On Feb. 15, President Barack Obama presented the second-highest civilian honor in the U.S., the 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal, to Georgetown nursing alumna Maria S. Gomez, MPH, RN. She and the 12 other 2012 medal winners were selected from nearly 6,000 nominees for the honor, which recognizes U.S. citizens who perform exemplary deeds of service.
“It is my distinguished honor to award these individuals the 2012 Citizens Medal for their commitment to public service,” the president said when announcing the award winners. “Their selflessness and courage inspire us all to look for opportunities to better serve our communities and our country.”
Gomez graduated from Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies (NHS) in 1977, and went on to found Mary’s Center, of which she also is president and CEO. The organization was established in 1988 to provide prenatal and postpartum care to underserved Latino women in Washington, D.C. — it now serves more than 24,000 socially and medically vulnerable individuals.
“Maria is a strong voice and leader for social action within our city and beyond,” said NHS Dean Martin Y. Iguchi, PhD. “Her work at Mary’s Center has been a true force in reducing health disparities. She embodies our mission to improve the health and well-being of all people.”