Maria Gomez recognized by Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in celebration of World Health Day

On April 5th, Mary’s Center President/CEO Maria Gomez was recognized by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the world’s oldest international public health agency, for her “exceptionally meritorious [contribution] to improving heath in the Americas” and her “example as role model for current and future generations of public health practitioners.” This distinction was bestowed upon Maria at PAHO’s World Health Day celebration.

World Health Day is celebrated every year in April to commemorate the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization. Each year, a theme is chosen to highlight a priority area of concern for global public health. 

Hypertension, the topic of this year’s World Health Day, is the leading risk factor for death worldwide. One in three people being treated for hypertension fail to keep their blood pressure below 140/90. As a Federally Qualified Health Center mandated to track and report its health outcomes, Mary’s Center regularly screens participants for hypertension and applies its comprehensive model of  care to help participants keep the disease under control.

In her moving acceptance remarks, Maria invited leaders to listen and respond to the needs in their communities, taking a local approach to global challenges.