Smith Center’s mission is to develop and promote healing practices that explore physical, emotional, and mental wellness that lead to life-affirming changes. We offer programs for the community and specialize in serving people with cancer, their caregivers, health care providers, and utilizing the arts in healing.
Healing is very different from curing. Today, a cure for an illness is generally due to medical intervention that causes an illness to disappear. Curing is a form of repair, while healing is a form of growth. We believe that healing is always possible, even if a cure is not.
We see healing as a lifelong journey in which each individual’s path is unique. Healing is an integrative process that encompasses the entire spectrum of our existence—physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. It evokes our potential for wholeness, shows us life and ourselves in different ways, making our perspectives larger and wiser. Our goal is to support the people we work with in taking their next step in healing, whatever that step may be.
Smith Center’s robust integrative and complementary medicine practices focus on art and creativity, mindfulness stress-reduction, coping strategies, support groups, nutrition, and physical activity, all of which are fundamental to improving prognosis, quality of life, and preventing recurrence or development of other chronic illness.
Located in Washington, DC, Smith Center provides comprehensive cancer support resources through two primary service areas:
– Health and Wellness: Smith Center offers integrative healing programs for adults living with cancer and their caregivers. Programs offered include healthy cooking and stress reduction classes, creativity workshops, professionally facilitated support groups, healing circles, educational sessions, and patient navigation services.
– Arts and Creativity: Based on our deep belief in the healing power of art, in 2008, Smith Center established the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery, a public gallery dedicated to advancing an understanding of the power of arts to unite, teach, build community, and heal. Each year, the Gallery offers three to four curated exhibitions, featuring the work of approximately 160 artists and film screenings, artist dialogues, book-signings, performances, lectures, and other. The gallery features artists whose work builds community, celebrates life, and inspires change. By encouraging deep introspection, our exhibits work to heal both social and psychological ills. Additionally, Smith Center facilitates the connection between creativity and art for patients, caregivers, and clinicians through our Artist-in-Residence program at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Inova Schar Cancer Institute, and Washington Cancer Institute at Washington Hospital Center.