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 Charity Sade

Coping Through Comedy’s comedy writing workshop is offered to cancer patients/survivors. The intention of the workshop is to provide a safe and creative environment for those touched by cancer to be able to express themselves and find the humor surrounding the difficulties in life and cancer. No previous comedy writing experience is necessary.


The group is held on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of every month. Participants can attend on a drop-in basis, but prior registration is required.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • December 2 & 16

This program is sponsored by the Livestrong Foundation. Additional donations are always welcome.


About Charity Sade

Charity Sad​e​ is an up and coming comedian from Indiana, but has resided in Washington, D.C. for the last 8 years.

She has performed across the country, and won a new comic competition at Greenwich Village Comedy Club. ​Within her first year of comedy, Charity made her festival debut at the 2018 DC Comedy Festival as well as the Chicago Women’s Funny Festival.

She has always used humor to get through difficult moments in her life, including her breast cancer diagnosis at age 27. ​On stage, she takes her difficult life experiences and turns them into relatable, humorous tales. Her comedic superpower is her ability to make you simultaneously laugh and cringe.

Charity is the creator and founder of Comedic Relief: Coping Through Comedy. You can catch Charity hosting, producing, and performing on shows across the DMV.

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 Project Knitwell and Friends

Join us weekly to enjoy knitting in a safe and welcoming environment. Knitting can provide a respite from one’s immediate situation, serve as a way to productively pass the time, and have a positive effect on reducing stress symptoms. It is relatively easy to learn, requires no artistic talent or prior experience, is portable, and results in a useful product. Sometimes referred to as the “new yoga” — plain and simple — knitting is good for you. In this program, trained volunteers will provide knitting instruction and a quality materials in an effort to foster wellness, comfort, and community among participants. Beginner and experienced knitters are welcome. Starter kits are available, as is a small selection of yarn and knitting supplies.

Stone Soup Films and Project Knitwell created a beautiful 3-minute video highlighting the health benefits of knitting. Watch the video here!


Our Knitting Circle meets Weekly on Wednesdays from 3:00 – 4:30pm.

Looking for more intimate knitting instruction? Check out Project Knitwell’s new program, Knitwell in the Cloud, for ongoing, one-on-one knitting instruction via Zoom.

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.

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 Melanie Edwards

Melanie & Student

Singer, songwriter and musician, Melanie Edwards, recently launched Musical Mending Workshops which can be curated for any specific healing modality, be it collectively or individually. The workshops help with memory, cognition, expression, general well being and are just plain fun for participants. In addition, the classes focus on teaching techniques to manage grief, anxiety, depression and many more ailments by administering sonic techniques to relieve stress, help find inner peace and express authenticity. She often uses different instruments & singing skills to activate relaxation, calm the mind and nourish the soul. This is not about performing or being a professional singer, but rather a shared experience of collective sound healing in the present moment for the whole family. Participants are free to join or simply observe in shared space, as well as bring their own mantras, words or poems to self reflect and express via musical mending.


Wellness in the Time of COVID

The Washington Home

This 6-month integrative wellness series, sponsored by The Washington Home, will be offered to caregivers, those who are critically ill, and those facing cancer-related challenges during this especially difficult time.

Check out the full series program schedule HERE!


About Melanie Edwards

Melanie Edwards

Melanie Edwards is an award-winning singer, songwriter, pianist, violinist, music practitioner and tv/film composer. She holds a master’s degree (MFA) in music from The Savannah College of Art and Design and is certified in Mental Health First Aid USA by the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare. She has 25 years experience as a performing artist and expressive healer with several partner charities and organizations, such as: National Theatre DC and Smith Center for Healing and the Arts. In addition, she is the resident pianist for Clyde’s Restaurant and has performed at Gypsy Sally’s, The Henley Park Hotel, Beacon Bar and Grill and Peruvian Ambassador Castilla’s Residence in Washington, DC. She is also a regular performer at Rockwood Music Hall, in New York City.

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 Project Knitwell and Friends

Join us weekly to enjoy knitting in a safe and welcoming environment. Knitting can provide a respite from one’s immediate situation, serve as a way to productively pass the time, and have a positive effect on reducing stress symptoms. It is relatively easy to learn, requires no artistic talent or prior experience, is portable, and results in a useful product. Sometimes referred to as the “new yoga” — plain and simple — knitting is good for you. In this program, trained volunteers will provide knitting instruction and a quality materials in an effort to foster wellness, comfort, and community among participants. Beginner and experienced knitters are welcome. Starter kits are available, as is a small selection of yarn and knitting supplies.

Stone Soup Films and Project Knitwell created a beautiful 3-minute video highlighting the health benefits of knitting. Watch the video here!


Our Knitting Circle meets Weekly on Wednesdays from 3:00 – 4:30pm.

Looking for more intimate knitting instruction? Check out Project Knitwell’s new program, Knitwell in the Cloud, for ongoing, one-on-one knitting instruction via Zoom.

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.

with Kiersten Gallagher

House Calls with Kiersten offers an opportunity for our program participants to check-in and chat bi-monthly with Kiersten on Zoom or by phone, whichever is your preference. All of our face-to-face interactions that we are accustomed to having at Smith Center – when you walk in the door, when we interact in the programs I facilitate, and the times that we connect after you’ve attended other classes and workshops – are very important to me. I would like to set this time aside, for you and I, to catch up and address any concerns, to be philosophical together, or to laugh together; it’s up to you!

Continue reading House Calls with Kiersten

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 Rachel Ress, LGSW

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 Tuesdays from 6:30-7:30pm.

Upcoming Dates:

  • December 8

About Rachel Ress, LGSW

Rachel is a Licensed Social Worker in Washington, DC. 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 joined the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital in 2018. Rachel uses an eclectic approach in providing support and compassion to cancer patients and their families. Her clinical work focuses primarily on the care of patients diagnosed with breast, brain, and lung cancers, and she is passionate about the intersection of chronic illness and mental health.

Please click here to register for the 8-week program.

with Brandel France de Bravo

Empathy and compassion… there’s been a lot of talk lately about these two qualities. Who has them, who doesn’t, and the need for compassionate leadership. Months into the pandemic, physicians, nurses and other health professionals are complaining of burnout and compassion fatigue. Many of us, whether or not we’re front-line workers, worry that an empathy deficit is fueling our nation’s divide. Could teaching people how to tap into their innate powers of compassion be the answer? The Washington Post seems to think so; in January of this year, the newspaper published “In an Angry America, a New Remedy Emerges: Compassion.”

If you’re interested in learning more about compassion and starting or deepening a meditation practice, you might enjoy taking Compassion Cultivation Training©, a course developed at Stanford University over a decade ago.

Designed by a team of contemplative scholars, clinical psychologists, and researchers,  Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) is taught at Stanford’s Medical School and around the world by certified teachers. The 8-week (16 hours) course can strengthen your natural capacity for compassion, empathy and kindness—toward yourself and others—and increase resilience. Many who have taken the course say that it has given them a sense of balance and allowed them to live with greater joy and intention.

The class will meet every Monday on Zoom from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm for 8 weeks, beginning on October 19th. Class dates: October 19, 26, November 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, and December 7.

Each class builds upon the previous, but if you have to miss one class, that’s okay. CE credit will be given as long as you attend 7 of the 8 classes. Each week includes:

  • In-class guided meditations and online recordings for use at home

  • Group discussions and in-class exercises relevant to each week’s theme

  • Optional readings, videos, and practices for outside the classroom to enhance learning and support a daily meditation and compassion practice


14 credits are available to the following professionals:

Physicians Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
Physician Assistants (ACCME) AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
Nurses American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
Nurse Practitioners American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)
Psychologists American Psychological Association (APA)
Case Managers Commission for Case Manager Certification (CCMC)
Physical Therapists (ACCME) AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
Social Workers National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
General Participation Certificate Provided to other attendees not included above.

Cost to enroll:

Register by or on October 1, 2020 for the “Early Bird” price of $300 without CMEs/CEs or $400 with CMEs/CEs. Register between October 2 and October 15 and pay $375 without CMEs/CEs tuition and $475 with CMEs/CEs. 16 hours of class time for 14 credits.


About Brandel France de Bravo, MPH

Brandel France de Bravo holds a Master’s in Public Health from Columbia University and is a graduate of Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers. She has two decades of experience researching and designing health interventions in the U.S. and abroad. She has run an HIV prevention program in Africa, designed harm reduction strategies for intravenous drug users in Central Asia, and developed materials to help cancer patients in the U.S. make informed decisions about their treatment. She is co-author of a parenting book influenced by the RIE philosophy of infant-toddler care and is a published poet and essayist. She studied Compassion Cultivation Training with founding faculty while a fellow at Stanford University and is honored to be a certified teacher of CCT.

http://www.brandelfrancedebravo.com/