Letter from the Board Chair and President

Dear Friends, 

As always in Mary’s Center’s 32-year history, when transitions and challenges arise, we embrace them as new opportunities to build toward a greater future.

The Mary’s Center Board of Directors plays a key role in setting our vision, and we extend our gratitude to Stuart Butler, who chaired the Board with nimble leadership and ingenuity for the last two years. Stuart will continue as an at-large member of the Board as he hands the baton to our new chair Todd A. Cox, an integral member of the Board since 2017. Todd’s experience as a civil rights litigator and policy advocate will be critical to Mary’s Center’s continued commitment to addressing the growing needs in the community with an equity and inclusivity lens.

For years, Mary’s Center has partnered with organizations like the DC Primary Care Association to address racial inequities in the region using the comprehensive programs that are part of our Social Change Model. The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on health injustices for people of color: In DC, Black people make up 45% of the population and disproportionately bear the burden of 74% of COVID-19 deaths. Additionally, Hispanic/Latinx people make up 11% of the DC population and 28% of positive COVID-19 cases.

Knowing that the communities we serve are often neglected in a crisis, Mary’s Center jumped into action immediately when COVID-19 hit the DC area. Since March, we have spent an additional $3 million a month to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE), COVID-19 tests for the uninsured, cleaning supplies, and new laptops and extra bandwidth for expanded telework and telehealth. At the same time, we have lost more than $1.2 million monthly due to cancelled appointments, lower reimbursement rates for virtual appointments, and cancellation of fundraising events. In addition, we have been ineligible for the Paycheck Protection Program forgivable small business loans, which would have paid salaries and benefits during our greatest time of crisis, because we surpass the 500-employee limit to be considered a small business.

During this period of uncertainty, we have been comforted, encouraged, and humbled by the outpouring of generosity from our community. Remarkable individuals, organizations, community groups, businesses, and corporations have all stepped up to support our frontline team with donations of meals, snacks, PPE, general support for Mary’s Center to cover this crisis, and direct cash assistance to participants whose lives were shattered overnight.

Your support has been a lifeline to us and to the communities we serve. We are indebted to your generosity, and we offer our deepest gratitude for your time and commitment in selecting us. To those just getting to know us, we invite you to learn more about our impact and how you can partner with us to continue our arduous and fruitful work. May you and your family be safe and continue to wear your masks in public, practice social distancing, and wash your hands as often as possible.

Warm regards,

Todd A. Cox | Board Chair

Maria S. Gomez | President and CEO 

Maria Gomez