In late 2018, Maria became a pioneering leader of the Healthy MOMS (Maternal Opiate Medical Support) program, connecting The Wright Center for Community Health with other dedicated community partners to generate a collaborative response without silos. Maria was integral in securing funding for this program from the AllOne Foundation, which now has the capacity to serve 50 expectant and new mothers across the region. In 2017, Maria successfully led The Wright Center for Community Health’s grant application to host four AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers in NEPA for the next three years. Maria has a doctorate in human development and has taught grantsmanship and research methodology at the graduate level.
As an active member of her community, Maria is generous with her time and has been involved with over 25 organizations and boards of directors in the past 15 years. Currently, she is serving a three-year term on the board of the Community Intervention Center, which acts as a day shelter for displaced and homeless individuals and provides supportive housing, including shower and laundry facilities. In addition, Maria sits on the board of the Rainbow Alliance and serves as a member of the Scranton Area Community Foundation Women in Philanthropy, Society of Research Administrators, and the National Association of Community Health Centers. She leads by example; acts as a trusted, professional mentor to her colleagues; and actively fosters a collaborative dynamic within her team and across departments. Also, a seasoned artist, Maria empowers others to explore their talents through her involvement with Artists for Art. In her spare time, she enjoys painting (outside or “plein air”) and spending time with her family.