with Sylvia Sturm and Connie Custer

Image result for sylvia sturm reiki

Anyone can learn and use Reiki. This gentle hands-on modality utilizes the power of universal life force energy to harmonize the energies of the body. It is a gift anyone can use daily to instill deep relaxation. When deeply relaxed, the body can begin to use its own inner resources to reduce stress and anxiety and to find a sense of inner peace. As the healing power of energy medicine has become more and more recognized, Reiki has become an important contribution to Integrative Medicine. It has been well researched and is used in hospitals and healing settings throughout the world.

A two-part class in this gentle energy balancing modality with a special emphasis on self-treatment. Students will learn the history of Reiki, identify hand positions for treating self and others, receive attunements to the Reiki energy and practice hands-on sessions. Those attending both classes will receive Reiki 1 certification.


  • January 5
  • January 26

There is a $150 fee to participate in this 2-part Reiki 1 Certification program. Participants will graduate the program with a Reiki 1 Certification.

About Sylvia Sturm

Sylvia Sturm, EEM-CLP, RM/T, heads our Energy Balancing volunteer team. Sylvia is a Certified Eden Energy Medicine Clinical Practitioner and a Reiki Master Teacher. For many years she has managed a Reiki Volunteer group at a seniors’ residence and has served for 6 years as a Reiki volunteer in GWU Hospital. She is delighted to now work with a dedicated and wonderful team to address the balancing of one’s subtle energies in order to allow the body to completely relax.  She has an independent practice in Kensington, MD. To learn more about Sylvia and subtle energies, please visit her website www.sylviasturm.com.

About Connie Custer

Connie has practiced Reiki since 1998, and received her Reiki Master/Teacher credentials from GW Hospital’s Center for Integrative Medicine. She has been a Reiki volunteer at Life With Cancer and Capital Caring Hospice, and has a certificate in animal Reiki. As part of her energy work, she also practices qigong, and is certified to teach walking qigong.

with Priya Shamsundar, NP

Please join us for an engaging presentation that reviews palliative care medicine as a medical specialty that improves quality of life and helps to relieve symptoms at home for people of any age, at any stage of an advanced illness, whether that illness is curable, chronic, or life limiting. The underlying premise of this discussion is supported by the belief there should be a holistic and spiritual infusion with approach to conventional medicine.

About Priya Shamsundar

Priya Shamsundar is a Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner that works with Capital Caring. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Stony Brook University and her Master’s degree from Pace University in 2013. Her specialties include Urology, Pain Management and of course Palliative Care. Her aim as a Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner is to provide holistic care with a collaborative approach to patients with chronic and long term illnesses such as cancer and end stage illnesses. She is well versed in initiating discussions that address advance care planning and insight to questions that may arise when dealing with any chronic or long term prognosis. She currently cares for patients in the community of the District of Columbia and is one of the only Palliative Care providers that makes home visits. She continues to show commitment to her patients with hopes that her expertise will ease the journey and anxieties that comes along with managing a chronic or life impacting illness.

with Deirdre Orceyre, ND, MSOM, LAc

Join Dr. Deirdre Orceyre at the Smith Center for this interactive presentation and discussion. Dr. Orceyre will share her expertise based on her experience working with cancer patients during their use of conventional therapies combined with complementary and “alternative” therapies. Dr. Orceyre will present information about adjunctive therapies such as intravenous high-dose ascorbic acid (vitamin C), mistletoe therapies, metformin, low-dose naltrexone and others. She will help demystify these treatments and how and when they should or should not be considered. This presentation will contain a Q&A, so bring your questions!

More about Deidre Orceyre, ND, MSOM, LAc 

Dr. Deirdre Orceyre, ND, MSOM, L.Ac., is a graduate of the National College of Natural Medicine, a leading institution in natural health education in the U.S. In 2004, she graduated cum laude with a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine and a Masters of Science in Oriental Medicine. Following her medical training, Dr. Orceyre participated for two years in a full-time residency program focusing on internal naturopathic medicine, with special rotations in women’s health, endocrinology and integrative cancer care. Dr. Orceyre has undergone extensive national examinations and is a board certified licensed naturopathic physician and licensed acupuncturist in the District of Columbia.

Dr. Orceyre currently sees patients at GWCIM on Monday afternoons, and on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. In addition, twice a  month she works at the GW Breast Center. She offers both naturopathic office visits and acupuncture for her patients. She welcomes patients with all conditions, with the  goal to work with the patients to determine the causes of their imbalance. Dr. Orceyre sees herself as a guide and a coach, with the patient being the true healer. She uses many treatment modalities, such as nutrition and lifestyle modifications, nutritional supplementation, Western and Chinese herbal medicines, acupuncture, flower essences, homeopathy, qigong healing and craniosacral therapies.

with Cheryl Hughes, LICSW, OSW-C

Learn more about the benefits of mindfulness and mediation for cancer and cancer related side-effects.

More about Cheryl Hughes

Cheryl Ann Hughes, LICSW creates a safe and supportive environment from which individuals can define their goals, as well as the means by which they can be achieved. Cheryl tailors each treatment plan using a variety of modalities including EMDR, strengths-based and solution-focused techniques, and with recognition of– and a deep respect for — the strong connection between mind and body. Cheryl infuses her work with mindfulness-based techniques to assist her clients in recognizing their own ability to create a reality that will lead to a satisfying and fulfilling life. Cheryl received her master’s degree in social work, with an emphasis on clinical and medical social work, from Catholic University. She works with cancer patients and their families as they deal with the increased stressors caused by cancer and its treatment.

This retreat is designed to empower those living with Metastatic Breast Cancer to make life-affirming changes by providing tools and knowledge in a safe and caring community of others facing a similar diagnosis.

During the retreat, you will experience:

*A respite from the stresses of daily life with a cancer diagnosis

*Gentle, therapeutic yoga and meditation

*Delicious, whole foods, health-supportive lunch and

*An education session about eating with cancer

*A creativity session to tap into greater self-understanding in the face of cancer

*A community of other individuals who have shared experiences

Who: This retreat is designed for women who have been diagnosed with Stage IV/Metastatic breast cancer.

Cost: FREE, thanks to the generous support of the GW Cancer Center.

SPACE IS LIMITED – Click here to apply today!

If you are interested in attending one of our upcoming retreats, please fill out and submit the online application by visiting this page. Your responses will be kept confidential and only shared with the retreat staff. If you prefer, we can also send you a copy of the form to be completed offline and submitted – please contact retreats@smithcenter.org if interested.

with Michael Lerner

The healing power of love is beyond comprehension.  Yet love is also one of the most complex experiences in life, yielding pleasure and pain in equal measure.  Join Smith Center Co-Founder Michael Lerner to explore love in poetry, sacred texts, and archetypal psychology, drawing on Rumi, Hafiz, Jung, Hillman and others.

 About Michael Lerner

Michael Lerner is president and co-founder of Commonweal and president emeritus and co-founder of Smith Center for Healing and the Arts.

At Commonweal, he is co-founder or founder of the Commonweal Cancer Help Program, Healing Circles, Beyond Conventional Cancer Therapies, The New School, and the Resilience Project.  He taught at Yale before founding Commonweal in 1976.  He received a MacArthur Prize Fellowship in 1983.

Presented in partnership with Cancer Support Community

This workshop will raise awareness among patients and caregivers about diagnoses, treatment options, managing side effects, coping with the psychosocial impact of neuroendocrine and carcinoid tumors, and fostering constructive dialogue with their healthcare team.

Presenters will include Dr. Giuseppe Esposito, Chief of Nuclear Medicine and PET/CT and Professor of Radiology at the Medstar Georgetown University Hospital, and Dr. Jaydira del Rivero, endocrine oncologist in the Pediatric Oncology Branch (POB) at the National Cancer Institute Center for Cancer Research.

Enrollment space is limited and we expect this workshop to fill quickly,  so register early to guarantee your place! To RSVP, please click the link at the top of this page, call 202.483.8600 or email programs@smithcenter.org.

About Giuseppe Esposito, MD, MBA

Giuseppe Esposito, MD, is board certified in nuclear medicine. He sees patients at two MedStar clinics the Reservoir Road clinic in Washington, DC, and the Olney, Maryland clinic. Dr. Esposito is the Chief of Nuclear Medicine and PET/CT and Professor of Radiology at the Medstar Georgetown University Hospital. His specialties include PET/CT and SPECT/CT imaging of tumors, cardiac diseases, epilepsy, dementias and Parkinson’s disease.

In his clinics, he also performs diagnostic imaging and treatment of thyroid cancer and hyperthyroidism, prostate bone metastases, radioembolization of metastatic liver cancers, and PRRT treatment of Neuroendocrine tumors. Dr. Esposito is very active in research and in conducting clinical trials. He is also involved in the professional Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging. He serves as a peer reviewer for multiple medical journals, including Frontiers in Oncology, Frontiers in Cancer Imaging and Diagnosis. Dr. Esposito enjoys talking with his patients and answering their questions. Many patients are not familiar with nuclear medicine, so he takes great care to explain the procedures to make patients feel comfortable educating them on the benefits and the potential side effects.

Dr. Esposito is a native of Italy and has lived in the U.S. since 1992. He travels to Italy frequently, with his wife and two daughters, to see the rest of his family in Naples.

About Jaydira Del Rivero, M.D.

Dr. Del Rivero earned her medical degree from the University of Veracruz in Veracruz, Mexico and completed her internship at General Hospital Institute of Security and Social Services for Government Employees, also in Veracruz. Following a year of field service at the Center of Studies and Health Services at the University of Veracruz. Dr. Del Rivero completed her internal medicine residency at Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center/NYU-Langone Medical Center in Brooklyn. Dr. Del Rivero completed a fellowship in endocrinology at The Inter-Institute Endocrinology Training Program (IETP) at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) where she was part of a research team developing clinical trials for pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma, rare tumors that form within and outside the adrenal glands and are linked to a range of inherited syndromes. She then joined as Assistant Professor at the Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care (MECCC) where she focused on all endocrine tumors such as thyroid cancer, parathyroid tumors, advanced gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, adrenal tumors, pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma and other endocrine malignancies.

She subsequently completed a second fellowship in oncology at the National Cancer Institute with a research focus on endocrine malignancies such as medullary thyroid cancer. Dr. Del Rivero is board certified in Internal Medicine, Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism and board eligible in Oncology.

She is developing the Rare Tumor Natural History study and Rare Tumor Clinic to: 1) serve as an umbrella protocol for patients with rare solid tumors of interest to the CCR and for patients who may be candidates for CCR early clinical trials and, 2) to provide the basis for the development of therapeutic interventions, prevention/screening guidelines, endpoints for future clinical trials, and patient-reported outcome measures.

She is also working on tumor immunology and the development of novel immunotherapy approaches for medullary thyroid cancer and targeted therapies for other endocrine malignancies such as advanced pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma.

with Dr. Mikhail Kogan, MD, Deidre Orceyre, ND MSOM Lac, and Paula Querido Kahn

Cannabis is becoming more widely available as a medicine in the United States as well as throughout the world. Although its medicinal use dates back thousands of years, health care providers trained in modern times during cannabis prohibition and stigmatization have very little knowledge regarding the pharmacology, benefits and risks, and dosing recommendations. Oncology patients are increasingly relying on on-line testimonials or advice from cannabis dispensaries to determine if cannabis may be useful for them. Recent surveys have shown that at least 50% of oncologists would like to have their patients try medical cannabis, but few actively prescribe – mostly due to lack of education on the topic.

This session will outline the basics of the system of cannabinoid receptors and endocannabinoids, review clinical situations where cannabis may be a useful intervention and discuss and demonstrate some of the currently available delivery systems.

The topic is extremely important because of the global increase in the use of medical cannabis. It is being increasingly requested by a variety of different oncology patients. Medical cannabis is in the news on a daily basis and physicians are confronted with a paucity of knowledge and evidence to employ in discussion with their patients, In addition, many may face an ethical dilemma about making a recommendation to use cannabis to their patients in view of its overall illegal status globally. There is also a taboo associated with its consumption which prohibits many patients from discussing it with their physicians. The knowledge gap in this area for both physicians and patients is significant.


Objective 1: Enumerate the clinical situations which have the best evidence to support the use of medicinal cannabis as it relates to oncology patients.

Objective 2: Discuss the effects obtained from different strains and modes of delivery of medicinal cannabis

Objective 3: Understand basics of the process of obtaining medical cannabis in the Washington DC and surrounding area.

Enrollment space is limited and we expect this workshop to fill quickly,  so register early to guarantee your place! To RSVP, please click the link at the top of this page, call 202.483.8600 or email programs@smithcenter.org.

About Mikhail (Misha) Kogan, MD, ABIOM, RCST

Dr Kogan is a leader in the newly-established field of Integrative Geriatrics.  He is the chief editor of the first definitive textbook of the field entitled “Integrative Geriatric Medicine”, published by Oxford University Press as part of Andrew Weil Integrative Medicine Library series and is frequent speaker at a variety of international conferences on the topics of Integrative Medicine and Geriatrics, healthy aging, and geriatrics, as well as neurodegenerative diseases, and use of medical cannabis.  Additionally, he has published in both Integrative and Geriatric topics in leading US-based journals.

Dr. Kogan currently serves as medical director of the GW Center for Integrative Medicine and associate director of the Geriatrics Fellowship Program.  He is the founder and director of the George Washington University Integrative Geriatrics Fellowship Track and the director of the Integrative Medicine Track program at the George Washington University School of Medicine, as well as serving as part-time faculty member of the George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health, and the GW Center for Aging, Health and Humanities.

In addition to his academic roles at George Washington University Dr. Kogan serves on a number of national boards and organizations including: the American Board of Integrative Medicine within the American Board of Physician Subspecialists (ABPS), ProCure Art, PlantMed, and others.  Dr Kogan is also the founder and the chair of the board of AIM Health Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area that provides integrative medicine services to low-income and terminally ill patients regardless of their ability to pay.

In 2017, after a decade of applying integrative approaches to patients with Alzheimer’s disease and optimizing comprehensive metabolic approach, Dr. Kogan founded the MK Cognition Institute (MKCI), dedicated to helping patients with Alzheimer’s disease identify and correct underlying metabolic driverswork, which is primarily based on Dr. Dale Bredesen’s research and newly created ReCode protocol.

For Dr. Mikhail Kogan, the practice of medicine, much like the rest of his life, has been a journey spanning many miles and many cultures, with valuable new learning and different perspectives accruing from each stage along the way. Those many experiences – here and abroad, in the classroom and the clinic, professionally and personally – have  given Dr. Kogan the skills, , openness, and inquisitiveness that set him apart, and distinguish him as a committed and caring practitioner within integrative medicine.

Born in Moscow, in the former Soviet Union, Dr. Kogan emigrated with his family  in his teens, first to Israel,and then to the United States, where he obtained his medical degree from the Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He followed a Primary Care and Social Medicine Track residency in Internal Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, and a fellowship in Geriatric Medicine at the George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, D.C., which led to a position as an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Care.

In addition to his training in conventional Western medicine, Dr. Kogan has actively pursued a number of other healing arts and practices that have shaped his understanding of and approach to patient care. He is a graduate of a two-year training course in craniosacral therapy–a subtle osteopathic modality that has a wide range of effectiveness for different conditions such as headaches, back pains, and fatigue. He has also completed a four-year program at the Suluk Academy, a teaching center based on the principles and traditions of Sufism, where he learned how to incorporate meditation, mindfulness, and different spiritual practices into his daily life and his work with the patients. Among his many other areas of study are courses in Nutrition, therapeutic use of vitamins, Functional Medicine, botanicals, and other alternative modalities.

Weaving those tools into the fabric of his medical practice has enabled Dr. Kogan to provide innovative and effective treatments to his patients with minimal use of invasive procedures or heavy reliance on medications and to understand the importance of self-exploration, awareness and positive lifestyle changes as essential milestones on his patients’ journeys towards better health.

Dr. Kogan practices Geriatric and Integrative Medicine in a variety of settings:  at the George Washington Hospital, at the GW Center for Integrative medicine and the MKCI, as well as serving patients in home visits

Outside of the clinic Dr. Kogan, together with his wife Angela, stays busy raising young sons Peter and Sebastian. True to his calling as an integrative practitioner, his leisure time is replete with healthy lifestyle activities that nourish both body and spirit : he enjoys vigorous exercise, frequent nature walks with his family (and dog), mind body practices such as weekly Sufi Meditation classes, beekeeping and gardening.

About Deirdre Orceyre, ND, MSOM, LAc

Dr. Deirdre Orceyre is a clinically trained, board certified, licensed naturopathic physician and acupuncturist specializing in Integrative Naturopathic Oncology. Dr. Orceyre serves as Naturopathic Medical Director for the GW Center for Integrative Medicine in Washington DC. In addition to her private clinical practice, Dr. Orceyre offers naturopathic consultations and acupuncture to breast cancer patients at the GW Comprehensive Breast Care Center, is adjunct faculty at Georgetown University and is a contributing author of multiple peer-reviewed integrative oncology publications and presentations. She is an active member of the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians (OncANP).

Dr. Orceyre uses diet and lifestyle interventions, herbal medicine, acupuncture, nutritional supplements and homeopathic medicine to help cancer patients minimize side effects of conventional treatments and return to optimal health after treatment. Her goal is to help each individual patient find balance and support – physically, emotionally and spiritually – as they navigate through the cancer diagnosis, treatment, healing process and beyond.

About Paula Querido Kahn

Paula Querido Kahn is Director of Community Engagement at Takoma Wellness Center. She is a licensed occupational therapist and a founding family member of TWC. Paula began her career as a therapeutic recreation specialist with a focus in gerontology. Following employment in adult day health, subacute rehabilitation, and in-patient psychiatry, Paula pursued a master’s degree in occupational therapy at Tufts University. As an occupational therapist, Paula served older adults in rehabilitation and long-term care before joining the family at TWC in January 2014.

Due to low registration, this program has been canceled for February 2.

In Partnership with George Washington Cancer Center, Georgetown Lombardi Cancer Center, and Camp Kesem

If you or a loved one had been diagnosed with cancer, you may have concerns about how younger members of your family are coping.  Kids’ Club is a group of children ages 6 to 12 with parents or grandparents in treatment for cancer.  Teen club is for those ages 13 – 18 with parents or grandparents in treatment for cancer. 

Each session, kids, teens, and parents will enjoy pizza together and then each group will go to separate rooms to talk and make art.  Our topics include communicating feelings, building personal strengths, and developing coping skills.  We invite everyone to share as much or as little as they feel comfortable.

Although we are brought together by our common experiences with cancer, Kids/Teen Club is not a sad or scary place; we have fun! Our goal is to have positive interactions with other families dealing with illness and to learn new ways of expressing and managing feelings. Our facilitators are experienced social workers, counselors, and trained volunteers.