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Wednesday, September 16 2015

Coming Up Next at BFMC

Adapted from several Baystate Franklin Medical Center (BFMC) press releases:

In addition to now offering Zentangle & a free writing workshop for those who've been touched by cancer, BFMC would like to remind the public that a Brain Injury Support Group meets at the hospital on the fourth Wednesday of each month.

The Oncology Department is offering workshops on Zentangle® for BFMC cancer survivors on Thursday, September 17th, and Thursday, September 24th, from 6PM to 7:30PM, in Conference Room C.  John Nordell, a Certified Zentangle Teacher, will be the course instructor.  The class is free and materials will be provided.

Mr. Nordell has been a corporate photographer, photo journalist, photo editor, and teacher.  He was a faculty member at Hallmark Institute of Photography in Turners Falls from 2006 to 2011, when he left to pursue a Masters of Education in Arts Education at Fitchburg State University.  Presently, Mr. Nordell is an Assistant Professor of Communication at American International College (AIC).

Zentangle, a combination of meditation and drawing, is an easy-to-learn and relaxing method of creating beautiful images from structured patterns but no drawing experience is necessary.  Nordell explained, “If you can make a line, a dot, and a curve, you can create Zentangle art.  It is a combination of drawing and meditation, a blend of art and spirit.  Participants have the opportunity to de-stress in a gentle classroom and feel the satisfaction of creating art.”  He added, “Bring your reading glasses, as we work on 3.5 inch squares of paper.  Anything is possible, one stroke at a time.”

Participants can register for one or both classes; the second session is a continuation of the first, so if you will only be attending one, it would be preferable to select the September 17th session.  Pre-registration is required; to register, please call the Baystate Health Link at (413) 773-2454 or 1-800-377-HEALTH.  The Zentangle classes are sponsored by BFMC’s Wheeling for Healing Bike/Walk/Run event to support cancer programs and services at BFMC.

Brain Injury Support Group
The Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts (BIA-MA) sponsors a Brain Injury Support Group on the 4th Wednesday of each month, from 5PM to 7PM, in Conference Room A.  The next meeting takes place on Wednesday, September 23rd.  Refreshments are provided, discussions and guest speakers vary.  Survivors of brain injury, as well as their spouses, family members, and caregivers are invited.

“The forum provides a compassionate environment for survivors to share their stories with an understanding peer group,” said Scott Doane, director of the Western Regional Office of the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts.   “It also provides an opportunity to socialize and make new friends with others through recreational activities and outings,” he added.

Doane explained the laidback atmosphere of the meeting, stating that the group is welcoming to everyone and serves as a resource to all in the community.  “During the meetings, they exchange experiences and ideas, identify local support systems, and just have fun together,” he stated.

For more information, contact Scott Doane, Western Regional Office of the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts, at (413) 443-0200 or toll free at (888) 554-5553. 

Spirit of the Written Word
The Oncology Department will offer a free writing workshop, Spirit of the Written Word, for Western Massachusetts residents touched by cancer.   The 10-week workshop will take place on Thursdays, from October 1st through December 10th (no class on Thanksgiving), from 6PM to 8PM, at Artspace (15 Mill Street in Greenfield).  Promote your own healing and experience the therapeutic benefits of group writing. No writing experience is required and all sharing is voluntary and confidential.  Refreshments will be provided.

Facilitating the workshop is Pam Roberts, a writer, artist, and certified yoga instructor who is a breast cancer survivor of over 20 years.  An ordained graduate of the IM School of Healing Arts in New York, NY, she has been leading writing workshops for people affected by cancer and loss for more than 11 years.  When she was diagnosed with breast cancer, Roberts found writing to be an important part of her healing process.  She believes deeply in the transformative and healing power of writing within a safe and supportive workshop environment.  One of the participants in a past workshop commented, “Writing with others living with cancer strengthened my voice and gave me a safe place and time to listen closely and to express it.”

Another said, “The creative aspect of writing was valuable. The camaraderie was also very special. Pam has a gentleness and genuine caring that makes writing easy.”

And from a third participant, “It just feels good to know that you are not alone and that others know how you feel!”

The workshop is being sponsored by BFMC Oncology and is grant funded by BFMC’s Wheeling for Healing Bike/Walk/Run Event supporting cancer services at BFMC.

The Spirit of the Written Word writing workshop is limited to 12 participants and registration is required.  To register, or for more information, contact facilitator Pam Roberts at (413) 625-2402 or