February is Heart Health Month!

Blog written by Amenti Bekere, WIC Nutritionist Assistant at Mary's Center Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. February is heart health awareness month which focuses on raising awareness for heart disea...

Mary’s Center’s Pharmacy: A Participant-Centered Approach to Medication Management

Access to quality healthcare services is our highest priority at Mary’s Center. To meet the evolving needs of our participants, our pharmacy, located at our Petworth clinic in Ward 4, takes a participant-centered approach that prioritizes convenie...

How Masking Can Prevent the Spread of Respiratory Illnesses

Due to the increase in respiratory virus hospitalizations in our community, Mary’s Center recently reintroduced our masking policy for participants and participant-facing staff to help prevent the spread of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). RSV i...

How a Healthy Diet Helps to Prevent Lead Exposure

Lead is a naturally occurring element that can be toxic to humans, especially children under 6 years old and pregnant adults. If gone undetected, children can experience severe mental and physical development. Common symptoms of Lead poisoning in ...

Health Literacy: Empowering Participants of Mary’s Center 

For many Mary’s Center participants, English is a second language, and language barriers can pose significant challenges when it comes to healthcare. For them, navigating the healthcare system can be daunting and overwhelming. In this blog, we wil...

Working Parents Get Support to Continue Breastfeeding

By: Lisle Cole, WIC Nutrition Assistant, Breastfeeding Peer Counselor During August we recognize National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, and the theme this year focuses on “Enabling Breastfeeding: Making a Difference for working parents.” The W...

Why WIC Wants You to Eat More Fruits & Veggies!

Fruits and vegetables are not only tasty but also full of nutrients and have lots of health benefits. Some nutrients found in delicious fruits and vegetables are Calcium, Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, B2, B6, B12, Folic Acid, and Potassium. Calciu...

Three Reasons to Join the All of Us Research Program

The All of Us Research Program empowers you to learn about your health and supports researchers to understand health and disease. By studying diverse data from one million (or more) participants like you, researchers may make discoveries that coul...

How Mary’s Center Addresses Mental Health in Older Adults

Mental health issues within the older adult community are prevalent in people 65 years and older. Mary’s Center is working to help deal with these challenges and working towards building a better foundation for improving older adults’ mental healt...

Our Long COVID Clinic

On January 19th, 2023, we launched our first-ever Long COVID Clinic to provide comprehensive care to individuals who have been affected by the long-term effects of COVID-19. The Long COVID Clinic is led by Dr. Sarah Ali, Director of Infectious ...

National Nutrition Month: Fuel for the Future

Throughout the month of March, we celebrate National Nutrition Month with the theme “Fuel for the Future.” The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recognizes Registered Dietitians (RDs) and nutritionists as the food and nutrition experts who provid...

Behavioral Health Workforce Shortage – What Can We Do?

Cross-sector workforce shortages have seen a dramatic increase since the COVID-19 Pandemic began.  This shortage has hit the K-12 public school system's mental health workforce particularly hard.  Mental health practitioners who support student...

Power Lunch: Quality Fuel for the Future!

The theme for National Nutrition Month, taking place in March 2023, asks us to think about how we are fueling our future with the food choices we make today. The focus is on sustainable nutrition options to support every lifecycle phase while...

Bright Smiles & Bright Futures: Children’s Dental Health Q&A

Dr. Vineet Dhar loves seeing a child happy and unafraid after their dental appointment.  Mary’s Center’s Social Change Model makes that possible by combining healthcare, social services, and education all under one roof. Dr. Dhar uphold...

Learn About Your Genetic Ancestry When You Join All of Us

The All of Us Research Program is building the largest and most inclusive health research initiative of its kind. With more information, researchers can see patterns emerge, make new discoveries, and better understand disease. There are m...

Preventing Foodborne Illness During the Holidays

Fall is upon us, and October is a perfect time to brush up on how to keep our friends and family safe during the holiday season!  Proper preparation and storage are what we should strive for as we frequent the kitchen, but there are some ...

Childhood Obesity: A Family Approach

Childhood obesity has been on the rise for the past 2 years.  As we enter this new phase of the COVID 19 pandemic where social distancing restrictions are more relaxed and children are once again participating in outdoor activities, and team spor...

Supporting a Loved One in Recovery

By Ariste Sallas-Brookwell, LICSW, Director of Behavioral Health Integration September is Recovery Month. In the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that 40....

What You Need to Know About Monkeypox

Hearing about monkeypox in the news over the last few months may feel similar to the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Luckily, monkeypox is much less of a threat. It does not spread as easily as COVID-19, and while it can cause some uncomforta...

Start the School Year Off Right

Getting ready for the first day of school is about more than just buying new pencils and notebooks. By equipping your child with good physical health, mental health, and nutrition, you can empower them to thrive in their new class. Find tips belo...

Working Together to Support Breastfeeding Parents

By Lisle Cole, Certified Lactation Counselor Families have to make a lot of important decisions when they have a new baby, especially choosing how to feed the baby. Experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics – often referred to as “your b...

Cesia’s Journey to Her Dream School

The pandemic arrived just as Cesia was starting to think about the college application process, near the end of her sophomore year of high school. Cesia with her mom and younger sister Applying to college is already challenging, especially ...

Your Guide to the Vaccine for Children Under 5 Years Old

The moment thousands of parents have been waiting for is finally here! As of June 18, the COVID-19 vaccine has been approved and recommended by the federal government for babies and children as young as six months. Due to the limited vaccine ...

Men Need to Show Up for Themselves First

By Felix Hernandez, Advocacy and Fatherhood Program Manager When men take care of and have healthy connection to themselves, they’re able to show up for their community in positive ways. Men’s Health Month in June is a time to raise awareness ...

Add Color to Your Plate at the Farmers Market

By Cintia Castillo, Nutrition Education Tech Spring is in the air, and also in our local farmers markets! The kale and potatoes offered through the winter have made way for brighter colors with sweet and spicy peppers, peaches, tomatoes, berri...

Supporting Older Adult Mental Health

Our later years are full of transitions, from retirement to managing our aging bodies to loss of loved ones. These changes can be hard to process, especially when you add in the isolation and stress brought on by the pandemic. According to the CD...

How to Manage Your Stress Levels as a Caregiver

By Fernanda Ruiz, Home Visiting Director, and Georgette Saad, Senior Early Childhood Manager People always ask how our kids are doing and they are excited to see how much our kids have grown. However, very few people ask how parents and caregi...

How Older Adults Can Best Protect Themselves from COVID-19

By Dr. Laura Blinkhorn, Family Physician/Geriatrician As we age, we need to take extra care to stay healthy and prevent illness since our bodies are not as good at fighting off and recovering from infection. COVID-19 has been a prime examp...

Doulas Support Black Maternal Health

Pregnancy and childbirth will bring about some of the most exciting moments in your life, but this can also be a difficult and overwhelming time. With the added stressors of racism and bias that people of color often face in their health care, ha...

The Native Flavors of Mesoamerica

By Ana Chavez, WIC Breastfeeding Counselor and Nutrition Technician When we hear about spices, most people think of food from the cultures of India, the Middle East, and Africa. It’s true that rich spices came from those regions, but today I w...

Adding More Than Flavor: Nutritional Benefits of Spices and Herbs

By Nabani Ashraf, WIC Nutritionist Assistant Spices and herbs have always played a strong role in cultural heritages. Historically, spices provided great sources of power and wealth, as they were used for both culinary and medical purposes. In...

Celebrating A World of Flavors: Nutritional Benefits of Traditional Foods

The theme of this year’s National Nutrition Month®, “Celebrate a World of Flavors,” takes us back to the familiar foods we love. It is a journey to the market we used to visit, to grandma’s kitchen, to the country where we or our parents or grand...

Ensuring YOU + BABY Are Happy and Healthy

Mary’s Center understands that while pregnancy is an exciting time, it can also be a time filled with questions and uncertainty. We are committed to providing high-quality, equitable health care to all who come through our doors, which is the dri...

What Black Health and Wellness Means to Me

By Lisle Cole, Breastfeeding Counselor Growing up, I remember how my two grandmothers would feed their family and friends as a way to share food, love, time, and memories. No matter how little we may have had, no one would ever know becaus...

Black HIV/AIDS Q&A: Ending the Epidemic

Today on National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, and every day, we must acknowledge and address the imbalance of higher HIV rates for Black Americans to improve the health of our communities. Read our Q&A with Mary’s Center’s Public Health Out...

Give Your Baby a Safe Night’s Sleep

By Michelle Timogan Moses, Safe Sleep Program Coordinator Keeping your baby safe, happy, and healthy is your main focus as a new parent. Even while infants are sleeping, there are important precautions you need to take to keep your precious on...

6 Things to Know about the All of Us Research Program

When it comes to our health, there are so many questions for which we don't have an answer.  That’s why Mary’s Center is proud to be part of the All of Us Research Program from the National Institutes of Health. All of Us has a simple mi...

Mary’s Center Meets All Your Pharmacy Needs

Picking up your prescription before leaving your doctor's office is the ultimate convenience. You save a trip to the pharmacy and you can start taking your medications with no delays. These were some of the main reasons Mary's Center decided t...

This Holiday Season, Taste Your Way Around the World

Every family has their own delicious holiday traditions, and this year we are excited to share flavors all the way from Italy to Ethiopia through some of our staff’s most treasured holiday recipes. Our 800+ staff members encompass dozens of cu...

Get Inspired by Fall and Winter Vegetables

By Agapé Gooden, RDN, WIC Nutritionist All the delicious vegetables that are in season right now are wonderful for making healthy holiday sides and adding color to your meals. Each one also contains different nutrients that are important for y...

Let’s End the AIDS Epidemic Together

By Danielle Zimber, Public Services Outreach Services Navigator My work at Mary’s Center focuses on HIV outreach and prevention, so celebrating World AIDS Day on December 1 is very meaningful to me. This day is designated as a time to rais...

5 Ways Older Adults Can Get Their Groove Back

By Michelle Singleton, Director of the Bernice Fonteneau Senior Wellness Center, and Teresa Moore, Director of the Hattie Holmes Senior Wellness Center The pandemic has been tough on all of us, and especially isolating for older adults. During...

My Mary’s Center Story – Katya Quintanilla

“Teens teach us a lot, and vice-versa… It’s a give and take, and they’re honestly the best group to work with because they’re at a pivotal moment in their life, where depending on what you give them…either they’ll go off and do great things, or i...

How to Practice Intuitive and Mindful Eating Over the Holidays

By Minati O’Connell, Nutrition Intern, with the Mary’s Center Nutrition Team During the holiday season, we look forward to festive gatherings with our friends, family, and certainly, lots of delicious food. Most of the calories we eat these da...

Start Your Recovery Journey at Mary’s Center

By Ariste Sallas-Brookwell, LICSW, Director of Behavioral Health Integration Have you ever worried or wondered whether your substance use is serving you? The past 19 months we’ve experienced a global pandemic, climate change-related weathe...

How to Brush and Floss Like a Pro

By Jason Kim, BS, RDH, Dental Hygienist, and Jillian Hartman, BSDH, RDH, Dental Hygienist Have you ever had a dental cavity or bleeding gums, despite how diligent you were about brushing and flossing every day? Here’s a secret – keeping your m...

Stop the Stigma for Obesity in Children

By Kathleen McNeely, Nutritionist Stigma against children in larger bodies is often overlooked as a contributor to childhood obesity, but it’s important to talk about it. This month in honor of National Childhood Obesity Month, we’re sharing t...

6 Tips to Pack a Healthy Lunch Kids Want to Eat

By the Mary’s Center Nutrition Team We have all experienced changes in our eating routines since the pandemic started. With new schedules and limited budgets, it’s not always easy to maintain structured, healthy meals for our families. And now...

Supporting Children’s Health Through High-Quality Education

By Stephanie Mintz, Student Services Director and Community School Coordinator, Briya Public Charter School In honor of Children's Health Day, I am grateful for Briya Public Charter School’s long-standing and evolving partnership with Mary’s C...

The Collective Power of Community Health Centers

By Maria Gomez, President and CEO From a young age, I learned never to take my health for granted. A healthy life should be a human right, but for so many of us, health care is too expensive, too complex, too limited. In the rushed heal...

Let’s Promote Breastfeeding Together!

By Lisle Cole, Certified Lactation Specialist, MBA, Breastfeeding Counselor, and Akua Odi Boateng, MS, RD, LD, WIC Director Breastfeeding is beneficial for both parents and babies; it protects babies from infections, aids mothers in healing af...

6 Tips to Put Fresh and Affordable Produce On Your Plate

By Akua Odi Boateng, MS, RD, LDN, WIC Director, and Cinthia Castillo, WIC Nutrition Education Technician, and Summer is one of the best times to taste local fruits and vegetables, such as apples, cantaloupe, bell peppers, green beans, peaches...

A DREAM Come True: Kenia’s Story

When Kenia immigrated to the U.S. from El Salvador alone at just six years old, she was met with a tearful hug from her mother who had arrived a few years earlier. Kenia had been nervous about traveling by herself – “I was this little girl surrou...

Ready, Set, Go Back to School!

Next month, backpacks will unzip, notebooks will be filled, and school doors will open. After more than a year of virtual learning, most schools will return to full-time in-person education this fall. Mary’s Center Pediatrician Dr. Letizia Val...

How to Get Your Child Tax Credit Payment

Great news – if you have kids under 18, you could get extra money from the federal government this year! This money is coming from the Child Tax Credit, which was increased and advanced for 2021 under the American Rescue Plan. Even if you have...

Explaining Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

By the Mary’s Center LGBTQ+ Committee Nowadays, we have a lot more words to describe ourselves than we used to. Instead of being forced to conform to male or female, straight or gay, people can choose from a whole new vocabulary that mirrors t...

Listen Now: Behavioral Health Podcast Series

We are excited to share a new podcast series featuring Mary's Center's phenomenal behavioral health team! The Difference Maker Series @ The Pod of DC is the latest podcast from host and producer Rick Bernstein, spotlighting healthcare heroes i...

Doulas: The Pregnancy and Birth Support You Might Want

If you are having a baby, a doula may be just what you need to facilitate a comfortable pregnancy and birth. Doulas are trained workers who support you in a non-medical capacity through pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period. They provide ed...

Women’s Health Week: How our own staff keep up with their well-being

From vegan cooking to salsa dancing, Mary’s Center staff share what they do to maintain their physical and mental health, in honor of National Women’s Health Week (May 9-15). Top: Marisa enjoying an outdoor workout; Bottom: Marisa’s dog Lu...

New Baby at Home? Follow These Tips for a Good Start!

The time after birth is fun and full of surprises, but it can also be hectic and overwhelming. Mary’s Center Pediatrician Dr. Jessica Schroeder has advice on what to expect and how to keep your baby safe and healthy. Taking Care of your Ba...

How to Prevent Child Abuse in a Pandemic

By Carlos Merchan, Home Visiting Program Manager, and Felix Hernandez, Advocacy and Fatherhood Supervisor As adults, we have a lot of responsibilities, and that can be overwhelming even when we’re not in the middle of a global pandemic. Unders...

Life After the Vaccine: What’s Safe and What’s Not

After months of waiting, you finally got your COVID-19 vaccine! But now what? Can you hug your friends again? Get rid of all your masks? Jet off on a vacation? Mary’s Center Director of Adult and Family Medicine Dr. Dana Mueller is here to ans...

Upcoming Leadership Transition

To my dear Mary’s Center community,  With mixed emotions and immense gratitude, I share with you today that after 33 arduous and rewarding years, I will be departing Mary’s Center at the end of 2021. When we planted the first humble se...

Whole Grains for the Whole Family

By Carolyn Nestman, BS, WIC Nutritionist Assistant Carolyn Nestman, WIC Nutritionist Assistant “I HATE this seeded bread,” I remember my spirited sister declaring to my mom at 6 years old. To get our family to eat a little healthier, my mom...

Portion Distortion: Controlling Portion Sizes at Home and Away

By Donna Dunston, MS, LN, WIC Nutrition Coordinator Donna Dunston, Nutrition Coordinator There it is! In your face all day now that we are working from home. The dreaded refrigerator. The holy grail that holds all things dear to us. FOOD! ...

Embracing Your Culture for Better Nutrition

By Carolina Sierra MS, CNS, Nutrition Services Coordinator All of us have a unique way of doing things, from the way we love to how we practice religion, dress ourselves, and prepare our meals. These customs and habits are all part of who we a...

Children’s Health from Head to Toe

There’s nothing Dr. Sandra Kim loves more than seeing a child hop out of the dental chair with a big smile on their face after their appointment. Dr. Sandra Kim Dr. Kim is one of our dentists here at Mary’s Center, and for her, it’s not jus...

Vaccine Hesitancy: Let’s Talk About It

In honor of Black History Month, Mary’s Center staff share their perspectives on how systemic discrimination and the historic abuse of trust inflicted by medical research impacts vaccination decision-making for communities of color. Dr. Ra...

Sexual Health in Times of COVID

Hola Cultura interviewed Mary's Center Outreach Coordinator Airam Thurman in late 2020, and we are re-sharing the interview now during National Condom Month, with Valentine's Day around the corner. View the original post, including the Spanish ve...

Everything You Need to Know About the COVID-19 Vaccine

By Tollie B. Elliott, Sr., MD, Chief Medical Officer This blog post is from February 2021. For the latest COVID-19 information, click here. Dr. Elliott, Chief Medical Officer After all these months of suffering, we finally have hope with...