Akua Odi BoatengAkua Odi Boateng, MS, RDN, LD

Born in Ghana and fluent in English and Akan, Odi Boateng joined Mary's Center in June 2011. She is the Director of the WIC Program and enjoys interacting with participants from different parts of the world. She studied at Howard University in Washington DC as an American Association of University Women International Fellow. She also studied at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana. Odi has a Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry and a Master's degree in Nutrition. Odi initially studied nutrition to find out how to prevent malnutrition. "But the more I learned, the more I got to know that poor nutrition can cause obesity and also lead to lifestyle diseases like diabetes and hypertension." Odi says being a Registered Dietitian affords her the opportunity to help people navigate through all the information regarding food and nutrition so that healthy eating is easy and delicious. Her favorite healthy food is sliced papaya and in her free time she enjoys collecting stamps and traveling.


Maiyu FernandezMaiyu Fernandez, MPH, LN

Born in Lima, Peru, Maiyu Fernandez has been fortunate enough to grow up in various cities in the US and across the globe. Traveling the world at a young age helped her to identify a unique perspective, passion, and inspiration, shaping her into who she is today. With an educational roadmap that paved the way to nutrition and public health, Ms. Fernandez received her BS in Dietetics in 2008 and her MPH in 2009. She has been part of Mary’s Center team since February 2014 and takes pride in helping others find their own journey to a healthier lifestyle in her role as a Licensed Nutritionist. She enjoys going to spinning and dancing classes, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.


Kathleen McNeelyKathleen McNeely, MS, CNS, LN

Kathleen McNeely joined Mary’s Center in August 2017 and serves participants at the Fort Totten, Maryland and Georgia locations. She holds a Master of Nutrition degree from Maryland University of Integrative Health and a Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School, where she developed adult education and counseling skills. Ms. McNeely worked for several years in advocacy and education on international public policy, including food security, international economics and human rights. She has traveled to several countries in Central and South America, East and Southern Africa and South Asia. Bilingual in English and Spanish, she developed and taught adult education programs in Guatemala and in Nicaragua. Most recently, Ms. McNeely has worked as a nutritionist in public health settings in Montgomery County and in Northeast Washington DC. Originally from Cleveland Ohio, she has lived in the DC area for 20 years and enjoys music, art and walking around Washington’s museums. 

Verona Mulgrave, Nutritionist at Mary's CenterPaige Zaitlin, MS, RD, LD

WIC Nutritionist Paige Zaitlin is a Registered Dietitian, a Licensed Nutritionist in the District of Columbia, and a Licensed Dietitian-Nutritionist in Maryland. Ms. Zaitlin holds a BS in Nutritional Science from Cornell University. She obtained an MS in Nutrition from Tufts University, where she also completed her dietetic internship. She joined Mary's Center in March 2014 and sees participants at the site on Georgia Avenue in Washington, D.C. Ms. Zaitlin enjoys fat -free Greek yogurt as a snack and says making vegetables half of your meal is a good idea. She loves spinning, yoga, cooking, painting, reading, traveling and playing with her puppy, Oliver. She served in the Peace Corps in Uganda, East Africa, in 2013. Ms. Zaitlin says: "I chose to work in healthcare because I feel that every person is entitled to know how to feed themselves and their family nutritious foods. I like giving back, and I am interested in helping our Mary's Center population with their nutritional needs through WIC."


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