Back to articles

A Time to Heal Program Supports Cancer Survivors


The Martin-O’Neil Cancer Center at Adventist Health St. Helena has launched a new program to support cancer survivors. A Time to Heal is a 12-week program that helps cancer survivors regain their physical, emotional and spiritual health after cancer treatment. The first twelve-week session began virtually this May, with the next session planned for the fall.

“Having cancer can be psychologically challenging and physically exhausting. One can lose their sense of self. Like someone undergoing cardiac rehab after a heart attack, a cancer survivor deserves help in their recovery from cancer, too,” says Colleen Winters, LCSW, OSW-C, clinical navigator at the Martin O’Neil Cancer Center.

Any survivor that has been diagnosed with cancer is eligible to join A Time to Heal, whether they have received treatment at the Martin-O’Neil Cancer Center or elsewhere. Each session includes gentle stretching and includes instruction on topics such as nutrition, regaining strength, relationships, happiness, resilience and more from visiting experts. Sessions are led by trained oncology nurses and mental health professionals.

Participants in A Time to Heal receive helpful information about healing, training in coping skills such as relaxation and opportunities to ask questions and share insights with the facilitators, expert faculty and other survivors. As a result, they may feel better emotionally and physically. The free program was made possible for cancer survivors through the support of Sutter Home Winery and St. Helena Hospital Foundation.

“Cancer survivorship is a unique experience that can be hard for others to understand. A Time to Heal sessions are open, supportive environments for survivors to connect, share and learn with people who understand,” says Laurie Schirling, RN, OCN, CN-BN, certified breast nurse navigator at Adventist Health. “We hope that by the end of the 12 sessions, survivors will feel a renewed connection and purpose that helps them continue to grow and heal.”

To learn more or register for the fall session, please contact Colleen Winters at