alone in our journey."
Sarah Spencer Northey (known as Spencer) is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) at the Georgia Avenue clinic. She joined the Mary’s Center staff in 2014. As a relationally-oriented therapist, she considers how individuals develop and interact within a systems context, whether she is meeting with a family group, a couple, or one-on-one. Her approach is friendly, curious, and creative. She aims to empower clients by reflecting the strengths that are already within them so that they can achieve their goals as strong, brave, and wholehearted people. She is bilingual in English and Spanish, and holds a Master’s of Science from the Couple and Family Therapy program at University of Maryland, College Park. Prior to Mary’s Center she worked for a community mental health clinic in Hyattsville, Maryland.
Rachel Osborn has been a School Based Mental Health Therapist at the Ontario Road site since May of 2013. She specializes in both child and adolescent mental health along with school behavioral health. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a Masters of Social Work from Catholic University of America. Ms. Osborn has lived and worked in Southeast Asia & Costa Rica, doing community development and youth empowerment. Through her work at Mary's Center, she strives to combine her love for youth health & wellness, strengthening families, and social change. In her free time, Ms. Osborn enjoys running, hiking, live music, pottery, and playing with her dogs.
Maria Paige has over 20 years of experience in direct service and non-profit management functions. She holds a Recovery Coach Certificate and a Business degree. She is an active member of the DC Recovery Advisory Council (DC RAC). Ms. Paige is works with clients struggling with substance abuse and anger management issues. She is a strong advocate for access to appropriate and affordable treatment for substance use, and reducing the stigma and discrimination associated with the disease. Ms. Paige enjoys engaging people in the process of positive change. She is bilingual in English and Spanish and her hobbies are cooking, listening to music and spending time with her dog.
Lugarda Parra-Bencomo works as a Clinical Manager in the Behvioral Health department at the Mary's Center site on Ontario Road. She joined the organization in March 2012 because it offers "access to integrated care of both the body and the mind under one agency." She holds a Master's of Science in Counseling Psychology from Florida International University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Spanish from New Mexico State University. She is bilingual in both English and Spanish, and during her free time, Ms. Parra-Bencomo enjoys cultural and nature-related activities. She recommends that people focus on their general wellness to achieve sustainable behavioral health.
Marisa Parrella is based at the Ontario Road site in Adams Morgan. She joined Mary's Center in February 2014 and specializes in Children's Psychotherapy, Clinical Supervision and Program Management. Ms. Parrella is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in (D.C.) and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (Maryland). She holds a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan and completed a Post Graduate Fellowship in Clinical Social Work at the Yale University Child Study Center. She was born in Boston to immigrant parents from Italy and speaks English and Spanish. Ms. Parrella enjoys running, hiking, cooking, reading and travel and believes that deep breathing helps to maintain good mental health.
Ms Parrella says: "Caring for your mental health is as important as caring for your physical health. Mary's Center services strive to improve overall wellness of individuals, families, and communities."
Crissa Parsley is a School-Based Mental Health Therapist at E.L. Haynes Middle School. She is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in D.C. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Political Science from Azusa Pacific University and a Masters of Social Work from Catholic University of America. Ms. Parsley has extensive experience working with multi-cultural youth in residential, community-based and school-based settings in Washington, D.C. and abroad. In her free time she enjoys running, biking, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.
Zeke Reich is a Behavioral Health Therapist at the Fort Totten Clinic and has worked at Mary's Center since August 2014. He specializes in individual and group therapy with adults, teens and children, working mostly in English but with Spanish-speaking clients as well. Mr. Reich holds a Master's in Social Work from The Catholic University of America and draws on several approaches including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Schema Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and play therapy. His goal at Mary's Center is to help people heal from the past, let go of worries about the future, and become their most liberated selves in the present. His advice to clients is "Come in and talk to someone! You don’t have to go through this alone." When not at work, Mr. Reich spends his time parenting, writing, and meditating.
Elba Rivas is an Integrative Behavioral Health Therapist at Mary’s Center’s Flower Avenue clinic. She has held this position since June 2015. She holds a Masters of Social Work from the University of Maryland Baltimore. Ms. Rivas takes great pride in working to achieve Mary’s Center mission of building better futures through the delivery of services and embracing culturally diverse communities. The daughter of Salvadorian immigrants, she is bilingual in Spanish and English. She understands firsthand the challenges and resiliency of the immigrant community. It was through this lens that she developed a desire to pursue social work and give back to the community.In her current role as IBH Therapist, she continues to provide mental health services to the victims of the August 2016 Long Branch Apartment explosion. Elba accepted The Community Heroes Recognition Award on the behalf of Mary’s Center, a recognition presented by Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and County Council President Nancy Floreen for Mary’s Center’s work with affected families. She previously worked for Montgomery County Public Schools doing individual and group work. In her free time, she enjoys going to concerts, trying new restaurants and doing Zumba.
Georgette Saad joined the Mary's Center team in June 2012 and is a Behavioral Health Therapist at the Marys' Center site in Ontario and Fort Totten as the Senior Clinical Early Childhood Program Manager. Ms. Saad holds a Bachelor's of Social Work from New York University and a Masters of Social Work from University of Maryland. She is of Bolivian and Lebanese background and speaks both Spanish and English. Ms. Saad is greatly enjoying her time at Mary's Center, growing and connecting with families from all over DC in many unique ways. She lives by these inspirational words from author Paulo Coelho and wants to share them with her patients: "If you only walk on sunny days, you will never reach your destination". During her free time, she stays active by hiking, kayaking, and yoga, but also enjoys baking, reading, doing jigsaw puzzles, and playing with her dogs.
Gloria Saez has been sharing her time between the Mary's Center sites on Ontario Road and Georgia Avenue since September of 2014, specializing in Behavioral Health Therapy. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies from the Moody Bible Institute and a Master's in Social Work from Alabama A&M University. Her advice for better emotional health: "You can't give what you don't have; take care of yourself emotionally and physically. It is not selfish to take time out for yourself, it is actually a sign you care." At Mary's Center, she hopes to enhance the mental, emotional, and wellbeing of clients by using the appropriate assessment techniques and therapeutic modalities. Ms. Saez is bilingual in Spanish and English. During her free time, she enjoys hiking, people-watching, adventures and learning new information.
Dr. Colin Stewart is a Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychiatrist at Mary’s Center. He is also the Training Director for the Child and Adolescent Residency Training Program as well as the Clerkship Director for the Georgetown School of Medicine’s psychiatry clerkship. He provides clinical care, including seeing individuals and families for psychotherapy, and directs a clinic dedicated to the assessment and treatment of ADHD and affect dysregulation. Dr. Stewart teaches and supervises medical students, psychiatry residents, and child and adolescent psychiatry fellows at Mary’s Center and at Georgetown. He is very interested in promoting diversity and inclusion in medical education and has served on the Association of American Medical Colleges’s Group for Diversity and Inclusion and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’s Diversity and Culture Committee.
Mildred Holmes Williams joined the Mary’s Center team in August 2015, in the role of Director of Behavioral Health. Ms. Williams, who is originally from Connecticut, studied English at the University of Connecticut at Storrs and did her Masters in Social Work at Howard University. Prior to Mary’s Center, Ms. Williams held several high-level positions at agencies in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. She was Deputy Director of the Department of Mental Health in the District Of Columbia; Chief of Adult Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services for Montgomery County, Maryland; and Director of the Arlington County Department Of Mental Health Services in Virginia. In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis, running and listening to music. Ms. Williams says: “Mary’s Center is known for its inclusion and team approach to service delivery. Providing services to multi-ethnic populations and communities is an important part of my work”.
Elizabeth Wolfe began working for Mary's Center October 2013, specializing in behavioral health, trauma and PTSD, depression, and anxiety. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the Courtauld Institute of Art and a Masters of Social Work from Smith College. She also completed clinical internships at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and The University of Maryland Taghi Modarressi Center for Infant Study. She sees participants at the Ontario Road location. Her message to everyone is that "Reaching out for help can be scary, but do it. You'll be glad you did." Ms. Wolfe is proficient in both English and Spanish, and enjoys cooking, reading, traveling, biking, and watching movies.
Ms. Wolfe says: "At Mary's Center we have a wonderful team of dedicated, talented clinicians who make my job fun."
Veronica Zapata-Velez was born in Colombia and is bilingual in Spanish and English. She joined the Mary's Center team in 2013 and is a School Based Mental Health Therapist. She sees patients at Harriet Tubman Elementary School in Washington, D.C. Ms. Zapata has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from CES University, Medellin-Colombia and an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marymount University in Virginia. Ms Zapata encourages her patients to do meditation and physical activity. She follows her own advice by practicing meditation and doing spinning and other sports. She also enjoys reading.
Mary Zick is a School Based Mental Health Therapist at Bell High School. She began working for Mary’s Center in April of 2015. She completed her undergraduate degree in Social Work with a minor in Spanish at Grand Valley State University, and earned her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Michigan in 2012. Mary is originally from Michigan, and also worked as a social worker in Brooklyn and The Bronx, NY after graduate school. She speaks English and Spanish, and enjoys traveling, cooking, laughing.