Navigating Cancer - Building Skills for the Journey


With Carole O'Toole

- Tuesday, March 12, 6:30pm

Navigating Cancer - Charting your journeyThe experience of cancer can be overwhelming. This program will offer tools, resources, and wisdom to empower patients and their caregivers to be their own best "navigators" through the cancer experience. It will be led by Carole O'Toole, Smith Center’s Director of Integrative Navigation, Cancer Coach, and cancer survivor.

A patient navigator is someone who guides people through the complex cancer care system, providing guidance and practical support. At Smith Center, we believe a navigator can also provide emotional support and resources for healing outside the medical system. This class will provide you with skills and tools for self-navigation and help you learn how to find a professional navigator to work with if you choose.

Carole will offer tools and experiences on how to find the wise guide within yourself and to restore your sense of inner balance. She will then share how inner wisdom translates into practical uses:
    •    How do we make choices when we don’t know where to start?
    •    What questions should we ask?
    •    How do we advocate for ourselves?
    •    What can I do on my own to support my healing process?

The program will include experiential stress reduction techniques as well as time for Q&A. Caregivers are welcome. Participants may attend any sessions that are of interest to them.

Save the date: The next Navigating Cancer program will be Thursday, June 13. The topic will be Developing a Personal Healing Plan: Evaluating and Selecting Complementary Therapies. 

*Please note that this program was originally scheduled for Tuesday, February 19.*

Your donation amount $


Carole O'TooleCarole O’Toole developed the Patient Navigation Program for Smith Center in 2006, introducing integrative navigation to Howard University Cancer Center, and developing faith-based community navigation services for African-Americans and African immigrants that operate from four churches in underserved areas and the community at large. She has also designed a training model for integrative cancer care navigation that is offered to navigators nationwide through Smith Center. Prior to her work at Smith Center, Carole was a Patient Navigator at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, MD, and ran a private integrative cancer care navigation practice. She also has over fifteen years’ professional experience in environmental consulting.

In addition to her navigation work at Smith Center, Carole also staffs the weeklong retreats, coaches individuals on integrative cancer care decision-making and complementary resources, and leads Smith Center's “Living Well With Cancer” one-day workshops. Carole frequently represents Smith Center at national and local conferences and other public forums. She is the author of two books on integrative cancer care: “Cancer Community Healing Network”, and “Healing Outside the Margins”, and holds a Masters degree in Medical Anthropology and Health Policy. Carole has been a survivor of advanced cancer since 1994, enjoys biking and rowing on the Potomac with a survivor crew team, and is a wife and mother.

Scholarships & Giving Back

For those in need — Free programs and Scholarship Assistance
We aim to offer free and low-cost programs, affordable to anyone who would like to participate. If you would like to attend a program, but find the cost to be a barrier, fill out a scholarship request form or email Full or partial scholarship assistance is available for most programs.

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As a nonprofit, we rely on your support to keep our programs going. Registration fees cover less than half of what it costs to provide our programs. If you're able to give a little extra (or a lot), it will help ensure that all who are in need of Smith Center's resources will receive them. 

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