- Behavioral Health
- Social Services
Specializing in adult primary care and women’s health, Ms. Aboitiz joined the Mary’s Center team in August 2014 and works at our Ontario Road location. She speaks English, Spanish and conversational French. Originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Ms. Aboitiz studied at the Yale School of Nursing and is certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the National Certification Corporation. She enjoys traveling, especially backpacking, as well as hiking and running. Ms. Aboitiz says: “I am thrilled to be a part of such a wonderful team of health care workers, and to have the opportunity to partner with patients for them to be able to make the best possible decisions about their own health.”
Ms. Abramsky completed her nursing certification and Masters of Public Health at Downstate SUNY Health Sciences Center and is certified by the American College of Nurse Midwives. She joined the Mary's Center team in December 2010 and sees patients at the Mary's Center site on Georgia Avenue in Petworth, DC. Prior to working at Mary's Center, Ms. Abramsky lived in Cuscatlan, El Salvador working with a team of midwives. She is fluent in English and Spanish and enjoys yoga, biking, backpacking, music and spending time with her daughter.
Amelia Aburn joined Mary's Center in October 2017 and works as a School Based Mental Health Therapist at H.D. Cooke Elementary School in Adams Morgan. She received her Masters in Social Work at Catholic University in 2017 and her Bachelors in Psychology at Northeastern University in 2013. Amelia is also a Certified Yoga Instructor (RYT-200) and enjoys offering yoga classes at various studios throughout the district. She is passionate about connecting with and caring for each individual she works with. She believes in practicing mindfulness and using mind-body interventions as a means for healing, allowing this to be a guiding force in her work and within her life. Amelia advises clients to "always start with a big deep breath." She also enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending as much time as possible in nature.
Board Certified in Family Medicine, Dr Tirsit Adane joined Mary’s Center in August 2015. She practices at our Georgia Avenue location in Washington DC. Dr. Adane attended Meharry Medical College and completed her residency at Columbia University/New York Presbyterian Hospital. She speaks some Spanish and Amharic and enjoys traveling, long distance running, and trying new recipes. Dr. Adane says: “I chose to work at Mary’s Center because of their admirable mission to serve to community, as well as the opportunity to take care of the whole family from a holistic point of view.”
Andrea Agalloco is a Behavioral Health Therapist based at the Ontario Road location of Mary’s Center, where she joined the team in March 2017. She is a Licensed Graduate Social Worker in Washington, D.C. and Maryland. Ms. Agalloco speaks English and some Spanish. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Spanish from Villanova University and a Masters of Social Work from Catholic University of America. Ms. Agalloco previously worked as a fundraiser and event planner for Share Our Strength No Kid Hungry and has experience working with children, adolescents and adults in a variety of settings in Washington, D.C. In her free time she enjoys cooking, singing karaoke, reading, yoga and spending time with friends and family.
Dr. Agarwal practices Family Medicine at the Mary’s Center site on Ontario Road in Adams Morgan, DC. She attended medical school in Karachi, Pakistan and completed her residency in Alabama. Dr. Agarwal joined the Mary’s Center team in July 2008 due to her interest in practicing primary care in a community setting with a wide range of ages and races as well as medical and social challenges. She speaks English, Urdu, Hindi, and medical Spanish. In her spare time, Dr. Agarwal enjoys cooking, learning about other cultures, and raising her two children.
Ayesha Ahmad graduated with her Bachelors in Public Health from George Mason University in 2014 and later received her degree in Dental Hygiene from Howard University College of Dentistry in 2017. She joined Mary’s Center shortly after graduating and currently practices at the Fort Totten site. Ayesha is passionate about public health and strives to provide quality care and oral hygiene education to each of her patients. On the weekends, Ayesha can be found at local farmers markets, spending time outdoors or baking cakes for her small side business. She’s also a huge Toronto Raptors fan.
Board Certified in both Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Dr Sarah Ali joined the Mary’s Center team in August 2015. She is based at our Georgia Avenue site in Petworth, DC. Dr. Ali attended American University of the Caribbean. She did her internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Saint Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center in Manhattan. She also completed the Infectious Disease Fellowship Program at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Dr. Ali, who is from Lafayette, Louisiana, speaks English and enjoys swimming, running and painting.
Rosa Delmy Alvayero is an Integrative Behavioral Health Therapist at our Adelphi clinic. She completed a master’s Degree in Clinical Social at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, with a dual track in Program Management and Clinical Work and a sub-specialization and Certificate in Maternal and Child Health. Ms. Alvayero also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Certificate in Women Studies, both from the University of Maryland, College Park. Her professional work experience includes program development, staff management, and implementation of support services for at-risk youth in the immigrant community by providing comprehensive, culturally sensitive programs in education, workforce management, and social services. She has volunteered at an orphanage for children with HIV in Lima, Peru, and worked with an interdisciplinary team of doctors, social service workers, and nurses providing medical treatment and aid to earthquake victims in El Salvador. Ms. Alvayero uses the therapeutic space to work with people in their self-discovery of the affirmation that no one is broken. Her favorite quote, from Jenny Layton, is: “You are enough. You were born being enough. Nothing you say or do will ever add to or subtract from who you are.”
Ingrid Andersson has been a member of the Mary’s Center team since August 2010. She has a degree in Biology from Bowdoin College and in Nursing from Johns Hopkins University. Prior to working at Mary’s Center, Ingrid worked as a public health nurse for the Visiting Nurse Service of New York in the Bronx and as a hospice nurse in Washington DC. In addition to her role as Director of Nursing, Ingrid acts as an instructor and consultant to the Briya Medical Assistant Training Program. Ingrid speaks both English and Spanish. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her children, exploring the DC area, hiking, traveling, reading, and going to the beach.
Board certified pediatrician Kristina Andersson sees patients at the Mary's Center site on Flower Avenue in Silver Spring, Maryland. Certified by the American Board of Pediatrics, she attended Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her residency at Georgetown University Hospital. She speaks English and Spanish and has been a member of the Mary's Center team since November 2009. In her spare time, Dr. Andersson enjoys: running, swimming, biking, gardening, and playing soccer with her son.
Ayla Badell is a Behavioral Health Therapist at the Mary's Center locations in Adams Morgan and Fort Totten in Washington D.C. She did a BA in Psychology at Loyola University of Maryland and an MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Johns Hopkins University. She is also a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor. Ms. Badell uses cognitive behavior therapy, trauma-focused CBT, play and filial therapy, art therapy, sand tray therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and parent-child interactive therapy. She has worked with children, teens, adults, people experiencing homelessness, the LGBT community, refugees and immigrants. Born in Bethesda, Ms Badell is proud of her Latina and Asian heritage. She speaks English and has a passion for yoga, mixed marital arts, ultra marathon running, ballroom dancing and painting. She believes in the healing power of exercise, meditation, the arts, and play.
Ms Badell says: "I chose to work at Mary's Center to help improve the quality of life for all members of our community, especially those who do not have easy access to therapeutic services. Mary's Center assists in many different realms of health, which helps people to live a happier life.
Dr. Baez-Sierra graduated from Universidad Central del Caribe School of Medicine in Puerto Rico. She completed her psychiatry residency training program at Boston Medical Center and her fellowship in Psychosomatic Medicine (Consultation - Liaison Psychiatry) at George Washington University/Inova Fairfax Hospital. She holds academic appointments at George Washington University and Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Baez-Sierra joined Mary's Center in May 2016 and works at the Ontario Road location. She has interests in academic psychiatry, HIV psychiatry, integrated behavioral health, cultural psychiatry, public health and women's behavioral health. She enjoys fitness activities, traveling and cultural events and is bilingual in English and Spanish. Dr. Baez- Sierra is passionate about delivering exceptional care for all.
Registered Nurse, Megan Bailey joined the Mary's Center team in 2017. She received her Bachelor's of Science in Health Sciences from Tennessee State University in 2008 and participated in a number of community health projects, and volunteer work in the Nashville metro area. A native of the District of Columbia, Megan completed a Masters of Science in Administration with a concentration in Public and Community Health at Trinity Washington University in 2011. During her studies she worked at the Virginia Spine Institute within the Pain Management Center. She worked as a medical assistant and supported data collection for spinal research. In 2015, she received her Bachelor of Nursing degree from Marymount University in the Accelerated Nursing program. Megan completed her nursing residency at Georgetown University. She worked as a staff nurse on an acutely-ill adult medicine IMC unit, where she served as Charge Nurse, Preceptor, and represented the unit as the designated Magnet Champion to support community outreach. Megan enjoys "meeting the community right where they are". She is passionate about health literacy, benefit navigation, and women's health. When she is not working, she spends her time with her husband and her children. Megan enjoys traveling, running, and watching football!
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 KwameNkrumah 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." Odisays 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.
Claudia Camargo began her work specializing in therapy for children and families at Mary’s Center in June 2014, and works at both the Flower Avenue and Adelphi locations. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Family Science from the University of Maryland in College Park, and a Master of Social Work from University of Maryland in Baltimore. Along with her degrees, she is also licensed in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She would like to remind people that “Every day is different.Tomorrow could be much better.” Ms. Camargo speaks both English and Spanish, loves dogs, and enjoys yoga, reading, going to the beach, and dancing.
Certified nurse midwife Breanna Carozza serves women at the Mary’s Center location on Georgia Avenue. Originally from Wisconsin, Breanna moved to Washington, DC in 2014 to attend midwifery school at Georgetown University, where she completed an MSN degree in Women’s Health and Midwifery. Prior to that, she completed a BSN at the University of Wisconsin, where she also studied Spanish linguistics. Breanna first began serving pregnant women in 2011 when she became a birth doula, supporting mothers though labor and post-partum. Working with midwives as a doula is what ultimately inspired Breanna to further her training and pursue midwifery as a career. Breanna joined the Mary’s Center team in 2017 and looks forward to taking care of women and families for years to come!
Jessica Cates-Bristol (known as Jessi) is a School-Based Mental Health Therapist at City Arts & Prep, a charter school in Northeast Washington D.C.She received a Masters of Social Work degree from the University of Maryland and has been working with youth in educational settings for fifteen years. Prior to Mary's Center, Ms. Cates-Bristol worked with various community-based organizations in DC, and managed programs in Sub-Saharan African working to empower youth. She finds strength in the following quote by Maya Angelou, “You may not think you can reach it. Climb anyway. You may not think you'll be heard. Speak anyway. You may not think you can change things. Try anyway."
Registered nurse and nurse manager of the Ontario location Vivian Cativo, specializes in Adult Medicine as well as Obstetrics and Gynecology. She also specializes in the Centering Pregnancy program. Originally from El Salvador, Ms. Cativo speaks Spanish and English. In her free time, Ms. Cativo likes to spend time with her baby granddaughter and cook for her family. Ms. Cativo says: "I've always had a passion for maternal and baby care and I really enjoy meeting with our pregnant patients to teach them about the different stages of pregnancy and all the wonderful things they can expect when their baby comes."
Dental hygienist Carla C. Cornejo graduated from dentistry school at Universidad Automoma Juan Misael Saracho in Bolivia and completed the Dental Hygiene Program at Northern Virginia Community College. Ms. Cornejo has her CPR and BLS certification and is fluent in Spanish and English. She sees her patients at the Mary's Center site on Georgia Avenue in Petworth, D.C. Ms. Cornejo has been a member of the Mary's Center team since February 2011. In her free time, she enjoys riding roller coasters, cooking, hiking, camping, and doing other outdoor activities. Ms. Cornejo says: "My goal is to provide quality dental service to the community through education and prevention."
Dr. Cornejo serves Mary's Center’s participants as a board certified pediatrician. He is also the Senior Administrative Medical Director 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. He has been a member of the Mary's Center team since November 2009 and speaks English and Spanish. Dr. Cornejo enjoys mountain biking, painting and traveling with his wife.
Dr. David Cornell joined Mary’s Center in summer 2018. He is a Family Practice Nurse Practitioner with additional training in LGBTQ healthcare, HIV, and Hepatitis, and will also be joining Mary’s Center’s addiction medicine team. Dr. Cornell completed his Doctoral Nurse Practitioner degree at the University of Iowa and began working in DC immediately after graduation, focused primarily on public health, LGBTQ populations, and HIV. He is excited to work with all patients on their medical needs, but also to join Mary’s Center’s efforts to expand access to testing and treatment services related to HIV, hepatitis, addictions, and sexual health. He works at both the Georgia Avenue and the Ontario locations. In his spare time he enjoys exploring DC, trying new restaurants and foods, teaching, and spending time with friends.
Midwife Katie Daily joined Mary's Center as a full scope midwife in 2017. She started her relationship with Mary's Center back in 2005 as an AmeriCorps member, stayed on as an outreach worker and prenatal enrollment specialist, and is thrilled to return in this new role. Ms. Daily graduated with a BA in Latin American Studies and Spanish Language from American University, then after years of community health, doula, and midwife assistant roles, completed a second degree BSN at Georgetown University. She also contributed to the curriculum development and initiation of Briya Public Charter School’s medical assistant training program. She graduated with an MSN from Frontier Nursing University. She then completed a year-long midwifery fellowship with the George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates. She honed her teaching skills as a doula trainer, and former nursing instructor with Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. Ms. Daily is fluent in Spanish and provides care at our Ontario Road and Fort Totten sites. She enjoys spending her free time at the playground or zoo and exploring DC museums with her kids.
Chocoma Da Rocha is an adult medicine provider specializing in HIV disease. Ms. Da Rocha speaks English, Portuguese and Spanish. She earned her Masters as a Physician Assistant at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She started her career in Baltimore, working in addiction medicine, which led to an interest in treating patients with HIV and Hepatitis. She then spent the next ten years at an HIV clinic in Virginia, where she took care of patients at all stages of HIV disease, including pediatric patients and pregnant patients. As therapies for HIV improved, she began to treat individuals co-infected with Hepatitis C as well as pre- and post-exposure HIV prophylaxis. Ms. Da Rocha is excited to be part of Mary’s Center’s efforts to increase access to HIV care and decrease stigma of those infected and affected by HIV disease and Hepatitis. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She also enjoys travelling and considers herself a foodie.
Daniela Da Rocha is an adult medicine physician assistant at our Georgia Avenue location in Petworth. Ms. Da Rocha earned a Masters of Physician Assistant Studies at Eastern Virginia Medical School and has spent the majority of her career practicing community health in New York City. She is a recipient of the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment Program and speaks Spanish and Portuguese. Upon completing her commitment with the NHSC, she continued to serve an urban community in East Harlem. After starting a family and relocating back to the DC area, she briefly practiced in the private sector and quickly longed to return back to her community health roots. An immigrant herself, Daniela grew up in the suburbs with limited access to medical care. Daniela is proud to use her knowledge and skills to empower patients to take control of their own health. As the city continues to change, she is excited to provide medical care in a center that focuses on holistic care to a culturally, economically and educationally diverse population. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, fitness, foreign travel and trying new restaurants.
Board Certified Pediatrician Paul J. Doherty joined the Mary Center’s team in August 2013. Before attending medical school and doing his residency at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Dr. Doherty was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kenya and Tanzania, and worked at Whitman-Walker Clinic, an LGBTQ and HIV-focused healthcare organization here in Washington D.C. While he counts himself lucky to see a rich diversity of patients and families at Mary’s Center, he is particularly welcoming to LGBTQI patients and families, or those who have questions about those issues. (LGBTQI stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and intersex.) In his free time, he patronizes the Petworth Neighborhood Library, tries to make it to yoga class, and thinks up new and fantastic travel plans.
Physician Assistant Mable Dunn has practiced Family Medicine on Mary's Center's Mama and Baby Bus since January 2012. She speaks English, Spanish, and Cantonese (Chinese) and earned her degree at George Washington University. A second-generation Chinese-American, Ms. Dunn says she chose to become a physician assistant because it gave her the training to provide primary care for the immigrant population. In her free time, Ms. Dunn enjoys: spending time with friends, reading a good book, running forest trails, dancing, traveling and volunteering.
Lindsay Eidman is a School-Based Mental Health Therapist at Columbia Heights Education Campus. She is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in D.C. and is bilingual in Spanish and English. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Religious Studies from University of Richmond and a Masters of Social Work from Catholic University of America. Ms. Eidman has extensive experience working with trauma survivors, including survivors of sexual abuse, sexual assault, stalking, and domestic violence, as well as experience working as a mental health therapist in other school-based settings in Washington, D.C. In her free time she enjoys hiking, reading, is an amateur sewer, and loves spending time with friends and family.
Dr. Elliott holds a Bachelor of Science from Howard University and a Post Baccalaureate degree from Fisk University. He attended Howard University College of Medicine and obtained his Doctor of Medicine degree in 2000. He completed his residency in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Georgetown University in 2004 and was named Outstanding Senior Resident in Gynecology. Dr. Elliott is Board-certified. He is committed to community development, having taught in the Prince George’s County Public Schools and served as director of a mentoring program for at-risk youth early in his career. Dr. Elliott enjoys family life, music and travel. Prior to rejoining Mary’s Center, Dr. Elliott worked at Providence Hospital in Washington, DC, where he was a Staff Physician and Co-Chair of the Ob/Gyn Department in 2014. He also served as an Associate Professor at Howard University Hospital. Dr. Elliott was recognized as a Washingtonian Top Doctor in 2016.
Dr. Ifeoma Essien sees participants at Mary's Center's sites in Fort Totten and on Georgia Avenue. She completed her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree at Howard University College of Dentistry and completed a General Practice Residency at The Brooklyn Hospital Center. Dr. Essien joined the Mary's Center team in October 2018 and is licensed in DC and Maryland. She is passionate about education and believes that it is the most important factor in achieving and maintaining optimal oral health. Dr. Essien enjoys spending time with her family, cooking (and eating), dancing, and traveling.
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.
Certified Nurse Midwife Marie Fetter sees participants at the Mary's Center site on Flower Avenue in Silver Spring, Maryland. She earned her degrees at the University of California San Francisco and University of California San Diego's Intercampus Nurse Midwifery Program. Ms. Fetter has been a member of the Mary's Center team since May 2008.
Susan Fleischmann is a Licensed Social Worker. She joined the organization in June 2011 and is based at the Ontario Road site in Adams Morgan, Washington, D.C. Ms. Fleischmann is particularly interested in adult psychotherapy (relational and psychodynamic). She holds an MSW from the University of Maryland at Baltimore and a Certificate in Adult Psychotherapy from the Baltimore Washington Center for Psycho-analysis. She was born in Baltimore and is of German heritage. She enjoys the outdoors, going to the theater and making mosaics.
Ms Fleischmann says: "I chose to work in mental health because I think that mental health determines our ability to function in life at our maximum potential as well as to experience higher levels of life satisfaction. Find ways to get support and enjoy yourself. Do one thing each day that makes you feel good or at least better."
Angelica Garcia-Ditta is a Licensed Social Worker in the District of Columbia working as a School-Based Mental Health Therapist with Mary’s Center, serving high school students in DC Public Schools. Angelica has several years of experience working with underserved adolescents, young adults and families who have experienced domestic and sexual violence, are living with HIV/AIDS, involved in the criminal justice system and in mental health treatment in English and Spanish. Angelica graduated with a Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin and is passionate about serving high-risk adolescents within an integrated health and education model and working towards improved child and family wellness on all levels for the community.
Gretchen Gates began working as a School-Based Mental Health Therapist at Mary's Center on Ontario Road in June 2014. She specializes in therapy for adolescents and families. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Communications from University of Dayton and a Master of Social Work from The Catholic University of America. She recommends that people exercise because it benefits both the mind and body. She speaks both English and Spanish, and enjoys running, biking, cooking and playing with her dog.
Ms. Gates says: "I love working in mental health in a school, because not only does it serve the individual needs of clients and families, but it also decreases the stigma surrounding mental health."
Dr. Geddes joined Mary’s Center in May 2017. She is a board -certified family physician working at our Ontario Road site. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia, then moved to Philadelphia to work as an AmeriCorps volunteer at the YouthBuild Charter School. She attended medical school at Drexel University and did her residency at the University of Pennsylvania Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. Following her residency, she stayed on as faculty at the University of Pennsylvania before joining Doctors Without Borders. With this international aid organization she worked to start a hospital in a refugee camp in Ethiopia, as part of an emergency team for a measles outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and as a supervising physician at a hospital in a rural area of the Central African Republic. She has now settled down in Washington. DC, where she enjoys bike-riding, gardening, and eating her husband’s cooking. She is excited to be a part of the multi-disciplinary team at Mary’s Center and to provide high quality care to people from a variety of backgrounds and cultures. Dr. Geddes speaks English and French, and is working on Spanish.
Anne Giebel joined Mary's Center in Spring 2018 after working as a school social worker. She attended the University of Pittsburgh, where she received her B.S. in Psychology. She moved to the Washington DC area to teach 7th grade English Language Arts in Prince George's County, MD for two years before attending graduate school for Clinical Social Work. She received a Masters of Social Work from Catholic University of America. Currently, Ms. Giebel is a Licensed Graduate Social Worker working as a School-Based Mental Health Therapist at Truesdell Elementary School. In her free time, she enjoys photography, writing, working out, and spending time with friends.
Certified nurse midwife Karen Grace has been a member of the Mary's Center team since January 2012. She received her degree from the University of Pennsylvania and sees her patients at multiple Mary's Center sites located on Ontario Road and Georgia Avenue in DC as well as on Flower Avenue and Adelphi road in Maryland. Ms. Grace speaks both Spanish and English. Ms. Grace sees patients on a per diem basis at Mary's Center, and also works full time as the Interim Program Director of the Nurse-Midwifery/WHNP education program at Georgetown University.
Certified nurse midwife Mindy Greenside has been with Mary's Center since 2008 and rotates between the Mary's Center clinics on Ontario Road in Adams Morgan, D.C and Georgia Avenue in Petworth, D.C. Fluent in English and Spanish, she completed her degree at SUNY Downstate in New York. In her free time, Ms. Greenside enjoys glass jewelry, biking, traveling and cooking.
Dr. James Griffin, who joined Mary’s Center in September 2017, graduated from the University of Maryland School of Dentistry and is a licensed dentist in both Washington, DC and Maryland. Dr. Griffin is originally from Connecticut, where he was in private practice early in his career. He relocated to the Mid-Atlantic area and has worked for a number of years in hospital-based dentistry, convalescent home dental care, and in a private practice setting. Dr. Griffin is a seasoned clinician, who enjoys working with the diverse and underserved populations cared for by Mary’s Center. He enjoys boating, kayaking and biking, and is a huge Maryland Terrapin fan.
Dr. Rodrigo Guevara graduated from the University of Maryland School of Dentistry and is a licensed dentist in Virginia and Washington, DC. Born in Peru, he is fluent in Spanish and enjoys seeing patients from different cultural backgrounds. Dr. Guevara has experience as a general dentist in both non-profit and private practice clinics. He enjoys staying active in his free time, playing basketball and soccer.
Leshia Hansen joined the Mary’s Center’s team in June 2016. She specializes in public health, patient education, and oncology. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Biology from Kansas State University, and attended nursing school at Creighton University in Nebraska. Ms. Hansen also holds a Master’s of Public Health from George Washington University. She sees patients at our locations in Washington DC and Maryland. When she is not working, Ms. Hansen enjoys dancing, traveling and learning new things. She has just returned from serving in the Peace Corps in Cambodia and speaks fluent Khmer, Spanish and English. On working for Mary’s Center, Ms. Hansen says: “I am honored to be a part of a quality organization that really embodies the ideals of holistic and comprehensive care. I am excited about the opportunity to be involved in the lives of so many of my community members.”
Jillian Hartman, a Registered Dental Hygienist in Pennsylvania and Washington, DC, joined Mary's Center at the Fort Totten location in July 2017. A 2016 graduate of West Virginia University's School of Dentistry with a Bachelor of Science degree in Dental Hygiene, Ms. Hartman has her certification in BLS (Basic Life Support) and CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation), and is board certified to administer local anesthesia and nitrous oxide. A native of York, Pennsylvania, she worked in private practice in the Keystone State's state capital, Harrisburg, for one year before relocating to our nation's capital to pursue her passion for engaging with and providing comprehensive oral health care to our diverse community. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the city with her Bichon-A-Ranian puppy, Remy.
Dr. Hayashi is a board-certified family physician and Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. He has been caring for patients in community health centers for 20 years. In addition to clinical care, he is an experienced executive in primary care practice, health policy, and health information technology. He has been a faculty member and leader at Georgetown University and George Washington University. Dr. Hayashi also served as Chief Medical Officer for the Bureau of Primary Health Care, the federal agency that oversees all federally qualified health centers. While caring for patients at Mary’s Center, he is also the Director of Medicine for Human Dx, a technology project to enhance access to care. Dr. Hayashi graduated with honors from Vassar College with a degree in Studio Art. He received his medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society. After completing his Family and Community Medicine Residency Program at the University of California San Francisco, he received his Master of Public Health degree from the Harvard School of Public Health while serving as a fellow for the Commonwealth Fund/Harvard University Fellowship in Minority Health Policy.
Ms. Hernandez, who is from Buffalo, NY, joined Mary’s Center as Director of Midwifery in August 2015. She holds a BA in Spanish and a BSN in Nursing from the University at Buffalo; and an MSN in Nurse-Midwifery from New York University. Ms. Hernandez is certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board. She has provided care to women in many different settings including hospital, clinic, and homebirth. She specializes in physiologic birth, including water birth and providing natural modalities for supporting women in labor. Ms. Hernandez has participated in mission work in Haiti, Mexico, and Argentina. Besides traveling to foreign countries and doing mission work, she enjoys biking and spending time with family and friends. Ms. Hernandez says: “I chose to be a midwife because I believe all women deserve gentle and respectful health care with a provider who listens to them. I believe healthy mothers grow healthy babies and that pregnancy and childbirth are a normal part of a woman’s reproductive life cycle.”
Shamara Howze joined Mary’s Center in July of 2018 and works as a School Based Mental Health Therapist at Barnard Elementary. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from North Carolina Central University in 2015. She later completed her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in 2017 at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Ms. Howze is currently a Licensed Graduate Professional Counselor and aspires to continue working towards becoming a Play Therapist as she truly enjoys working with youth. She also enjoys anything that involves crafts, including painting, hanging out with friends, and cooking.
Mental Health Therapist Maggie Hume joined the Mary's Center team in November 2010, after two years of service with the Peace Corps in Guatemala. She is bilingual in Spanish and English and obtained her MSW (Master of Social Work) degree from the University of Maryland. Ms. Hume is licensed as a clinical social worker in both Maryland and the District of Columbia. She has a certificate in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Training in Affect Dysregulation, Survival Defenses, and Traumatic Memory. Ms. Hume sees patients at the Ontario Road location and encourages them by reminding them that "Healing is always possible." She has many hobbies, including biking, hiking, yoga, swimming, laughing, learning, watching movies, listening to music, reading, traveling, playing Pictionary and chess, having long conversations with friends and family, and savoring a good meal that someone else cooked.
Ms. Hume says: "I chose to work in mental health because one of the things that matters most to me is seeing and helping people to free themselves from limitations, make the best of hard situations, overcome, and find meaning and joy that were missing. Mary's Center reaches out to the people I wanted to work with, and its mission is inspiring to me."
Inma Iglesias was born in Salamanca, Spain and speaks Spanish and English. She also has basic knowledge of sign language. She joined Mary's Center in September 2013 and works as a School Based Mental Health Therapist at Powell Elementary School. Ms. Iglesias is also a certified Parent-Child Interaction Therapist at Mary’s Center. She advises her patients to "be gentle to yourself so you can be gentle to others." She has many hobbies and loves outdoor activities like walking, biking, and having barbecues in the summer. She enjoys music and dancing, and was a Zumba instructor in the past.
Ms. Iglesias says: "I decided to join Mary's Center because I share its mission and values. Mary's Center has a holistic approach when serving the community; which I think is the most effective way to serve our clients. We support the family as a whole and in all the areas that we can. Also, there is a strong team spirit and collaboration among co-workers. The day to day work becomes easier when we support each other."
Sarah Jones joined the Mary's Center School Based Mental Health team in October 2017 and works as a therapist at DC International School. She received her Masters in Social Work from Catholic University in 2017 and her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Georgetown University in 2009. Sarah is a proud social worker who cares deeply about serving clients holistically by addressing individual therapeutic needs while confronting oppressive systems. She incorporates psychodynamic, CBT, music and play therapy techniques into her sessions. She previously worked and interned at So Others Might Eat (SOME), the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) and Georgetown University's Center for Social Justice (CSJ). Sarah is a native Washingtonian who enjoys playing guitar and being as active as possible through hiking, biking, running, yoga and crossfit.
Elysia Jordan joined the Mary’s Center in 2018. She received her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from Emory University. Ms. Jordan spent several years as a labor & delivery nurse at MedStar Washington Hosptial Center, where she discovered her passion for public health. She obtained her Master’s in Public Health from George Washington University in 2011. Prior to joining Mary’s Center, Ms. Jordan worked at the Teen Alliance for Prepared Parenting, a secondary adolescent pregnancy prevention program where she served as Associate Director of Operations and coordinated the Centering Pregnancy program. In her free time, she likes to read, exercise, travel, and try new restaurants.
Dentist Sandra Kim graduated from the Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine and completed her residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Her experience in Philadelphia included teaching dental students and working as a general dentist in a private practice. Dr. Kim also has provided free dental services to the needy during mission trips abroad in Ecuador, Romania, Korea, Haiti and Kenya. She moved from South Korea to the U.S twelve years ago and has been a member of Mary's Center team since February 2012. Dr. Kim currently sees her patients at the Mary's Center site on Georgia Avenue in Petworth, D.C. She speaks English and Korean, along with a limited amount of Spanish. In her free time, she enjoys serving special needs friends in her church ministry and going on mission trips.
Born in in Baltimore, Maryland, Sidney Knight served as an Albert Schweitzer Fellow and a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala. He speaks Spanish and English and joined Mary's Center in 2011, working at the Ontario Road site in Adams Morgan. Mr. Knight was inspired to become a behavioral health worker by words from a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson: "To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." Mr. Knight advises his patients to sleep 7 to 8 hours a day when possible, to eat balanced meals and to "get the wiggles out" by doing physical activity for 30 minutes a day. In his free time, he enjoys long distance running, traveling and drinking coffee.
Dara Koppelman, Chief Nursing Officer, received her nursing degree from Johns Hopkins University. She also has a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and Spanish from the University of Maryland, College Park. Prior to coming to Mary's Center, Dara had experience in both the hospital setting as well as the public health field, working in labor & delivery and then at a local health department doing home visits for high-risk pregnant women and children. She also spent time abroad, doing volunteer work in a community center and farmer's cooperative in Costa Rica, and studying the Spanish language in Spain. Her nursing interests include public health nursing, women's health, nursing leadership, working with underserved populations, and teaching and mentoring nursing students. Dara joined the Mary's Center team in May 2012, where she initially worked as a Nurse Manager at the Georgia Avenue clinic. Dara grew up in New York and speaks both English and Spanish. In her free time, she enjoys going to farmers' markets, doing yoga, traveling, and singing.
Ms. Krawczyk holds a Master’s degree from Finch University of Health Sciences in North Chicago, Illinois. As a Physician Assistant, she specializes in Family Medicine. She joined the Mary’s Center team in August 2015 and sees patients at the Georgia Avenue site. Prior to starting at Mary’s Center she practiced as a Physician’s Assistant in Chicago for 10 years followed by service as a medical volunteer in Honduras at a project for youth affected by HIV/AIDS. Ms. Krawczyk speaks English and Spanish. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, exploring cultural events and new restaurants, going to the beach, traveling, volunteering and organizing annual medical brigades in Central America. Ms. Krawczyk says, “I am committed to working with a diverse, multicultural patient population and believe in educating patients to enable them to maintain good health.”
Vanessa León joined Mary’s Center in January 2016 and works as a School Based Mental Health Therapist at Briya Public Charter School. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from George Mason University and a Master of Social Work from Smith College. Ms. León believes everyone should take the time to care for themselves in order to continue juggling all the other roles they fill, a belief that motivated her to pursue the field of mental health. Bilingual in English and Spanish and the daughter of Peruvian immigrants, Ms. León feels grateful to utilize her language abilities in an effort to help expand access to such care across diverse communities. In her free time, Ms. León enjoys spending time with family and friends, eating good food, dancing and being outdoors.
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Georgia Lewis joined Mary’s Center in March 2017. She received both her BSN and MSN nursing degrees from The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing in Baltimore, Maryland, where she received a HRSA Nurse Corps Scholarship. She is certified by the Pediatric Nursind Certification Board (PNCB) and sees both English and Spanish-speaking patients at the Adelphi site. Ms. Lewis is originally from Washington DC, though she learned Spanish in Venezuela. She spent ten years in Portland, OR receiving a BA in Art and working as both a labor and postpartum doula. She incorporates her background as a doula into her practice by helping parents with breastfeeding, maternal-infant bonding, and infant care. She is also interested in pediatric asthma management and has studied methods to increase medication adherence in inner-city communities. Ms. Lewis is committed to providing her patients with comprehensive care and empowering them to make the best healthcare decisions for themselves. She strongly believes that everyone deserves access to quality healthcare and feels lucky to be a part of Mary’s Center and our comprehensive approach to patient care. In her free time Ms. Lewis enjoys biking, doing yoga, hiking with her dog, and attempting to garden in her backyard.
Erica Lindenberg joined Mary’s Center in July of 2018 as a Mental Health Therapist. She is a Licensed Master Social Worker in Maryland and works primarily at the new clinic at 344 University Blvd. in Silver Spring, as well as the Flower Avenue site. She received her Masters in Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from North Carolina State University. Erica is bilingual (English and Spanish) and has spent time living in Lima, Peru, where she volunteered at a daycare for under-served families. Her previous experience includes working with adolescents and adults in outpatient, integrated healthcare, and nonprofit settings. She utilizes a person-centered, integrative approach to her work with clients. Erica is grateful to work at an organization that employs a holistic model of care which incorporates the connection between physical and mental health. In her free time, she enjoys reading, trying new restaurants, rock climbing, and traveling.
Dr. Erica Lo graduated from Bryn Mawr College with honors where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry. She worked as a Philadelphia high school teacher before deciding to combine her love of science with serving people by becoming a dentist. Dr. Lo received her Doctor of Dental Medicine from Temple University and is licensed in both Washington, D.C. and Maryland. She is excited to be a part of the team at Mary’s Center. In her free time she enjoys museums, trying new restaurants, and watching cooking shows.
Courtney Lorraine joined Mary’s Center in 2017 and works as a Behavioral Health Therapist at the Fort Totten location. She received an MSW from Catholic University in Washington, D.C. and a BA in Social and Cultural Analysis from New York University. Ms. Lorraine has worked with adults and teens in a variety of settings, including outpatient psychotherapy, substance use treatment, residential horticultural therapy, and girls empowerment programs. She is passionate about second chances for everyone, and loves helping people find their strength to continue growing and changing at every stage of life. She is interested in mindfulness meditation and loves spending time in nature whenever she can.
Family nurse practitioner Sonya Luchauer joined the Mary's Center team in October 2012. Mrs. Luchauer earned her undergraduate degree in nursing from Harding University in Searcy, AR, and her masters in nursing from East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN. She completed her master's work and clinical training in Knoxville, Tennessee. Ms. Luchauer sees both pediatric and adult patients at Mary's Center's site on Ontario Road in Adams Morgan, D.C. She is currently learning Spanish and enjoys music, traveling, running and cooking Mrs. Luchauer says: "It is a joy to work closely with children and their families here in DC! I love that Mary's Center shares my own commitment to a holistic approach to patient care."
Registered nurse Jacqueline Mallet specializes in Neonatal Intensive Care. She has been a member of the Mary's Center team since September 2011 and sees her patients at the Mary's Center site on Georgia Avenue in Petworth, D.C. Originally from Haiti, Ms. Mallet speaks French, Haitian Creole, English and Spanish. She received her nursing degree from Montgomery College. In her free time, she enjoys teaching her kids the value of giving [through] volunteering for Haitian non-profit organizations and Habitat for Humanity. Her other hobbies include gardening, home renovations, antiques, road trips with her kids, learning about new languages, and trying new cultural foods at cozy and quaint restaurants. Ms. Mallet says: "I love Mary's Center for many reasons but the most important to me is that we have our patient's and each other's best interest at heart. Mary's Center is the first organization where I have experienced a real family atmosphere combined with the common goal of providing the best holistic care to patients. Also, as an employee you are listened to, and in return this makes you want to give the best that you have to offer."
Marybeth Mangas began working at the Mary's Center location in Adams Morgan in September 2013. She specializes in children's psychotherapy. She holds a Bachelor of Science from St. Joseph's University and a Master's in Social Work from New York University. When discerning her desired career path, Ms. Mangas participated in service immersion programs in New Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Peru. She advises that self-care become a priority in people's lives because you cannot help others without first taking care of yourself. In her free time, Ms. Mangas enjoys traveling, cooking, listening to music, and spending time with her family and friends.
Ms. Mangas says: "I have chosen behavioral health as a profession because of my commitment to being a witness to the experiences and feelings of others, because I believe it is so important for us all to know that we are not alone in our journey."
Dr. Maria L. Marquez is a Board Certified pediatrician who completed her internship, residency and chief residency in the Pediatrics Department at Georgetown University. After her training, Dr. Marquez joined the faculty at Georgetown University Hospital, where she has been practicing and teaching since 1999. She has been frequently recognized as a Washingtonian Top Doctor, and developed a medical educator career as Associate Dean of Reflection and Professional Development and Full Professor of the Department of Pediatrics at Georgetown University School of Medicine. In addition Dr. Marquez has served in the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) at national and regional levels; passionately advocating children's oral health as theirs overall health, as Co-Founders of the District of Columbia’s Oral Health Coalition, and Co-Chair of the Dental-Medical Collaboration group. She is very proud to be a member of the Mary’s Center team, and to serve as Director of the Clinic at Fort Totten. Dr. Marquez values a holistic approach to health. On a personal level she enjoys travelling, music, cooking and going to the museums with her family.
Dr. Mazie has been a Mary’s Center pediatrician since November 2004 and sees patients at the Mary’s Center site on Georgia Avenue in Petworth, D.C. Fluent in English and Spanish, she attended medical school at Wake Forest University and completed her residency at Brown University’s Hasbro Children’s Hospital. In her spare time, Dr. Mazie enjoys gardening, good food and spending time with her children.
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.
Registered nurse Benito Mendoza is a triage nurse at Mary's Center's site on Ontario Road in Adams Morgan, D.C. Mr. Mendoza speaks English, Spanish, Guarani, Portuguese and Slovak. He received his nursing degree from Northern Essex Community College in Massachusetts. Born in Concepcion, Paraguay, Mr. Mendoza has lived in a number of countries including Grenada, Slovakia and Latvia. He has been a member of the Mary's Center team since December 2010. In his free time, Mr. Mendoza enjoys traveling and playing tennis, volleyball and soccer.
Family Nurse Practitioner Yolima Moncada joined the Mary’s Center staff in December 2015 and sees patients at our sites in Adelphi and Silver Spring, Maryland. Ms. Moncada attended George Mason University and received her nursing credential from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Born in Bogota, Colombia, she lived in Panama for many years and her family still resides there. She is fluent in both Spanish and English. She loves running in international marathons, traveling, and spending time with her family. Ms. Moncada says: “After being a nurse in an acute care setting for over 15 years, it is good to work in a primary care setting with an increased emphasis on prevention and health maintenance. I feel truly privileged to practice at Mary’s Center in such a diverse community and to be able to use my culture and language skills to better serve my patients.”
Simone Montoute joined our team at Mary’s Center in September 2017, after caring for the women of Florida for 18 years and a short 2 year stint at Providence Hospital. She sees patients mainly at the Adams Morgan and Silver Spring sites. She is a Certified Nurse Midwife, having completed her Nursing and Midwifery training in the United Kingdom. She then received her US Midwifery Certification at Baystate Medical Center in Massachusetts. She has since also completed her BSN at Grand Canyon University, where she is currently pursuing her MSN in Public Health. Ms. Montoute is originally from Trinidad and Tobago. She speaks English and Spanish and enjoys caring for our diverse population here in DC and Maryland and finding solutions for her patients’ unique concerns. She enjoys entertaining, the theatre and cooking, and is always open to learning new skills.
Dr. Kelechi Ndubuizu is a Board-Certified family medicine physician. She obtained her Bachelor of Science from University of Maryland, Baltimore County and her Masters of Public Health from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She attended Duke University School of Medicine and completed her residency at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC. Her clinical interests include community medicine, addressing health disparities, teaching, and mentorship. In her free time, Dr. Ndubuizu enjoys traveling, exercising, and spending time with family and friends.
Dr. Mike Nidel joined the pediatric team at Mary’s Center in Adelphi in September 2017. Before his medical training, he received a BS in Computer Engineering from Penn State University and a BS in Computer Science from Stanford. He worked as a software programmer for eight years, but finally decided to change to a more meaningful career in medicine. After a post-baccalaureate program at University of Maryland, he attended medical school in beautiful Charlottesville at the University of Virginia. He completed his pediatric residency training at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. One thing he loved about both of those medical centers was their commitment to care for ALL patients and families, regardless of their background, beliefs or income. He was thrilled to find a place like Mary’s Center, taking that mission to the next level, providing services that attempt to reach those who otherwise would not have access to them. Outside the office, he loves spending time with his wife and two kids, and enjoys playing soccer, going to see the Washington Capitals hockey team, playing the guitar and singing. He even recorded a full-length rock album all on his own!
Sarah Spencer Northey (known as Spencer) is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) at the Georgia Avenue clinic. She joined the Mary’s Center staff in 2014. As a relationally-oriented therapist, she considers how individuals develop and interact within a systems context, whether she is meeting with a family group, a couple, or one-on-one. Her approach is friendly, curious, and creative. She aims to empower clients by reflecting the strengths that are already within them so that they can achieve their goals as strong, brave, and wholehearted people. She is bilingual in English and Spanish, and holds a Master’s of Science from the Couple and Family Therapy program at University of Maryland, College Park. Prior to Mary’s Center she worked for a community mental health clinic in Hyattsville, Maryland.
Rachel Osborn has been a School Based Mental Health Therapist at the Ontario Road site since May of 2013. She specializes in both child and adolescent mental health along with school behavioral health. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a Masters of Social Work from Catholic University of America. Ms. Osborn has lived and worked in Southeast Asia & Costa Rica, doing community development and youth empowerment. Through her work at Mary's Center, she strives to combine her love for youth health & wellness, strengthening families, and social change. In her free time, Ms. Osborn enjoys running, hiking, live music, pottery, and playing with her dogs.
Maria Paige has over 20 years of experience in direct service and non-profit management functions. She holds a Recovery Coach Certificate and a Business degree. She is an active member of the DC Recovery Advisory Council (DC RAC). Ms. Paige is works with clients struggling with substance abuse and anger management issues. She is a strong advocate for access to appropriate and affordable treatment for substance use, and reducing the stigma and discrimination associated with the disease. Ms. Paige enjoys engaging people in the process of positive change. She is bilingual in English and Spanish and her hobbies are cooking, listening to music and spending time with her dog.
Ana-Maria Parra joined the Mary’s Center team in May 2017 as a bilingual (Spanish and English) Mental Health Therapist at the Ontario site. She was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from The University of Tampa and her Master of Social Work from Fordham University. Ms. Parra has experience working in New York City in foster care, as well as providing therapy to children, adolescents and adults. She is passionate about exercising, reading and spending time with her friends and family. As an immigrant herself, Ms. Parra wants to give back to the community by supporting and empowering clients to reach their full potential.
Marisa Parrella is based at the Ontario Road site in Adams Morgan. She joined Mary's Center in February 2014 and specializes in Children's Psychotherapy, Clinical Supervision and Program Management. Ms. Parrella is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in (D.C.) and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (Maryland). She holds a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan and completed a Post Graduate Fellowship in Clinical Social Work at the Yale University Child Study Center. She was born in Boston to immigrant parents from Italy and speaks English and Spanish. Ms. Parrella enjoys running, hiking, cooking, reading and travel and believes that deep breathing helps to maintain good mental health.
Ms Parrella says: "Caring for your mental health is as important as caring for your physical health. Mary's Center services strive to improve overall wellness of individuals, families, and communities."
Dr .Thamar Petit graduated from Temple Kornberg School of Dentistry in 2013 and is licensed in D.C. and MD. While in dental school she was a recipient of the Maurice H. Kornberg Dental School Scholarship and served as the Student National Dental Association (SNDA) president. She is currently a member the American Dental Association (ADA) and Academy of General Dentists (AGD). At Mary’s Center, she sees her patients at the Georgia Avenue site in Petworth, D.C. In her free time, Dr. Petit enjoys taking continuing education courses, reading thrillers, cooking, biking, traveling, badminton and basketball.Dr. Petit says: "I chose to work at Mary's Center because it's like one big family. The atmosphere is comfortable, happy and open. The patients receive the best care in an environment where the staff genuinely cares."
Dr. Stephanie Pope holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University. She completed medical school at the University of Maryland and her pediatric residency at Georgetown University in 2010. She especially enjoys working with children with special health care needs and adolescents. She speaks English and Spanish. Dr. Pope says: "I am grateful that I can work as part of a large experienced multi-disciplinary team to help patients overcome social and economic barriers to accessing quality health care with dignity. It is absolutely possible to attain social change through medicine and good health". In her free time, Dr. Pope enjoys mentoring students, exploring museums with her son and husband, experiencing new cultures, science fiction and pupusas.
Giuliana Gonzalez Portillo, who speaks Spanish and English, joined Mary’s Center in October 2015. She is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and sees patients at our site in Adelphi, Maryland. She attended Georgetown University and the University of Pennsylvania. She did her clinical training at Georgetown, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Camden Clinics in NJ. She is certified by the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board and is licensed to practice in Washington DC and Maryland. Her research on “Primary Care Interventions to Reduce Childhood Obesity in Latino Children” was published in National Association of Nurse Practitioner’s Journal of Pediatric Health Care. Born and raised in Honduras in a loving military family, she was inspired by her parents’ dedication to serving others. She is active in her church and serves in various ministries. She also enjoys CrossFit, weight training and running, as well as cooking, especially Thai and Asian dishes! Ms. Gonzalez says: “I am passionate about working with underserved populations. I am determined to help curb social disparities, and am committed to giving every single one of my patients the best of myself. I am delighted to be part of the Mary’s Center’s Team and to helping to advance our mission.”
Tyna Queen-Persad is an experienced OB/Gyn Physician Assistant. She has worked at institutions including Catholic University, Providence Hospital, Prince Georges Community Hospital and Holy Cross Hospital. Ms. Persad holds a Bachelor of Science-Physician Assistant with Certificate of Primary Care, magna cum laude, from Howard University. She is licensed in the District of Columbia and Maryland and is also Certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.
Zeke Reich is a Behavioral Health Therapist at the Fort Totten Clinic and has worked at Mary's Center since August 2014. He specializes in individual and group therapy with adults, teens and children, working mostly in English but with Spanish-speaking clients as well. Mr. Reich holds a Master's in Social Work from The Catholic University of America and draws on several approaches including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Schema Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and play therapy. His goal at Mary's Center is to help people heal from the past, let go of worries about the future, and become their most liberated selves in the present. His advice to clients is "Come in and talk to someone! You don’t have to go through this alone." When not at work, Mr. Reich spends his time parenting, writing, and meditating.
Nelsy Reyes specializes in Telephone Triage Nursing, prioritizing patients’ health needs based on the severity of their condition. She joined the Mary’s Center team in October 2014 and is based at our Georgia Avenue site. Ms. Reyes has an Associates of Science in Nursing from Prince George’s Community College. Originally from Puebla, Mexico and now living in Maryland, Ms. Reyes is fluent in Spanish and English. She loves dancing, working out outdoors, and spending time with her family. Ms. Reyes says: “It’s truly an honor to work at Mary’s Center, a place that brings back the human aspect to public health, offering an array of services to the community, from education and mental health, to clinical services, and many more, all under the same roof.”
Elba Rivas is an Integrative Behavioral Health Therapist at Mary’s Center’s Silver Spring office. The daughter of Salvadorian immigrants, she is bilingual in Spanish and English. She understands firsthand the challenges and resiliency of the immigrant community. It was through this lens that she developed a desire to pursue social work and give back to the community. She holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. She has been working at Mary’s Center since June 2015. Ms. Rivas takes great pride in working to achieve Mary’s Center's mission of embracing culturally diverse communities to provide them with the highest quality of care. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, going to concerts, and trying new restaurants.
Native to Puerto Rico, she joined Mary’s Center in August 2017, where she serves participants at Georgia, Ontario & Ft Totten locations. Her educational background consists of a BS in Nutrition & Dietetics from her alma mater, the University of Puerto Rico, an MS in Nutrition Education from CSU-Chico, and completing her dietetic internship at the VA Medical Center in San Juan, PR. Kristina regards the nutrition counseling process as a two-way street and strives to spark the internal motivation to change within participants rather than telling them what to do. She enjoys weekend trips to the local farmer’s markets, tinkering in the kitchen, and taking long walks with her dog.
Pediatric nurse practitioner, Dr. Rebecca Roberts sees participants at the Mary's Center site on Georgia Avenue in Washington, D.C. Having earned her graduate degrees from the University of Minnesota and Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Robert has been a member of the Mary's Center team since June 2007. She has lived and worked in Guatemala, Peru, Nicaragua, and several areas of the United States. Her research interest is childhood nutrition. In her spare time, Dr. Robert enjoys biking, gardening, and spending time with family and friends. Dr. Roberts says: "I work at Mary's Center because of the diverse population it serves and its commitment to quality care."
Chelsea Rohrer-Dann joined the Mary’s Center team in February 2017. She received her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from George Washington University. She spent two years as an acute care float pool nurse at Children’s National Medical Center and also volunteered as a maternal child health nurse at the Fairfax County Health Department in Virginia. Prior to joining the nursing profession, she received a Master’s in Education from the City College of New York and a Bachelor’s of Science in Biological Anthropology from George Washington University, and taught high school mathematics in New York City. In addition to her nursing role at Mary’s Center, Chelsea serves as an instructor in the Briya Medical Assistant training program. She speaks both English and Spanish. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, traveling, following creative pursuits like painting, writing, and photography, and watching sports.
Georgette Saad joined the Mary's Center team in June 2012 and is a Behavioral Health Therapist at the Marys' Center site in Ontario and Fort Totten as the Senior Clinical Early Childhood Program Manager. Ms. Saad holds a Bachelor's of Social Work from New York University and a Masters of Social Work from University of Maryland. She is of Bolivian and Lebanese background and speaks both Spanish and English. Ms. Saad is greatly enjoying her time at Mary's Center, growing and connecting with families from all over DC in many unique ways. She lives by these inspirational words from author Paulo Coelho and wants to share them with her patients: "If you only walk on sunny days, you will never reach your destination". During her free time, she stays active by hiking, kayaking, and yoga, but also enjoys baking, reading, doing jigsaw puzzles, and playing with her dogs.
Ms. Saavedra is a Family Practice Physician Assistant at our Ontario Road location in Adams Morgan, Washington DC. She joined the organization in September 2015 because she believes in the mission of providing high-quality, holistic healthcare to all community members regardless of their ability to pay. She is very proud to be a part of the amazing team of providers at Mary’s Center! Ms. Saavedra, who speaks English and Spanish, holds a Dual Masters of Science in Physician Assistant Studies and Masters of Public Health (Community-Oriented Primary Care concentration) from The George Washington University. Prior to coming to Mary’s Center, she worked as a medical volunteer in underserved communities in Southern Spain and the DC metro area. She is an associate clinical professor in the GW Physician Assistant program, advising future PAs about the importance of understanding patients in the context of their social, cultural, and economic circumstances. In her free time, she enjoys cooking great meals, hiking or just being outdoors, and spending time with her family, friends, and dog.
Gloria Saez has been sharing her time between the Mary's Center sites on Ontario Road and Georgia Avenue since September of 2014, specializing in Behavioral Health Therapy. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies from the Moody Bible Institute and a Master's in Social Work from Alabama A&M University. Her advice for better emotional health: "You can't give what you don't have; take care of yourself emotionally and physically. It is not selfish to take time out for yourself, it is actually a sign you care." At Mary's Center, she hopes to enhance the mental, emotional, and wellbeing of clients by using the appropriate assessment techniques and therapeutic modalities. Ms. Saez is bilingual in Spanish and English. During her free time, she enjoys hiking, people-watching, adventures and learning new information.
Ariste (Ari) Sallas-Brookwell is a Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW) in the District of Columbia and began working as a Mental Health Therapist with Mary’s Center in April 2018. She works with children, adolescents, and adults. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Gender & Health and Political Science from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a Master of Social Work from the Catholic University of America. She completed a nine month post-graduate training program in psychodynamic psychotherapy at the Washington School of Psychiatry in 2017. Ms. Sallas-Brookwell says, “I love being a social worker because it allows me to be a partner and witness to clients on the path to healing, growth, and empowerment. It’s remarkable to see clients realize their own resilience and strengths.”
Certified as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - Primary Care, Gabriela Santamaria jointed the Mary’s Center team in February 2015 and sees patients at our Ontario Road site. She studied at the Thomas Jefferson University School of Nursing and completed her clinical rotations through the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where she subsequently worked as a Neonatal ICU nurse. Born in San Salvador, El Salvador, but raised in Pennsylvania, Ms. Santamaria speaks Spanish and English. She loves dancing salsa, merengue and bachata, as well as traveling and spending time with her family and her dog. Ms. Santamaria says: “When I moved to DC, I wanted to be at a health center where I could work with and care for families of different cultures and backgrounds - Mary’s Center is just that place. I enjoy working at Mary’s Center and I am privileged to work alongside members of the healthcare team who work hard each and every day to ensure quality and safe medical care to all.
A pediatrician and Medical Director for our Ontario Road site in Adams Morgan, Dr. Jessica Schroeder sees patients at that location. She attended Medical School at the Medical College of Virginia (VCU School of Medicine) and completed her residency at Children's National Medical Center. Dr. Schroeder has been a member of the Mary's Center team since 2002 and speaks English and Spanish. She has lived in Washington, D.C. since 1999 and has three children - all born at home. In her free time, Dr. Schroeder enjoys running, gardening, and hiking. Dr. Schroeder says: "I love coming to work every day to see my patients grow and change. I also really enjoy helping children feel better when they are sick. We have great staff here and wonderful patients.”
Registered nurse, Siomara Segovia, sees her patients at Mary's Center's site on Flower Avenue in Silver Spring, Maryland. She received her degree from the Catholic University of Maryland and has been a member of the Mary's Center team since April 2013. Ms. Segovia speaks both Spanish and English. In her spare time, she likes to satisfy her "travel bug" through travel and enjoys activities related to the outdoors. Ms. Segovia says: "I chose Mary's Center because of the holistic approach to health. I love to work with communities and build their health and knowledge."
Begoña Cortina was born in Bilbao, Spain, and speaks English and Spanish. She is also fluent in Basque. She joined Mary’s Center in August 2016 and works as a bilingual School Based Mental Health Therapist at Cesar Chavez Prep. Ms. Cortina feels grateful to be able to work cross culturally in a diverse environment. She is a firm believer in team work and greatly appreciates the supportive environment at Mary’s Center. In addition, she feels lucky to work in a setting inspired by César Chávez, and will not hesitate to paraphrase one her favorite quotes from the civil rights activist and community organizer: “From the depth of need and despair, people can work together, can organize themselves to solve their own problems and fill their own needs with dignity and strength”.
Jillian Shropshire joined Mary’s Center in December 2015 as a Post-Release Services Case Manager, working with recently-arrived unaccompanied minors and their families as they adjust to their new homes. Inspired by her clients’ strength and resiliency and with a greater understanding of the need for mental health services in schools, she transitioned to the SchoolBased Mental Health team in March 2018. She works as a School Based Mental Health Therapist at Roosevelt High School. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Loyola University Maryland and a Master of Social Work from Boston College. Ms. Shropshire is bilingual in English and Spanish and has lived and worked in Honduras as a teacher. Her clients’ resiliency and strength inspires her. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends, cooking, reading, knitting, traveling, and practicing yoga.
Dr. Rachel Skalina is a board-certified pediatrician based at the Ontario site. After graduating from college at the University of Pennsylvania, she moved to Colorado to attend the University of Colorado for her medical degree. She completed her residency at Children's National Health System, and joined Mary's Center full-time in 2017. Dr. Skalina is interested in the social determinants of health and finding ways to ameliorate toxic stress in order to help all children lead healthy, fulfilling futures, and chose Mary's Center in part for its holistic approach to caring for patients and their families. She speaks English and Spanish. In her free time, she loves cooking, skiing, and exploring the outdoors with her dog.
Dr. Smith joined Mary’s Center in August 2015 and practices Family Medicine at our Ontario Road location. After his undergraduate studies at the University of Virginia, he worked as a high school teacher in Anacostia, DC. He then attended the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and completed his residency at Swedish First Hill Family Medicine at the Downtown Public Health Center in Seattle, WA. Dr. Smith has had very rewarding medical experiences working and volunteering in Peru, Guatemala, Haiti and Malawi. He has a particular interest in the care of new mothers and their babies, geriatric patients and patients recovering from addiction. In his free time, Dr. Smith enjoys spending time with his wife and 2 children, hiking, fishing and cheering on University of Virginia sports teams! Dr. Smith says: “I chose to do my residency at a community health center and now work at Mary’s Center because I wholeheartedly believe access to high-quality health care is something that all people are entitled to regardless of their native language, immigration status, skin color or ability to pay. We are all neighbors and should work together to promote the health of our communities!”