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 Beth Lawrence, RYT500

Looking Beyond 2020: A Peaceful, Joyful Yoga Practice

Overall, this has been a pretty tough year but, as with everything, there have been some bright moments as well. I want to give you a bright moment: one of light, deep relaxation, and joy. Our program will start with a gentle mat practice, we’ll breathe some balancing breaths and finally, we’ll enjoy a supine meditation.


About Beth Lawrence

Beth Lawrence

Beth discovered yoga in early 2002 as a mother of six month old twins. She was looking to get back into shape after their birth. In yoga, she found far more than she anticipated- an age old practice designed to help people relieve stress- both mental and physical. After a few years of regular practice, she knew she wanted to share her positive experiences with others. She has been leading yoga classes in the DC area since 2007 after completing her 200 hour yoga teacher training at Nth Degree Yoga with Martha Rosen. In 2011, she went back to earn her RYT500. Her personal practice is inspired by Integral Yoga and Sivananda Yoga, both of which incorporate body and mind into the practice.

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 Candida DeLuise, LICSW

Join us in this opportunity to bring mindfulness and awareness practices to consciously welcome the New Year. In our contemplative time together we will share our basic goodness and authentic selves. We can say goodbye to 2020 and share an intention to hold in our hearts for 2021.

Suggested Donation: $10


About Candida DeLuise, LICSW

Candida DeLuise

Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy – Reiki, Energy work, Buddhist Psychology

As a contemplative psychotherapist with over 25 years of experience, Candida integrates mindfulness and psycho-spiritual approaches into the therapy process. She has worked with clients on transitions, relationships, trauma, mood disorders, chronic illness and aging issues. Creating a safe and nurturing space, she draws on mind-body awareness and Buddhist psychology. Candida is also a Reiki practitioner and life celebrant, crafting rituals to honor significant events. She is licensed in D.C. to officiate weddings and loves working with couples to create a custom ceremony that highlights their unique relationship. An experienced coach, consultant and Buddhist practitioner, Candida teaches meditation and leads workshops on mindfulness in everyday life. She works with artists in the creative process, and with individuals and groups committed to social change. She believes that as we reconnect to our inherent wisdom, we empower ourselves to live a more full and expansive life. 240-462-9550
candidadeluise@gmail.com

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 Kiersten Gallagher & Smith Center Staff

Happy Holidays to Our Extended Family

In an effort to keep our Smith Center family connected over the holidays, we have set up two times that we can hop on Zoom and be with one another. We hope that you will utilize this time to check in with each other. Wishing you peace and love during this holiday season.
Holiday Chats Dates: 
  • Monday, November 23, 12-1pm
  • Monday, December 28, 12-1pm

About Kiersten Gallagher

Kiersten has served as the Cancer Support Program Director for Smith Center since 2014. Before coming to Smith Center, she had the privilege to serve individuals and families living with cancer at Wellness House of Annapolis. Kiersten aims to offer programs to reduce stress and help participants to see the world we live in from different perspectives. She thoroughly enjoys teaching yoga and creativity classes at SmithCenter and encourages gentle movement and creativity in the healing process. Kiersten is a certified yoga instructor through Yoga Alliance and also has her YCAT (Yoga Therapy in Cancer and Chronic Illness) Professional Certification through the Integral Yoga Academy. She has completed Patient Navigation training through Smith Center’s Institute for Integrative Oncology Navigation and has also completed the Commonweal Healing Circles: Advanced Cancer Support Training. Kiersten is also certified in CLIMB®(Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery) a program that aims to build upon the strengths of children and increase his/her ability to cope with stress associated with a parent’s illness. She believes in a holistic approach to healing, human relationships and is grateful for each and every day. Kiersten has also completed the Compassion Cultivation Training – CCT™ an 8-week program, developed at Stanford University, with insights and techniques from psychology, neuroscience, and contemplative practice. In her spare time, you may find Kiersten laughing with friends, cycling, taking art classes, practicing yoga and spending time with her husband Shane, son Liam, and dogs Hooper and Pablo.

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:

  • December 7 & 21

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 Jennifer Bires, LICSW and Lauren Broschak, MSW, LICSW

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:

  • December 7 & 21

About Jennifer Bires, LICSW

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

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. 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

YA Trivia Night
Looking for more opportunities to connect socially with other young adult cancer survivors? Join us for our monthly social. This month we will be hosting virtual trivia night – come test your luck and meet other young adults.

YA Social Hour will be hosted monthly on Fridays from 6:00-7:00pm. Each month will have a new “theme” – please see below for the currently scheduled social hours.

  • December 18 – Trivia Night

DC Young Adult Cancer Community: https://youngadultcancerdc.org/

The Energy Balancing team will offer distance sessions during the regular Thursday times, 1:00-3:00pm. If you wish to receive, please email kiersten@smithcenter.org

with the Energy Balancing Team

Our Energy Balancing Program addresses the subtle energies of our body. When these energies are out of balance, all our body systems can become askew. One key to bringing us back into balance is deep relaxation. This is just what our volunteers provide – a half-hour of stress reducing relaxation to calm the body and enhance our well-being.

Most likely you are familiar with many of the body’s systems such as the respiratory system, the digestive system, the endocrine system, the skeletal system and so on. But are you aware that we also have subtle energy systems, systems that cannot be seen, cannot be measured, cannot be felt. Perhaps you know of some; the most familiar are the aura (also known as the biofield), the meridians, the chakras.

These subtle energy systems were very familiar to the ancients. They used them regularly to bring the body into energetic balance. When the body’s energies are in balance, we function at a higher vibration and are more relaxed, more joyful, more centered and able to enjoy life more productively. Many of the age-old techniques are now being used to bring calm to the body and to optimize one’s well-being.


Energy Balancing is offered Weekly on Thursdays in 1/2 hour appointments.

By appointment only. 

Time slots:

  • 1:00pm
  • 1:40pm
  • 2:20pm

About the Energy Balancing Team

About Ann Ringenberg

Ann Ringenberg

I am a reiki master and have been practicing reiki for over 12 years. I have provided reiki through volunteering at Thomas Circle Retirement Community, The Smith Center and was approved to start volunteering at INOVA Life with Cancer center prior to the COVID pandemic. I also volunteer at the Charles County Hospice Center. Reiki helps me to stay centered within myself and helps me to give others the gift of relaxation and a moment of peace.

About Anne Molofsky

Anne has always been interested in promoting health and wellness. She had a forty-year career as a nutritionist, beginning as a research nutritionist in several NIH-funded clinical trials, then working for the federal government in policy and education, and subsequently counselling clients in her private practice. She received her reiki training over 10 years ago and was able to offer reiki sessions to her nutrition clients as part of their treatment. Since 2013 Anne has also volunteered at Walter Reed offering reiki sessions to Wounded Warriors and their families. She became a Reiki Master Teacher in 2017. Anne is thrilled to be joining the wonderful Energy Balancing Team at the Smith Center!

About Margaret Haggerty

It is a privilege to be part of the energy balancing team for Smith Center for healing and the Arts.
Having had a long and gratifying career as a registered nurse, I bring a wide range of experiences. Before my retirement nine years ago, I had worked for 47 years as a nurse in a variety of capacities. Whether I was taking care of a tiny two-pound NICU infant or doing diabetic teaching for a centenarian, I realized that there was a larger Presence who was always guiding me. And I believe deeply that whatever experience of healing we receive, involves body, mind and spirit. I became a massage therapist and Reiki Master in order to incorporate a more deliberate approach to healing touch. It was a privilege to work with many clients who were dealing with cancer. What a joy it was to offer some hope and gentle touch as they faced many medical and emotional challenges. Now in my later years I am happy to bring the soft, caring touch of energy balancing to help those who come to Smith Center, to relax in order for. their bodies to mend and their spirits to heal.

About Pat Spellman

Pat Spellman

Pat studied English literature and has a special interest in reading and writing poetry. She has been certified as a Reiki master and as a practitioner of reflexology and Feldenkrais movement. She is a long-time member of the Self-Realization Fellowship, which teaches meditation methods and principles for harmonious living. After a career in publications in DC, Pat retired in Baltimore where she continues her active interest in the Smith Center and its clients.

About Ryoko Julia

Ryoko was born and raised in Japan. She studied economics and business management and worked in the pharmaceutical industry for about 25 years in Asia-pacific and the US. She started learning traditional Japanese Reiki in 2005 in Japan and became a master in 2012. As she deepens her understanding of Reiki, she decided to leave the corporate world and focus on deepening and teaching the core Reiki philosophy to more people. She has actively been involved in volunteering at Walter Reed and Shady Grove Medical Center for about nine years. Ryoko is also trained in clinical aromatherapy.

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.

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 Kiersten Gallagher, RYT-200

Enjoy a greater sense of wellbeing and enhanced energy in our gentle yoga classes. Learn various yoga postures, techniques in progressive relaxation, breathing practices, and meditation to help reduce stress, as well as balance mind, body, and spirit.

Our classes are specifically designed for adults facing stress, cancer, or other illness and are open to anyone interested in attending. All levels are welcome.


Kiersten’s Gentle AM Yoga Class meets Weekly on Thursdays from 10:15am – 11:30am.

Suggested Donation for 1 Class: $10

Suggested Donation for 1 Month of Classes: $25

In addition, our yoga classes are listed with the National MS Society and we welcome patients and caregivers of those with multiple sclerosis to our gentle yoga classes.

Our programs are also 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, RYT 200 and Certified Herbalist has studied yoga for over 25 years. Over the last decade, Kiersten has developed yoga programs and has provided a place for healing in the cancer community, in underprivileged neighborhoods, for special needs children, for teens and adults with drug addiction and for those struggling with body image. Kiersten invites you on a journey of healing to help guide you to a place where yoga will make a real difference in your life.  Kiersten’s goal for you is that you feel better when you leave class- mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually, than you may have felt when you stepped through the door to begin your practice.

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 1st and 3rd 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.