|Jones with Jennifer Aniston - who visited the White House in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month|
Thelma Jones, one of Smith Center for Healing and the Arts’ Breast Care Community Navigators, has been named a White House Champion of Change for her leadership in the fight against breast cancer. The Champions of Change program, which is part of President Obama’s Winning the Future Initiative, recognizes local leaders for their contributions to the community each week at the White House.
JJones is a four-year breast cancer survivor, advocate, and certified Breast Health Educator for the American Cancer Society. Her specific area of focus includes women of color in the Southwest DC area and the community-at-large, where she established a breast cancer support group and navigates approximately 18-20 patients on a regular basis. As an Integrative Cancer Care Navigator, she aims to save lives and enhance the experience of living with cancer for the women she works with—providing moral support, arranging mammography appointments, connecting patients with medical treatment and community resources, and sharing information on supportive therapies such as nutrition, stress reduction and exercise, empowering women and reducing the fear that often accompanies the disease. Her work with Smith Center is supported through a grant from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
“Almost from the inception of my diagnosis,” Jones described “I vowed to fight back and use my voice to increase funding for cancer research and to make it a national priority.”
In her previous role as Community Outreach Coordinator for the World Bank IMF Breast Cancer Support Group in 2009, Jones organized a high-level breast cancer seminar where her message of early detection, prevention, and treatment reached hundreds of people both locally and globally. In August 2010, she received the Mayor’s coveted Community Service Award in the category of Lifetime Achievement.