Mary's Center Team
Our team is now over four hundred strong! Below you will find biographical information for our Chief Executives and Department Heads. Click here to meet our experienced medical staff.
To learn about employment opportunities with Mary's Center, click here.
Maria S. Gomez, president and CEO of Mary’s Center, founded the organization to build better futures through health care, education, and social services that embrace a culturally diverse community. Established in 1988 as a clinic to provide prenatal and postpartum care to Latino women living in Ward 1, Mary’s Center’s annual budget has grown from $250,000 to $39.9 million. Prior to establishing Mary’s Center, Maria was a public health nurse at the D.C. Department of Health. She also worked at the Red Cross, where she directed community education programming and disaster services, and at the Visiting Nurses Association. Originally from Colombia, Maria immigrated with her mother at age 13 and attended the D.C. Public Schools. Ms. Gomez obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Georgetown University and a Master’s in Public Health from the University of California at Berkeley. She currently serves on the boards of Share our Strength, United Medical Center, and the Meyer Foundation. Maria is the recipient of many awards. In February 2013, President Barack Obama presented Maria with a 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal, the second-highest civilan award in the United States. She also holds the National Association of Hispanic Nurses's Nursing Excellence Award, the Jessie Bernard Wise Woman Award from the Center for Women Policy Studies, the Hispanic Community Leadership Award from the Hispanic Employees Association, and Washingtonian of the Year, as named by Washingtonian Magazine. She received the Minority Business Leader Award from the Washington Business Journal, and the Salmon Award from the D.C. Primary Care Association to recognize her “life spent swimming upstream.” For her dedication to helping save babies, the March of Dimes granted her the Lifetime Achievement Award. To learn more about Maria, click here.
202-420-7002, Sofia Morales (Special Assistant)
David Tatro brings to Mary’s Center more than 20 years of administrative experience in the health care field. As COO, Mr. Tatro ensures that Mary’s Center has the proper operational controls, procedures, personnel, and systems in place to allow continued growth and compliance with all regulatory agencies. In addition, he oversees the Center’s day-to-day operating activities, including revenue from patient care billing, program expenses, cost and margin control, and monthly, quarterly, and annual reports.
Prior to joining Mary’s Center, Mr. Tatro served as the COO for the National Healthcare Group, an organization providing outpatient care in Virginia. He also has executive experience with the Fauquier Health System and with Inova Health System. Mr. Tatro served in the U.S. Naval Submarine Service and Naval Reserves. He received his B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and his M.B.A. from River College in Nashua, N.H. Mr. Tatro is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
202-420-7086, Dana Goldenberg (Assistant)
Josephine Morris-Young brings to Mary’s Center more than 15 years of experience in various accounting operations. She provides executive leadership, vision, and oversight to Mary’s Center’s financial plans and accounting practices. Ms. Morris-Young’s past professional experiences include working with Blue Cross Blue Shield, Inova Health System, KPMG, ManTech Solutions, and Outsource Partners International. She received her B.S. in Accounting from the University of Maryland and her M.B.A. from Averett College.
Christian Cornejo, Interim Chief Medical Officer, MD, FAAP
Dr. Christian Cornejo is pediatrician and currently serves as Interim Chief Medical Officer at Mary's Center. Dr. Cornejo attended medical school at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia and completed his residency at the University of Tennessee, College of Medicine in Chattanooga. Dr. Cornejo has been a member of the Mary's Center team since November 2009 and speaks English and Spanish. He enjoys mountain biking, traveling with his wife, and painting.
Chief Dental Officer
A graduate of Temple University’s School of Dentistry and School of Business, Dr. Gesker started his career as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy Dental Corps. He joined Mary’s Center in early 2010 after four years in the military and three years in private practice. He is responsible for delivering high-quality dental care and maintaining the care delivery and management model for all administrative and clinical staff. He enjoys coordinating care between general dentists and specialists, but takes most pleasure in delivering same-day immediate care. His commitment to continuing education is supplemented by the various federal and private research projects he oversees.
Gina Pistulka joined Mary’s Center in 2006. She oversees operations, nursing, and health promotion activities at all Mary’s Center sites. During her 17 years in nursing, she has worked in public health nursing in rural Minnesota, international health in Central America, and health education in an urban community health center in Minnesota. In 2001 she received a duel Master’s in Public Health and Community Health Nursing from Johns Hopkins University and in 2007 received her PhD in Nursing, also from Johns Hopkins. She has conducted independent qualitative research and has assisted a large academic team in cross-cultural intervention research. In addition, Dr. Pistulka has served on boards to further nurse training through the Catholic University of America and the nonprofit Truth About Nursing.
With Mary’s Center since 1998, Joan Yengo oversees the social services, mental health, home visitation, and education components of our work. Joan’s commitment to community work is highlighted by more than 25 years of experience working in nonprofit community programs, including work in Trenton, New Jersey, advocating for women’s right to choose and on HIV/AIDS issues. She also worked in Washington, D.C. for 15 years focusing on prevention programs. In 2002 Joan was recognized by Prevent Child Abuse America with a Service Excellence award. Ms.Yengo graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in Psychology.
Director of Education
Christie McKay has 20 years of experience coordinating family literacy, social services, and Head Start programs. She has directed Even Start Multicultural at Mary's Center since 1995 and has been Education Director since 2002. She is the founder and executive director of Briya Public Charter School, which partners with Mary’s Center to provide educational services for children and parents. Under Ms. McKay’s leadership, Even Start Multicultural received the Verizon Tech Savvy Regional Award in 2009 and two Toyota Family Literacy Teacher of the Year awards. The Charter School received the New Territories Award and the 2010 Washington Women’s Foundation Leadership Award. The school is ranked number #1 of 50 charter schools in D.C. on the General Performance Assessment. Ms. McKay earned a Master of Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.A. in Human Services, International Development, and Peace Studies from Bethel College. She is board chair for the Ecumenical Project for International Cooperation and founding member of Fundacion Agri-Cultura Marco Orozco.
With a B.A. in social communication and journalism from the University of Antioquia, Colombia, Lyda started her career in that country working in news stations and television shows as a reporter, anchor, and producer. She was also executive producer at A Noticias, one of Colombia’s leading television stations. Lyda joined Mary’s Center in 2002. She conducts outreach to local and national media outlets, and works with the development team to increase community awareness of and media exposure for Mary’s Center. She is also responsible for fostering internal and external communication and for maintaining Mary’s Center’s website.
Rebecca Diamond, Chief Development Officer, joined Mary’s Center in 2011, bringing 25 years of professional experience in fundraising, marketing, community relations, and sales. Most recently (2008-2011), Ms. Diamond worked independently as President of Rebecca Diamond Marketing (RDM) which included fundraising and sponsorship development for profit and non-profit events and organizations. RDM also included grassroots marketing services for small to medium-sized businesses. Among her numerous community and charity fundraising accomplishments, Ms. Diamond is the recipient of the 2009 Chairman’s Award from the Vienna Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce and the 2008 Mayor’s Award from the Town of Vienna for the Vienna Halloween Parade. Ms. Diamond has served on the Vienna Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors since 2006, including chairing the Community Affairs Committee (2010) and serving as Vice President of Fundraising (2009). From 2008-2010 Ms. Diamond launched and chaired the Northern Virginia Leadership Council for the American Cancer Society. Ms. Diamond attended Eastern Michigan University and is the mother of 3 children.
Director of Human Resources
Andreina Pradas is responsible for coordinating all aspects of human resources management within Mary's Center. She also coordinates all aspects of employee training, employee relations, and other activities that improve the effectiveness and efficiency of Mary's Center’s human resources. Andreina has worked in human resources for more than nine years at companies including The Ritz-Carlton, INCE Turismo, and Hyatt Hotels. She has a B.A. in Tourism Administration and received a Master’s in Human Resources Development from The George Washington University.
202-483-4909 Shirley Arteaga (HR Assistant)
202-420-7141 Carolina Carvajal (HR Generalist)
202-420-7042 Katie Whalen (HR Assistant)