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Educational Lectures

Educational Lectures provide access to valuable information including medical, legal, financial, and other cancer specific topics. All Red Door Community lectures are free and open to members and the general public. Here is a selection of our previous lectures. For a list of upcoming lectures visit our Program Calendar.

Cancer Language Decoded
February 15, 2024
Facilitated by Dr. Khalid Rehman M.D., FACP

The medical language used for many types of cancers, tests and treatments is confusing and not easily understood by lay people.  This presentation will decode the medical lingo and explain in simple terms what does it mean to have adenocarcinoma, or sarcoma, what is an MRI and SPECT scan, the CR/PR (complete and partial remission), overall survival, cure, and relapse. What are the types of clinical trials and who should participate. Join us in a conversation to learn and be educated about cancer care.

Special Presentation: Living with Blood Cancer Monthly Group Presents Emotional Impact of Watch & Wait/Fear of Recurrence
January 25, 2024
Facilitated by 
Dr. Monique James

Dr. Monique James received her MD through Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, completed her residencies in Adult Psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco, and went on to do her fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center/Weill Cornell Medical College.

She specializes in caring for people who are acutely or chronically ill, and who are experiencing psychiatric symptoms related to their illness. Patients can have unique psychiatric needs throughout their illness, from diagnosis to treatment, and with whatever lies ahead. These needs include the re-exacerbation of underlying psychiatric illness, adjusting to cancer diagnosis and treatment, depression, anxiety, symptoms associated with hormone therapy, fatigue, interpersonal conflict, confronting mortality, and other psychosocial distress. Dr. James has a particular interest in women’s health and works in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

Understanding Clinical Trials
January 23, 2024
Facilitated by Dr. Jonathan Lischalk

The field of oncology requires a multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, and research professionals. At academic medical centers, a major focus is moving the field of oncology forward.  The main driver of improvements in cancer care is multidisciplinary research. Clinical trials and other research protocols are very important facets of oncology to better understand the disease and improve both cancer cure rates and the side effect profiles of treatment. In this lecture, Dr. Lischalk and his team will explore the rationale for clinical trials, how patients are selected for trials and what the goals of a clinical trial can be. They will also share the logistics of enrolling in a clinical trial and the various procedures and follow ups that can occur. 

Healthy Eating During the Holiday Season
December 5, 2023
Facilitated by Ronnie Fortunato, MS, RDN, God’s Love We Deliver

Please join us for a discussion focused on nutrition during the holidays.  We will discuss common concerns you may have while also celebrating with family and friends and provide you with some strategies to assist you while you stick with your recovery goals.

Genetics Cancer and Your Inherited Risk: The Role of Cancer Genetic Testing and Counseling
November 28, 2023
Facilitated by Christina LaMaire

While most cancers aren’t hereditary, some are caused by gene mutations that may explain a diagnosis and increase your risk for other cancers in the future. In this lecture, Christina LaMaire will discuss what we can learn from cancer genetic testing, and how people with cancer and their family members may benefit from using this information in treatment, screening, and beyond. We will also use a few case examples to review who may be the best candidates for this testing, as well as common practical questions about the genetic counseling process. 

Medicare Open Enrollment 2024
October 3, 2023
Facilitated by Gil Kunken, DMD, MPH

Please join us for an important discussion and Q&A for the Red Door Community regarding the upcoming 2024 Medicare Open Enrollment. 
Medicare Part A and Part B, Medigap/Medicare Supplement insurance.
Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage.  
Programs that help with Medicare costs, including Extra Help/LIS, EPIC, and the Medicare Savings Programs.

Meditation as Ease Amidst Disease: A talk by Zen teacher Ryushin Marchaj
September 22, 2023
Facilitated by Konrad Ryushin Marchaj/Theatre Within

Get clear and basic instructions for establishing and maintaining a practice of spiritual self-care. Meditation, as described by Ryushin Marchaj, is “an exhaustive and wholehearted act of inquiry, intimacy, and loving-kindness relevant to everyone at every stage of life.” Ryushin’s talk will be followed by a period of guided sitting and Q+A. Ryushin Marchaj is a Zen teacher and a Dharma heir of the late John Daido Loori, founder of the Zen Mountain Monastery, where Ryushin served as Abbot for over five years through January 2015.  

Anxiety Management: Let Anxiety Be the Guide: While You Do The Driving
September 19, 2023
Facilitated by Amy Vigliotti, Psychologist and Founding Head of the NYC group Practice SelfWorks

Psychologist, Dr. Amy Vigliotti founder of SelfWorks, a NYC therapy group ( is a notable speaker on mental health and personal growth, drawing from her extensive training in trauma and her own experiences as a breast cancer thriver of 15 years. In this hour-long interactive session, Dr. Vigliotti will help you learn how to:
•Listen to what your anxiety is telling you and keep you calm and focused.
•Reflect on the ways in which anxiety is normal and an important signal for uncertainty and/or lack of safety.
•Recognize the areas in your life that cause your anxiety to spike.
•Practice strategies to reduce stress and tension held in the body.
•Use mindfulness tools to ride the waves of anxiety.
•Change negative self-talk to be encouraging and motivating.
•Develop a meaningful mantra to help ground you in times of intense stress.

Reclaiming Intimacy: Intimacy, Grief, Body Image & Sexual Dysfunction Webinar
August 15, 2023
Facilitated by Jen Fecher

Many factors play in to how we accept and interact with intimacy in our lives, including during times of grief and throughout each personal cancer experience. When life circumstances alter the “normalcy” in our everyday lives, we can lose touch with ourselves, our self-view, and body image. These disconnects, dysfunction issues, and general withdraw can all lead to negative feelings about intimacy within us and our partner(s). Join us to discuss intimacy, intimacy and grief, body image, and to review information about holistic options for sexual dysfunction issues that men and women are facing.

Having Cancer Doesn’t Mean Giving Up Good Sleep: Tips for A Better Tonight
July 25, 2023
Facilitated by Dr. Alexandria Muench

Sleep plays an important role in your health and well-being throughout your life. A cancer diagnosis can affect the sleep quality of a patient and their caregivers. Dr. Muench will discuss common sleep problems that arise during a cancer diagnosis. She will discuss effective ways to mitigate these problems, during and after treatment. Dr. Muench is a T32 Post-Doctoral Fellow within the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program and the Chronobiology & Sleep Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. Her work is focused on insomnia, fatigue, and cancer.

Changing Thoughts and Actions to Manage Anxiety: How to Use Cognitive and Behavioral Strategies
May 2, 2023
Facilitated by Dr. Kelly McConnell

We all experience a degree of anxiety due to daily stressors. Dr. McConnell will describe the causes and symptoms of anxiety.  She will also review how our thoughts and actions can impact anxiety.  Informed by cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), we will then discuss strategies for reframing thoughts and behaviors to reduce anxiety.  Audience members will be encouraged to think about how they may use these strategies to reduce their own anxiety.

Oncology Networking Conference
April 14, 2023
Facilitated by Erin Baumann

Earlier this spring, Red Door Community was honored to host its Annual Virtual Oncology Professionals Networking Conference! This conference was an opportunity for representatives of healthcare institutions to come together and present on their respective services and discuss continued efforts at collaboration. To download resources from this year’s conference please visit here!

For more information or if you would like to speak on behalf of your healthcare organization, please contact Erin Baumann

Medicinal Cannabis Can Help: A Chat with Industry and Medical Professionals
March 7, 2023
Facilitated by Alphred Kulik, MD, FACS, Gagan Puar-Sforza PharmD, RPh, and Desiree Sookoo

Compounds in cannabis affect the endocannabinoid system in our body and work towards regulating and improving physiological (nervous, immune, and digestive systems) and cognitive processes such as mood and memory. Dr. Kulik will present on how to utilize cannabis as medicine, what types of symptoms can be alleviated with its use, and its potential effect on tumors in conjunction with conventional therapies. Ms. Sookoo will share how medical cannabis helped improve her mother’s quality of life after her cancer diagnosis. Dr. Puar-Sforza, will explore the role of a pharmacist in a Medical Marijuana program and how they can aid in the treatment plan.

Music Therapy & The MELODY Study
February 23, 2023
Facilitated by Sean McNally, MS, MT-BC – Research Music Therapist

This lecture will include a short overview of the practice of music therapy, how the practice can address cancer-related mental health issues, including anxiety and depression, and a couple of music-based experientials. In addition, an overview of the MELODY study – music therapy vs. cognitive behavioral therapy for cancer survivors with anxiety via telehealth, will be presented.  

Screening and Q&A of Deconstruction
January 26, 2023
Facilitated by Alex Mallonee

Deconstruction is a collaborative multimedia art project chronicling Joyce Mallonee’s 25-year journey with breast cancer. Conceived by Joyce two years prior to her passing in 2020 – and brought to life by her son, filmmaker Alex Mallonee, along with seven contributing artists – Deconstruction uses creativity and humor to engage and inspire cancer survivors and their loved ones about living with and honestly talking about the disease. Premiering as a physical art exhibition in January of 2020, Alex has since turned Deconstruction into a virtual art experience, the backbone of which is a thirty-five-minute documentary that shares the ideas behind each piece and Joyce’s odyssey in an unflinching but darkly comedic way. Alex hopes to expand this documentary into a feature film that highlights Joyce’s life, approach to her cancer, and how simple acts of creative expression can have a profound impact.

Riding The Wave: Finding Ease During Stormy Times An Experiential Workshop 
December 13, 2022
Facilitated by Amy Vigliotti, Psychologist and Founding Head of the NYC group practice SelfWorks

In this experiential webinar, Amy will teach you how to listen to what your anxiety is telling you and keep you focused on what is important in your life. Amy will guide you through self-care, emotional regulation, and resiliency-building strategies to help cope with difficult emotions, face your fears, and move toward your personal goals. You will learn to: understand anxiety as an important signal that can be both helpful and unhelpful, identify your unique worries and stressors, understand common thinking errors that compound your anxiety and stress, reflect on how/when/why your body experiences stress, practice Body Scan and Progressive Muscle Relaxation exercises for stress reduction, experience the power of staying with the present moment (anxiety’s kryptonite),  build a gratitude practice and develop a core mantra to help you through uncertain times and help you sustain momentum toward your goals.

Medicare 2023
November 17, 2022 
Facilitated by  Eric Hausman, HIICAP

The latest information on Medicare and related health insurance for 2023, including some important upcoming changes will be discussed. The presentations will cover Medicare Part A and Part B, Medigap/Medicare Supplement insurance, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage, along with programs that help with Medicare costs – Extra Help/LIS, EPIC and the Medicare Savings Programs. HIICAP (Health Insurance Information Counseling and Assistance Program) has volunteer counselors that assist people with questions on Medicare and related health insurance. They do not recommend any plan or option and are not affiliated with any health insurance company.

Exercise after Mastectomy
October 26, 2022
Facilitated by Julie Sandler-Friedman, PT, DPT

This lecture and demonstration will review the evidence-based timeline for exercise from directly after mastectomy to 6 months and beyond. Participants will have the opportunity to try various movement exercises.  Please wear loose, comfortable clothing, and be prepared to move!

Estate Planning: 101
August 2, 2022
Facilitated by The Family Center

Estate planning is important for all of us, no matter how much or how little property we might have. The Family Center’s Legal Wellness Institute will present an overview of concepts and tools for advance care planning, including wills, life insurance, special needs planning, planning for minor children, payable on death accounts, Social Security Survivor’s Benefits, and more.

Let’s Talk About Lymph
July 20, 2022
Facilitated by Julie Sandler-Friedman

The lymphatic system can seem mysterious. This lecture demonstration will serve as a de-mystifying introduction.  The following topics will be reviewed: what the lymphatic system is; lymphedema after cancer treatment (for example, after surgery and/or radiation);  various kinds of evidence-based management of, and prevention of lymphedema; and safe exercise for/with lymphedema. This presentation will include some voluntary exercise participation.

Body Image, Intimacy, & Sexual Dysfunction with Reclaiming Intimacy
July 19, 2022
Facilitated by Jen Fecher

Body image changes, intimacy needs, and sexual dysfunction are all issues that may arise during your cancer journey, and into survivorship. During this webinar, we will discuss these topics, dating disclosure, holistic options on reclaiming your sexuality and lost ability & function, as well as addressing any questions you may have on intimacy or sexual wellness. Join us to empower yourself with information to reclaim your needs, desires, and function! 

How Do We Know When Stress Shows Up In Our Lives? 
April 26, 2021
Facilitated by Haley Feldman, LCSW &
Migdalia Torres, LCSW-R

This lecture covers the differences between stress and anxiety – how they affect your physical and mental well being. Facilitators Haley & Migdalia also cover ways to manage both.  

Medical Cannabis: Cancer Pain Management & More
April 7, 2020
Facilitated by Dara Huang, M.D., Manhattan Compassionate Care.

In this lecture, Dr. Huang talks about the science and history of medical cannabis, how it differs from recreational marijuana, and when and how it can be helpful for symptom relief for patients living with cancer. However, it is still controversial and not lawful in all states. She also discusses the required administrative process to get a cannabis prescription in New York State.

BRCA Genetics and Hereditary Caner in the Ashkenazi Jewish Population
October 23, 2018
Speaker: Melissa K. Rosen, MA, Director of National Outreach & Peggy Cottrell, MS, CGC, Genetics Program Coordinator of Sharsheret

Melissa K. Rosen and Peggy Cottrell will present an overview on the BRCA genes and what it means to carry the mutation. Those of Ashkenazi Jewish descent are 10x more likely to carry the BRCA mutation. They will focus on the genetic implications among the Ashkenazi population. They will also review who should consider genetic screening and what should be considered prior to screening as well.