This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

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

This bi-monthly 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:

  • September 13 & 27
  • October 4 & 18

About Jennifer Bires, LICSW, OSW-C

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 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, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Julia Rowland, Ph.D.

This 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:

  • September 13 & 27
  • October 4 & 18

About Julia Rowland, PhD

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, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

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

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 Mondays from 6:00-7:30pm.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • September 27
  • October 25

About Anne Kelemen, LICSW, ACHP-SW

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 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. Please register to Claudia at 202.384.8342 to receive the Zoom link to participate.

Este programa se ofrece prácticamente a través de Zoom. Regístrese en Claudia al 202.384.8342 para recibir el enlace Zoom para participar.

Smith Center es ahora el anfitrión de los Grupos de Apoyo para la Comunidad Latina en Español

Estamos muy felices de anunciar que seremos los anfitriones de los grupos de apoyo de Nueva Vida para la comunidad latina. Nueva Vida es una organización independiente, sin fines de lucro, que proporciona servicios integrales de cáncer gratuitos, a las familias latinas en el Distrito de Columbia, Virginia del Norte (hasta el sur de Prince William County), Suburban Maryland (Condados de Montgomery y Prince George), Richmond, y Baltimore. Otros servicios incluyen educación y divulgación en la comunidad latina, asi como navegación de pacientes para exámenes de detección y tratamiento de cáncer.

En Smith Center, Nueva Vida tendrá grupos de apoyo que se enfocan en el apoyo al trauma asociado con el diagnóstico de cáncer. Estos grupos proporcionan a las latinas la oportunidad de identificar y expresar sus sentimientos, en un lugar seguro, y lleno de empatía, así como compartir sus sentimientos con otras personas que están o han pasado por similares circunstancias. Las reuniones semanales, se combinan con una actividad de reducción del estrés (Zumba o Yoga).

Para registrarse, llame a Claudia a Nueva Vida: 202.223.9100.


Smith Center Now Hosting Support Groups for the Latino Community in Spanish

Nueva Vida is an independent nonprofit that provides free, comprehensive, culturally competent cancer services to medically underserved Latino families in the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia (as far south as Prince William County), Suburban Maryland (Montgomery & Prince George’s Counties), Richmond, and Baltimore. Other services include outreach to the Latino community and Patient Navigation for cancer screenings and treatment.

At Smith Center, Nueva Vida will be providing support groups that are focused on supporting the trauma associated with a cancer diagnosis. These groups provide Latina women the opportunity to experience a catharsis of feelings, where they feel safe to identify, verbalize, empathize, and share their feelings with others who are in similar circumstances. All support group meetings are paired with a stress reduction activity (either Zumba or Yoga).

To register, call Claudia at Nueva Vida: 202.223.9100.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

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

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 6:30-7:30pm.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • September 22
  • October 27

About Erin Price, LICSW, OSW-C

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.

About Allie Giza, LCSW

Allie is a master’s in social work candidate with a specialization in clinical behavioral health at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, School of Social Work and is anticipating being licensed in both Maryland and Washington, DC following graduation in 2021. She is completing her advanced year placement at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts. Her clinical work is focused 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 at Smith Center. 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, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Niya Kight

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 and the 3rd Tuesday of each month from 8:00-9:00pm.

Upcoming Dates:

  • September 7 & 21
  • October 5 & 19

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, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Sara Field, LICSW, OSW-C, 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.


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

Upcoming Sessions:

  • September 21
  • October 19

About Sara Field, LICSW, OSW-C

Sara Field

Sara is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in DC. She earned her Masters Degree in Social Work at the Catholic University of America in DC and has worked in oncology for over 3 years. Sara interned at the Lombardi Cancer Center and the National Cancer Institute during graduate school, which confirmed her interest in oncology social work. She joined the Lombardi Cancer Center in 2016 and now works at the GW Cancer Center in DC. Sara has a strong interest in the intersection of emotional and physical health and a particular passion for supporting parents with cancer and their kids. She enjoys partnering with Camp Kesem’s GW chapter and served as their mental health professional for the past two years.

This Meet Up & Support Group will be meeting online with a Zoom community. All participants must register through this page or email Erin at erin@smithcenter.org.

with Erin Price, LICSW, OSW-C, Cheryl Hughes, LICSW, OSW-C, and Sara Field, LICSW, OSW-C

This monthly gathering is an opportunity to meet other young adult cancer survivors in their 20s, 30s and early 40s. Caregivers of young adult cancer survivors are welcome to join as well. This program is a collaborative initiative of local hospitals, health organizations and cancer support groups.*

Click here to review our Online Group Participation Rules.


DC Young Adult Cancer Meet Up & Support Group meets Bi-Monthly on Sundays from 5:00-6:30pm.
Upcoming Dates:
  • September 12 & 19
  • October 3 & 24

Our monthly Young Adult Caregiver Support Group has been put on hold temporarily, and all caregivers will be welcomed in this group. Please indicate when registering if a caregiver will be joining you.


*A warm thank you to our partners that have allowed us to provide a supportive community to more young adults in the DC region:

  • Bella Warrior
  • Cancer Support Community
  • GWU Medical Faculty Associates
  • First Descents
  • Hope Connections for Cancer Support
  • Howard University Hospital
  • Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
  • Life With Cancer
  • MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
  • Nueva Vida
  • Sibley Memorial Hospital
  • Stupid Cancer
  • Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults
  • Virginia Hospital Center
  • Washington Cancer Institute at MedStar Washington Hospital Center
  • Young Survival Coalition

About Erin Price, MSW, LICSW, OSW-C

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 seven-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 Young Survival Coalition, Critical Mass, the Georgetown Breast Cancer Advocates, National Breast Cancer Coalition, and the DC Cancer Action Partnership.

About Cheryl Hughes, LICSW, OSC-W

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.

About Sara Field, MSW, LICSW, OSW-C

Sara is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in DC. She earned her Masters Degree in Social Work at the Catholic University of America in DC and has worked in oncology for over 3 years. Sara interned at the Lombardi Cancer Center and the National Cancer Institute during graduate school, which confirmed her interest in oncology social work. She joined the Lombardi Cancer Center in 2016 and now works at the GW Cancer Center in DC. Sara has a strong interest in the intersection of emotional and physical health and a particular passion for supporting parents with cancer and their kids. She enjoys partnering with Camp Kesem’s GW chapter and served as their mental health professional for the past two years.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Soul Box Project and Community Partners

If you could save a life by folding two pieces of paper, would you?

 

Over 70,000 people are killed or injured by gunfire in the U.S. every year. Suicides account for over half of those deaths.* How do we put meaning to those numbers, the individual lives torn apart by gunfire? Statistics can tell us facts, bu they do not reveal the pain. How do we respond?

 

Give yourself an hour to do something beautiful. Something creative. Something caring. Bring your latest Soul Boxes to show. Newcomers and experienced Soul Box-makers are welcome!

 

Click here to read Let Your Voice Be Heard with the Soul Box Project press release, with words from our Executive Director, Lisa Simms Booth. We are honored to be participating in this project in collaboration with a few of our community partners, including: 

  • Friends of Oxon Run
  • Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery
  • Smith Center’s Artist-in-Residence Program
  • Thelma D. Jones Breast Cancer Fund
  • Southwest Neighborhood Assembly

Supplies Needed

  • at least two sheets of 8 1/2-inch square paper
  • any art supplies to adorn your Soul Box

Click to download Soul Box Folding Instructions.

Click the video below to watch “How do I fold a Soul Box?”


Upcoming Soul Box-Making sessions

  • Tuesday, May 18, 1-2pm ET
  • Thursday, July 15, 7-8pm ET
  • Saturday, September 18, 11am ET

Smith Center will be organizing drop-off days and times to collect your completed Soul Boxes, as a part of our goal to create 500 Soul Boxes to add to the display at the National Mall on October 16-17, 2021.


About Soul Box Project

The Soul Box Project collects and exhibits thousands of hand-folded origami boxes to raise awareness of the U.S. gunfire epidemic. Each Soul Box holds space for one life lost or injured by gun violence, defense, accident or suicide.

About Friends of Oxon Run

Our Mission is to address the needs of conservation of natural resources and preservation of green space in Ward 8.

The Friends of Oxon Run (FOR) was formed in 2017 through an agreement with the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation. The Friends group is the keeper of the entire park. The 501c3 organization is also responsible for fundraising to help improve the park for programming and a bathroom facility among other things. FOR works collaboratively with representatives from the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation in an effort to populate the calendar of activities, improve safety, preserve green space and make the park a viable destination.

About the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery

Art has the rare ability to mend social, psychological, and physical ills by building community, inspiring change, and celebrating life. Founded in 2008, the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, is a nonprofit arts space in Washington, DC. The gallery is dedicated to exhibiting fine art that explores the innate connection between healing and creativity. Through a rotating exhibition schedule, the gallery features contemporary artists that address a diversity of significant themes, including spirituality, social change, multiculturalism, health, environmentalism, and community.

About Smith Center’s Artist-in-Residence Program

The Artist in Residence Program (AIR) reflects the belief that the creative spirit can be found in all of us and can be especially helpful when the human spirit is in need. Smith Center for Healing and the Arts (Smith Center) trains and supervises local visual, literary and performing artists who work directly with patients, caregivers and clinicians at INOVA Schar Cancer Institute (Inova Schar)

Artists in Residence guide arts-based activities that lead to stress reduction, self-awareness and self-expression. Patients and caregivers who participate often express great relief from pain and anxiety associated with their illness and are grateful for an opportunity to discover and explore what they can do. Heath care workers discover that creative self-expression helps to relieve stress that can lead to burnout and lack of resiliency.

About the Thelma D. Jones Breast Cancer Fund

The Thelma D. Jones Breast Cancer Fund (TDJBCF) is a unique nonprofit grassroots organization whose mission is to advocate and improve the overall health and wellness for women and men through outreach, education and support. We promote early detection strategies for breast health and access to the best biomedical and evidence-based complementary therapies to reduce the incidences and mortality rates of breast cancer. Founded in September 2012 on the 60th Birthday Anniversary of Thelma D. Jones, the TDJBCF is a 501(c)(3) organization.

Our vision is to save lives and embrace and achieve a world community free of breast cancer. We plan to realize this vision with guiding principles of respect, collaboration, quality and patient-centered care, culturally sensitive approaches, and evidence-based strategies.

About the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly

Our Mission: To improve the quality of life for all residents; to open to every resident the wide cultural horizon of urban living; to help create rich and equal social, educational and economic opportunities for residents of Southwest DC; to assist in providing the opportunity for gainful employment for all; to promote development of the economic and aesthetic potential of Southwest; and preserve its diverse history. This mission shall be pursued without regard to the social, economic and racial barriers that have divided cities in the past.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. Please register to Claudia at 202.384.8342 to receive the Zoom link to participate.

Este programa se ofrece prácticamente a través de Zoom. Regístrese en Claudia al 202.384.8342 para recibir el enlace Zoom para participar.

Smith Center es ahora el anfitrión de los Grupos de Apoyo para la Comunidad Latina en Español

Estamos muy felices de anunciar que seremos los anfitriones de los grupos de apoyo de Nueva Vida para la comunidad latina. Nueva Vida es una organización independiente, sin fines de lucro, que proporciona servicios integrales de cáncer gratuitos, a las familias latinas en el Distrito de Columbia, Virginia del Norte (hasta el sur de Prince William County), Suburban Maryland (Condados de Montgomery y Prince George), Richmond, y Baltimore. Otros servicios incluyen educación y divulgación en la comunidad latina, asi como navegación de pacientes para exámenes de detección y tratamiento de cáncer.

En Smith Center, Nueva Vida tendrá grupos de apoyo que se enfocan en el apoyo al trauma asociado con el diagnóstico de cáncer. Estos grupos proporcionan a las latinas la oportunidad de identificar y expresar sus sentimientos, en un lugar seguro, y lleno de empatía, así como compartir sus sentimientos con otras personas que están o han pasado por similares circunstancias. Las reuniones semanales, se combinan con una actividad de reducción del estrés (Zumba o Yoga).

Para registrarse, llame a Claudia a Nueva Vida: 202.223.9100.


Smith Center Now Hosting Support Groups for the Latino Community in Spanish

Nueva Vida is an independent nonprofit that provides free, comprehensive, culturally competent cancer services to medically underserved Latino families in the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia (as far south as Prince William County), Suburban Maryland (Montgomery & Prince George’s Counties), Richmond, and Baltimore. Other services include outreach to the Latino community and Patient Navigation for cancer screenings and treatment.

At Smith Center, Nueva Vida will be providing support groups that are focused on supporting the trauma associated with a cancer diagnosis. These groups provide Latina women the opportunity to experience a catharsis of feelings, where they feel safe to identify, verbalize, empathize, and share their feelings with others who are in similar circumstances. All support group meetings are paired with a stress reduction activity (either Zumba or Yoga).

To register, call Claudia at Nueva Vida: 202.223.9100.