By Thelma D. Jones

Are you interested in learning more about cancer programs, patient navigation, and healing through art? If so, join the Thelma D. Jones Breast Cancer Fund (TDJBCF) as it welcomes “An Evening with Smith Center for Healing and the Arts” on Wednesday, July 21, 2021, at 6 p.m., via Zoom and Facebook live (links below) for the third consecutive year. 

Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, a nonprofit health, education, and arts organization located in the heart of U Street, NW, pioneered and fostered patient navigation in the DC region, and has become a leader in the nationwide movement to promote the use of the arts in healing. 

I was actually trained as a patient navigator in integrative care at Smith Center more than a decade ago and have enjoyed the benefits of the arts in healing during two residential Smith Center retreats. Smith Center’s mission is to develop and promote healing practices that explore physical, emotional, and mental wellness and lead to life-affirming changes. 

The July meeting will be emceed by Lisa Simms Booth, Executive Director, Smith Center for Healing and the Arts. Booth served as a former senior director of Patient and Public Engagement at the Biden Cancer Initiative (BCI) and also served as the staff lead for BCI’s Patient Navigation Working Group. Our emcee will lead participants through a brief overview of Smith Center and discuss additional plans for their 25th Anniversary, as well as The Soul Box Project, which raises awareness of the U.S. gunfire epidemic. Both the TDJBCF and SWNA Youth Activities Task Force (YATF) are partners with Smith Center’s Soul Box Project. 

The support group meeting will also include conversations with two Smith Center board members and advocates, including the Honorable Lee Satterfield, a retired DC Chief Judge, cancer survivor, and heart transplant recipient and Kimberly Parekh, a facilitator of Smith Center’s Young Adult Metastatic Breast Cancer Support Group. They will share their amazing stories of courage and perseverance, advocacy work, and words of wisdom.  

Founded in 1996, Smith Center’s philosophy on healing is a natural and often deeply personal process that can encompass the entire spectrum of our lives – physical, mental, emotional, and even spiritual. Smith Center believes that every individual possesses the innate powers to heal within. So, mark your calendar and join us for another exciting evening in learning more about cancer programs, patient navigation, and healing through the arts – something we can all benefit from after experiencing the shut down of our nation from the pandemic.

For more information about the meeting, visit https://tdjbreastcancerfund.org/monthly-support-group/. Also visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TDJBreastCancerFund/.

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