By Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers
Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers (RMCC) is the first network of cancer centers in the United States to offer The Seven Levels of Healing®, a groundbreaking education and support program for patients and members of the community.
The Seven Levels of Healing® is a leading-edge integrative oncology program for anyone touched by cancer. The program was created by Jeremy Geffen, MD, a board-certified medical oncologist and an internationally renowned pioneer and expert in integrative medicine and oncology. It is facilitated by specially-trained RMCC staff and is free-of-charge to anyone touched by cancer: patients, family members, loved ones and health professionals.
The Seven Levels program has been conducted in Boulder for over two years and has been extremely well received. RMCC-Colorado Springs began providing the program in September and over the coming months it will also be available at RMCC’s facilities in Central Denver, Littleton, Thornton, Aurora, and Pueblo.
The program is designed to assist participants to navigate all aspects of the journey through cancer as skillfully and effectively as possible. It addresses seven fundamental areas of concern that are universally encountered on the healing journey. Participants meet weekly for seven weeks, in two hour sessions. One of the Seven Levels is addressed at each session.
“We’re excited to make this wonderful program available to people throughout our communities,” said Ella Friedman, executive director of Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers. “Its success in Boulder has been phenomenal, and our physicians recognize the value of making it available to people affected by cancer throughout our network of care.”
RMCC is the first network of cancer centers in the United States to offer such a comprehensive integrative oncology program, not only to its own patients and family members, but also to the community at large. In recent years, millions of people with cancer have been searching for clear, reliable guidance about how to create a more holistic, personalized approach to cancer care that is grounded in state-of-the art medicine, yet also addresses their needs and concerns as a whole person. The Seven Levels of Healing® provides this guidance in a powerful, effective, inspiring and proven way.
Jill Mitchell, PhD, MSW, is RMCC’s social worker in Boulder and has been The Seven Levels of Healing core team leader for the program in Boulder since it began. She says the feedback from program participants has been extraordinarily positive. “They’re very grateful to RMCC for the program,” says Mitchell. “They feel more cared for and they feel a stronger connection with the staff at the center.”
In Colorado Springs, Carol Forsberg, MSW, LCSW, leads the program with the assistance of Robin Carter, RN, BSN, OCN, and Jane DeSmith, RN, BSN, OCN. She explains that the first few weeks of the program address basic education and information about cancer from a conventional medical perspective, the value of connection with others on the cancer journey—including the benefits of a strong support network and addressing the challenges of care-giving—and maintaining the body’s well being through nutrition, exercise and the safe and effective use of other complementary therapies.
“In the later weeks we shift from an external focus to an internal one, looking at what takes place on the emotional level,” says Forsberg. “How are people dealing with this? Additionally, we focus on helping people connect with their deepest purpose in life, and what gives them a sense of peace and wholeness in the midst of crisis.”
The program is conducted by a Seven Levels of Healing core team leader—typically a social worker—and two clinical staff. Forsberg explains that the program offers something for everyone, which she says is a primary reason for the enthusiastic level of response from the community. “Our first programs filled quickly. Being able to continuously offer this program to our community as an integral part of cancer care is an incredible step forward in offering truly integrative care for the whole person.”
RMCC has begun to offer The Seven Levels of Healing in Colorado Springs and Denver, and the program will soon be rolled out to Aurora and Littleton. For more information visit www.RockyMountainCancerCenters.com or call 719-577-2555.
What participants are saying about The Seven Levels of Healing®
“The nurturing context has been a great relief, a buffer for the rest of my life. It has given us a stronger beacon of light, a sense of direction and hope, and more strength to pursue what’s most important.”
“I grew in all areas. I couldn’t wait for every Wednesday night because I knew I would leave smarter and better off than when I came in.”
“What a difference seven weeks made in my life. I feel less scared and more in control. Cancer has taken on new meaning and doesn’t remind me of ‘The Monster under the bed’ anymore.”
“Fantastic program—I will miss it. I wish it was the ‘100 Levels of Healing.’ Awesome!”