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 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 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 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.

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 Denise Feldman

Stitching Together

Stitched Together

We’re all part of the same cloth…

Join us for a Stitching Circle! Denise Feldman, a local mixed-media artist and cancer thriver, hosts this monthly gathering in (virtual) community as we talk and stitch—a powerful meditative and healing practice. Gathering as many have done for centuries, Denise will share tips and ideas for using needle and thread to bring joy and creativity to our everyday lives. Use her ideas to jump start your own, or bring your favorite hand work projects and join us for community stitching time!

 

This community stitching circle is for you! For example, maybe you’ve been hand sewing for years; you might be interested in exploring the recent revival of the “slow-stitch” movement; maybe you are are a needle pointer with a project to finish. Or, you might simply enjoy the meditative nature of hand making with needle and thread.

 

You may consider bringing:

  • needles and thread,
  • an old pair of jeans or other clothing that was headed to charity,
  • left over fabric from another project,
  • or simply bring yourself for some (virtual) time in community.

Stitched Together will be offered Monthly on Saturdays 10:00 – 11:30am ET. 

Upcoming Dates: 

  • March 12
  • April 2
  • May 7
  • June 11

Suggested Donation: $10


About Denise Feldman

Denise Feldman is a local mixed media artist who discovered the power of creativity as a healing practice after her treatment for breast cancer in 2014. As a creative ‘dabbler’ who loves working with various materials and surfaces, Denise shares her mixed media processes and soulful perspective with the hope of inspiring others to tell their stories ‘on and off the page’ and clear space for life’s chapters yet to come.

“My philosophy is simply that telling our stories helps us heal by giving us the space to process our own experiences and connect with each other. Getting our stories out from our hearts and our heads helps make room for the next chapter to happen…the one just waiting there in the wings.” ~Denise

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 Lisa Hahn

Healing Circle for Metastatic Breast Cancer Thrivers 45+

This healing circle is for people who are 45 and older who are living and thriving with Metastatic Breast Cancer. This peer-led circle will provide a safe place to connect, support and share with one another.


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.

This Healing Circle will meet Monthly on the 2nd Wednesday from 5:15-6:45pm ET.

Upcoming Dates: 

  • March 9
  • April 13
  • May 11

About Lisa Hahn

Lisa Hahn

Lisa Hahn was diagnosed with MBC de novo in the Fall of 2019. In addition to working full-time and attending doctor appointments, she is always looking for a new exercise class and tries to maintain a consistent yoga and pilates practice. Her background in the arts as a former ballet dancer and arts council program officer have given her a strong appreciation for the arts and she is a regular attendee at the Smith Center. She lives in Alexandria with her husband, two teenage boys and two cats and you can follow her on Instagram @dancingwithmbc

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 Rachel Ress, LICSW

Survivorship Support Group

This group is designed for cancer survivors who have completed their primary cancer treatment(s) and are now either post-treatment or on maintenance medication (such as hormonal therapy). Cancer can be emotionally and physically draining — many times we aren’t able to fully process the experience until after treatment is over and we are trying to get back to our “normal” lives. The struggle and expectation to find “normal” again can also be an overwhelming process. This group is a space where you can talk openly about these issues and process the trauma of cancer with other survivors.

The Survivorship Support Group will meet Monthly on the 2nd Tuesday from 6:30-8:00pm ET.

Upcoming Dates:

  • March 8
  • April 12
  • May 10

About Rachel Ress, LICSW

Rachel Ress

Rachel is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker serving as Cancer Support Community Washington DC’s (CSC DC) Community Navigator. Prior to working at CSC DC, Rachel was an oncology social worker with the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital for three years. She earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice where she interned at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Rachel uses an eclectic approach in providing support and compassion to cancer patients and their families, and she is passionate about the intersection of chronic illness and mental health.