This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Anne Kelemen, LICSW, ACHP-SW, Deborah Lewis, LICSW, APHSW-C, and Mindy Brodsky, LCSWA

Loss of a Parent to Cancer Support Group

The loss of a parent from cancer brings with it many complex feelings. Sadness, anger, and regret are just a few of the feelings you may experience. Sometimes friends – and even family members – don’t understand these feelings.

This support group provides a monthly opportunity to join a group of people who may understand.


The Loss of a Parent to Cancer Support Group meets Monthly on the 4th Monday from 6:00-7:30pm ET.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • March 28
  • April 25
  • May 23

About Anne Kelemen, LICSW, ACHP-SW

Anne Kelemen

Anne Kelemen joined MedStar Washington Hospital Center Section of Palliative care in 2014. In 2015, she was named MedStar Health Palliative Clinical of the Year. Prior to joining the Hospital Center staff, Ms. Kelemen instituted the first palliative care services at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital in Baltimore, MD. In addition to her clinical responsibilities, she is actively involved in research, and is interested in the intersection of language and medicine as well as intimacy and chronic illness. She received her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Maryland and a post-master’s certificate in End of Life Care from the Smith College School of Social Work. In 2017, she received the emerging leader award from the Social Work Hospice and Palliative Network (SWHPN). Ms. Kelemen is a SWHPN board member and passionate about teaching the next generation of palliative clinicians. She is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Georgetown University and Director of the Palliative Social Work Fellowship at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

About Deborah Lewis, LICSW, APHSW-C

Deborah Lewis

Deborah Lewis is a Palliative Care Social Worker at Medstar Washington Hospital Center, providing clinical social work support for patients with advanced illness and their families. She received her MSW degree from Catholic University with a certificate in Health Care Social Work. Prior to becoming a social worker, Deborah was an attorney who worked as a public defender and lobbyist for nonprofit advocacy organizations.

About Mindy Brodsky, LCSWA

Mindy Brodsky

Mindy Brodsky specializes in trauma-informed, strengths-based counseling with a passion for integrative health and healing. Mindy honors her clients as the experts of their lives, and she strives to provide a supportive and safe environment.
After a career in social justice advocacy and her own challenging health journey, Mindy aspires to meet her clients where they are to help them achieve their goals.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Kenneth Johnson and Kevin Miller

A Healing Circle: Gay Men with Prostate Cancer

We are a group of gay men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer or who are recovering from treatment that offer support to each other. In a peer-led community, we share our experiences and understanding to help one another best deal with our own personal situations.


The Healing Circle for Gay Men with Prostate Cancer meets Monthly on the 4th Thursday from 7:00pm – 8:30pm ET.

Upcoming Dates: 

  • March 24
  • April 28
  • May 26

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Allie Giza, LGSW

This monthly support group is designed for adults diagnosed with cancer who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community. The group will be facilitated by culturally competent social workers, who will provide a safe space to connect with others and explore your own unique experience with cancer.


The LGBTQ+ Cancer Support Group meets monthly on the 4th Wednesday from 6:00-7:00pm ET.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • March 23
  • April 27
  • May 25

About Allie Giza, LGSW

Allie Giza
Allie is a licensed graduate social worker (LGSW) with focus on young adults with cancer, survivors, and caregivers, with emphasis on holistic methods of mental health care. Allie uses eclectic modalities focused on trauma-informed and strengths-based care with her clients. Her passion for this work began as a result of her own medical issues and experience with the healthcare system. This led her to begin volunteering with children with cancer and subsequently pursuing a master’s in social work. 

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Jodi Kanter

Writing Outside the Lines

Writing Outside the Lines

Inspired by Smith Center’s Outside the Lines: A Creative Art Studio, this program begins with a series of partnered exercises. In our own words, we will begin to tell chapters of our own stories.

 

With our stories as a springboard, we will write within a variety of genres. We’ll explore a new genre each week, discovering what different writing forms have to say to us—and we to them. Genres were made to be broken—or at least mixed and matched!

 

Possible genres include poetry, monologue, fairytale, and film noir.  Many writing workshops strive to find and / or hone a writer’s “voice.” Conversely, Writing Outside the Lines will give writers the opportunity to express themselves in an ever-expanding range of voices.


Writing Outside the Lines will be hosted on the 2nd & 4th Wednesdays from 10:30-12:00pm ET. 

Upcoming Dates:

  • March 9 & 23
  • April 13 & 27
  • May 11 & 25

Suggested Donation: $10


About Jodi Kanter

Jodi Kanter

Jodi has been involved in theater since she was ten years old. She grew up acting and studying performance in American theater’s “Second City,” Chicago Illinois.  She is currently a professor of theatre in the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at George Washington University, where she has been on faculty for nearly fifteen years. Her academic work in theater includes her book, Performing Loss: Strengthening Communities Through Theatre and Writing (2007).

Jodi’s focus on performance as a tool for individual and social healing and change has led her to create workshops, events and productions in a wide variety of settings including hospitals, schools, and prisons. Most recently, she co-created a four-month diversity and inclusion program for members of DC’s fourteen Neighborhood Village associations using the methodology of Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed. Jodi holds a PhD. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in dramatherapy at Lesley University.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Jennifer Bires, LICSW, OSW-C, and Lauren Broschak, MSW, LICSW, OSW-C

This bi-monthly cancer support group provides participants with the opportunity to explore their experience with cancer in a safe group setting with a trained social worker and to connect with others who are facing a similar challenge. This group is designed specifically for individuals that have been diagnosed with cancer.


The Cancer Support Group meets Bi-Monthly on Mondays from 6:00-7:30pm.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • March 7 & 21
  • April 4 & 18
  • May 2 & 16

About Jennifer Bires, LICSW, OSW-C

Jennifer Bires

Jennifer Bires is a licensed clinical social worker, who works with people affected by cancer. She received her Master’s in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis. Jennifer knows how distressing a cancer diagnosis can be for patients and their families. Her goal as an oncology social worker is to help patients and family members adjust to the emotional impact of a diagnosis.  Jennifer specializes in working with young adults, caregivers and patients who have advanced disease. She strives to help patients and families maintain a high quality of life in the face of their illness.

About Lauren Broschak, MSW, LICSW, OSW-C

Lauren Broschak
Lauren is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in DC and Virginia. She has both her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Social Work, and has been working in oncology for just over three years. She developed her passion for oncology in Michigan where she worked at Gilda’s Club Metro Detroit supporting those touched by cancer. Since moving to the Metro DC Area she has worked at the GW Cancer Center in Washington, DC and is now an Oncology Clinical Therapist at Life with Cancer in Virginia. Lauren is particularly interested in providing support to the young adult community, and has presented at the Association of Oncology Social Work (AOSW) national conference twice regarding young adults. Most recently, she became the Co-Chair of the Adolescent and Young Adult Special Interest Group at AOSW.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Julia Rowland, Ph.D.

Cancer Caregiver Support Group

This cancer caregiver support group, led by a licensed psychologist, is designed to provide cancer caregivers with the opportunity to meet other caregivers, learn about useful tools for self-care, and explore ways to thrive in the caregiving role.


Julia’s Caregiver Support Group meets Bi-Monthly on Mondays from 6:00 – 7:30pm.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • March 7 & 21
  • April 4 & 18
  • May 2 & 16

About Julia Rowland, PhD

Julia Rowland

Julia Rowland, PhD, who joined Smith Center in October 2017, comes to this position as a long-time clinician, researcher and teacher in the area of psychosocial aspects of cancer. She has worked with and conducted competitively funded research among both pediatric and adult cancer survivors and their families, and published broadly in psycho-oncology, including co-editing, along with Dr. Jimmie Holland, the ground-breaking text, Handbook of Psychooncology.  She has also been a frequent speaker on cancer survivorship, or life after cancer, for both professional and lay audiences.

Julia received her PhD in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in psychosocial oncology. While at MSKCC, where she held joint appointments in pediatrics and neurology, Julia helped to develop and was the first Director of the Post-Treatment Resource Program, one of the first non-medical survivorship care programs to be offered by a major cancer center in the U.S. In 1990 she moved with her husband and two young children to Washington, DC to become founding Director of the Psycho-Oncology Program at Georgetown University and the Lombardi Cancer Center. There she helped expand services to meet the psychosocial needs of cancer patients and families, launched some of the first quality of life clinical trials, and also introduced a program to enable first year medical students to learn the art of caring for those living through and beyond cancer from survivors themselves and Lombardi faculty. Nine years later, in September of 1999, she was recruited to the National Cancer Institute to become the first, full-time Director of the Office of Cancer Survivorship, a position in which she served for 18 years, championing the growth of survivorship research and care, before stepping down in September 2017 to assume her new role at Smith Center. Although new to the team, Julia is no stranger to Smith Center. She knew Smith Center’s founder, Barbara Smith Coleman, and has volunteered her expertise across the years as a speaker, group leader and staff member for both the 1-day and weeklong residential retreats. Julia brings to her new role a passion to translate what research has taught us about healing in the context of cancer to the broader community, in essence, taking the science of survivorship from the lab bench to the park bench.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Kiersten Gallagher

Outside the Lines

Creative expression has often been used in the healing process and it is at the core of Smith Center’s philosophy, but fear of judgment and “not being an artist” can often prevent us from tapping into its healing power. Join us for Outside the Lines, where a facilitator will help you reclaim art-making as a healing tool through guided creative projects. Participants who feel comfortable working on their own projects are also welcome to do so.


Outside the Lines is held Bi-Monthly on Wednesdays from 10:30am – 12:00pm. The Social Hour sessions will only run from 10:30-11:30am. 

Upcoming sessions:

  • March 16
  • April 6 (Social Hour, 1 hour)
  • April 20
  • May 4 (Social Hour, 1 hour)
  • May 18

Suggested donation: $10 per class

Our programs are open to the community, and tailored to meet the needs of people affected by cancer. Classes and workshops are free or low cost on a pay-as-you-can basis, ensuring that our programs are accessible to everyone.


About Kiersten Gallagher

Kiersten Gallagher

As the Cancer Support Program Director, Kiersten fully believes that through the arts we can expand our perspectives and explore new fulfilling ways of being. She invites you to make our space your own refuge, to circumvent your daily routine to spark creativity, to take time for introspection, and draw outside the lines.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Niya Kight

Healing Circle for Moms with Cancer

This ongoing healing circle will focus on the unique needs of mothers, with children of any age, who are living with cancer. No matter where you find yourself on your journey you will have a chance to be with others who share in your experience. This shared experience will often lead to profound learning and healing.

Some of our children are bound to need us during this program. Please don’t worry about disruptions to care for your child(ren).


What is a Healing Circle?

Healing Circles bring together small numbers of people impacted by a condition or circumstance to share experiences and harvest collective wisdom.  Healing Circles is a peer-led process by which people support each other through deep listening and shared learning. When working at its best, this collaborative conversation model leads to authentic and deep connectivity and can create wisdom and healing for participants.

The Healing Circle for Moms with Cancer meets on the 1st Tuesday of each month from 6:30-7:30pm ET and the 3rd Tuesday of each month from 8:00-8:30pm ET.

Upcoming Dates:

  • March 1 & 15
  • April 5 & 19
  • May 3 & 17

About Niya Kight

Niya Kight

Niya Kight was diagnosed with Stage II, ER/PR + Invasive Ductal Carcinoma in November 2019 on her 31st birthday, while 12 weeks pregnant. Once Niya reached the middle of her second trimester, she underwent a mastectomy and four rounds of chemotherapy before delivering her daughter in May. Niya is currently finishing the last four rounds of chemotherapy and next up on the road to recovery is radiation. When Niya embarked upon this journey, she chose to view it as her rebirth and shared that “she would rise healthier and stronger than ever after this spiritual transformation”. Niya has done just that as she focused inwardly to determine the changes she needed to make in her life, learned to accept help, and shared her vulnerability and experience with others. Niya is passionate about raising awareness about pregnancy and breast cancer because many people do not know that it is possible to have cancer while pregnant, let alone that it can actually be treated during pregnancy. Niya remembers the loneliness she felt while navigating breast cancer while pregnant and wants to help eliminate that additional stress for other women.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Allie Giza, LGSW, and Erin Price, LICSW, OSW-C 

This twice a month virtual group is for Stage 1 – 3 Breast Cancer patients and survivors and is open to those newly diagnosed, in treatment, or in survivorship. Come join others dealing with the issues and impacts of a breast cancer diagnosis. All meetings are hosted using Zoom. This group is hosted in partnership with Medstar Washington Hospital Center and Smith Center for Healing and the Arts.

You can also register for this group by emailing programs@smithcenter.org.


The Breast Cancer Support Group meets twice a month on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday from 6:00-7:00pm ET.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • March 1 & 15

About Allie Giza, LGSW

Allie Giza

Allie is a licensed graduate social worker (LGSW) with focus on young adults with cancer, survivors, and caregivers, with emphasis on holistic methods of mental health care. Allie uses eclectic modalities focused on trauma-informed and strengths-based care with her clients. Her passion for this work began as a result of her own medical issues and experience with the healthcare system. This led her to begin volunteering with children with cancer and subsequently pursuing a master’s in social work. 

About Erin Price, LICSW, OSW-C

Erin Price

Erin serves as Smith Center’s Director of Young Adult and Psychosocial Support Programs. She is trained in Integrative Patient Navigation, a Project LEAD graduate, and holds a Masters in Social Work. A ten-year+ breast cancer survivor, Erin is passionate about providing support and community to other cancer survivors, especially young adults. She works with Smith Center’s DC Young Adult Cancer Community and is also actively involved in the cancer community through the Association of Oncology Social Workers, the Young Survival Coalition, the Georgetown Breast Cancer Advocates, and the National Breast Cancer Coalition.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Victoria Tripp, LGSW, GW Cancer Center 

This monthly support group is designed for adult patients/survivors diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma and their caregivers. The group will incorporate education lectures coupled with emotional support and is hosted by and offered in partnership with the GW Cancer Center.

GW Cancer Center Multiple Myeloma Cancer Support Group


The Multiple Myeloma Cancer Support Group meets Monthly on the 3rd Tuesday from 12:30-1:30pm ET.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • March 15
  • April 19
  • May 17

About Victoria Tripp, LGSW

Victoria is a Licensed Graduate Social Worker here in Washington, DC. She graduated with her Masters in Social Work with a focus on clinical and medical social work from the National Catholic School of Social Service at Catholic University. During graduate school, Victoria interned at the GW Cancer Center where she later accepted a full time position. She has completed training through the Enriching Communication Skills for Health Professionals in Oncofertility (ECHO) program from Moffitt Cancer Center and Sensitive Practice Training through Mount Sinai. Victoria has a special interest in supporting patients and families through difficult decision making, grief, and spiritual distress that often arise during end-of-life.