The Wellness Community

Behind the Scenes

June 13, 1999|By Karin Remesch

Mission: To create a community of hope, learning and support for cancer patients and their loved ones. Established in 1993, the Wellness Community-Baltimore offers a comfortable meeting place away from the medical center where patients and other people dealing with cancer can support each other, explore new ways of dealing with the stresses of cancer and receive therapy. Offered are weekly group sessions led by licensed psychotherapists. In a typical month, the Wellness Community schedules more than 75 activities for cancer patients and their families. All programs are free.

Latest accomplishment: Within the last year, the Wellness Community has expanded its Kid's Circle, a program for children ages 5-13 whose family members have cancer. The one-of-a-kind program was transformed from a pilot project into an established program that is being offered by Wellness Communities nationwide. Also last year, activities for cancer patients and their families were increased to more than 70 a month. Programs include cancer-support groups, family-support groups, social events, educational workshops, exercise and stress reduction. The Wellness Community also implemented networking groups that offer people a chance to connect with others who have the same type of cancer.

On the horizon: The group's long-term goal is to move into a free-standing house to offer a more relaxed, family atmosphere. A free public program on "Men's and Women's Reactions to Cancer Stress" is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

About the Wellness Community: Operating budget: $400,000.

Where and when: 901 Dulaney Valley Road, Suite 710. Administrative hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Program hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday. Web site: www.wellnesscomm.org. E-mail: cancerhelp@wellnesscomm.org. Call 410-832-2719.

Dr. John R. Saunders Jr., chairman of the board of trustees: "As an oncology surgeon, I view the Wellness Community as an integral part of conventional medical treatment for cancer. In addition, its function as an independent meeting place for cancer patients and their families provides a conglomeration of valuable resources that they won't find anywhere else."

Board of trustees

Constance H. Baker

Verina Black

Helen Woodward Boyd

Alan Bronfein

Lamont N. Corprew

Sidney E. Daniels

Phyllis O. Franklin

Georgia Bacas Groth

Nicolette Uram Heslen

Weldon A. Lee

Robert Millhauser

Patti Neumann

Peter B. Rosenwald

J. Harlan Williams Jr.

Jean L. Wyman

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