Published on November 11, 2020

center for healing

Healing Cancer’s Mental Toll

A new space on the third floor of the Shady Grove Adventist Aquilino Cancer Center in Rockville is allowing caregivers to better address the mental health needs of cancer patients and their families.

The Center for Healing brings the Aquilino Cancer Center’s whole-person care model to the next level, with 2,700 square feet designed for wellness programming, support services and groundbreaking research.

The emotional strain of cancer often goes unaddressed, yet this aspect of healing is vital to a patient’s well-being. The Center for Healing builds on Adventist HealthCare’s tradition of holistic care. The peaceful, versatile and welcoming space can be divided into smaller rooms to host activities that address anxiety and depression, just upstairs from where patients receive traditional treatments of chemotherapy and radiation oncology.

The center already is busy hosting groundbreaking studies in psycho-oncology, which may significantly improve the mental well-being of cancer patients. Aquilino Cancer Center is the first community cancer center in the nation to host a clinical trial to test the safety and feasibility of psilocybin to treat depression in cancer patients.

“This trial could transform the way we help cancer patients cope with the psychological impact of life-threatening disease,” said Manish Agrawal, MD, principal investigator and medical director of the Aquilino Cancer Center.

*Photo by Gregg McGillivray, Halkin | Mason Photography. Design by Gensler Architects

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