Find Support at the Dempsey Center

Become a client and access the services you need most on your cancer journey.

When You’re Ready, the Dempsey Center is Here for You.

Here at the Dempsey Center, anyone who has been impacted by a cancer diagnosis can find comfort, compassion, and connection. Whether you have been impacted by a personal diagnosis or one of a loved one, we will help you find the support you need, when you need it.

When you are ready, we will be here to guide you and help you select the services that will improve your well-being every step of the way.

Become a client today by clicking the link below that best represents you.

If you live in Maine, please select “Get Started as a Maine Client” for access to in-state services in-person or virtually.

If you reside outside the state of Maine and plan to access services virtually, please select “Get Started as a Virtual Client”.

**Please note: As of November 13th, 2023, we are not accepting new clients for adult and youth counseling. We are actively working through our existing waitlists and will provide updates when we can. In the meantime, we are still accepting new clients for all other services. Active clients are welcome to sign up for any of our no-cost groups, classes, and workshops, found here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Dempsey Center?

The Dempsey Center was founded by actor and Maine native Patrick Dempsey and his family in 2008 in Lewiston, Maine. Patrick’s mother, Amanda Dempsey, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1997. After standing alongside her with the rest of his family in her cancer journey until her passing in 2014, and inspired by Amanda’s passion for helping others, Patrick and his family created a space where those impacted by cancer could find relief, comfort, resources, and support. Since its inception, the Center has provided personalized and comprehensive cancer support care at no cost to its clients. The mission of the Center has been consistent since its start: to make life better for people impacted by cancer.  

The Center today provides care and support to thousands of individuals impacted by cancer, with two physical locations in Maine (Lewiston and South Portland, Maine), a fully virtual, worldwide center named Dempsey Connects, and Clayton’s House, a hospitality house, providing a home-away-from home for those who must travel for cancer treatment.  

All individuals impacted by cancer, whether a cancer patient, survivor, care partner, family, or friend, and regardless of where they are on a cancer journey, are eligible for services at the Center.  

The goals of the services provided at the Center are to provide comfort through compassion, connection, and choice. The Center’s services fall into three categories of offerings:  

  • Oncology Counseling: Individual, family, and support group counseling provide an opportunity for connection in whatever way works best for each client.
  • Complementary Integrative Therapies: Nutrition, Movement & Fitness, and Integrative Bodywork Therapies (Massage, Acupuncture, and Reiki) are provided individually and in group settings to offer educational opportunities and ways to enhance client wellbeing.  
  • Comfort + Wellbeing: Dempsey Dogs, Clayton’s House Hospitality Home, Wigs & Headwear, and Comfort Items for people impacted by cancer – supporting them wherever they are in their cancer journey.  
How is the Dempsey Center structured?

The Dempsey Center is a 501c3 non-profit organization. The Center is a fully community, corporate, and foundationally funded organization (most of the Center’s financial support comes from direct giving, grants, and fundraising through events). The Center’s primary community fundraiser, the Dempsey Challenge, occurs each fall and is a walk/run/cycle event focused on healthy activity while also raising direct funds to support the work of the Center. It is through this funding that the Center can offer all its services at no cost to clients. While services are provided at no cost to clients, any client is welcome to donate to the Center if they are able and so choose.   

The team of care providers who support clients in their cancer journey at the Center are oncology-certified (or are working towards certification) in any area where there is a specific oncology-focused certification. The team providing support to clients consists of paid full-time and part-time staff members, in addition to per diem staff, independent contractor staff, and other paid facilitators. The Center’s team is also largely supported by an extremely dedicated group of volunteers, who provide their services and time for the direct benefit of clients.  

As a non-profit organization, all services are available on a “first come, first served” basis. The Center strives to serve as many individuals as it can. The need for this level of support in our communities varies and has, over time, increased. The Center does often experience periods where certain services have significant waits before an interested client can access an appointment or program. In a client’s initial orientation/welcome appointment, a staff member can clarify what services may have a wait, in addition to (in some cases) being able to estimate how long a wait for a service may be. (Please note, these are only estimates, and the Center can make no guarantee of when an individual may be able to access a service that is currently experiencing a wait).  

Please note, staff at the Center may recommend other services to clients outside of the Center if there is a wait for a current service offering and a client has a need that is more immediate. Please also note that the Center is not a crisis intervention resource or a traditional behavioral/mental health community clinic. There are resources available in our service areas for those that need immediate behavioral and/or mental health support. The staff at the Center can help direct individuals to these resources.  

Who is eligible to receive Dempsey Center services?

All individuals impacted by cancer are eligible for some form of the Center’s services. Some services are particularly designed and structured for those with the diagnosis of cancer, and who are actively participating in medical treatments. Services are also available for those who are post-treatment (or not seeking treatment), are an identified primary care partner (a selection that the individual with the diagnosis can make if they have a primary care partner interested in services), and for other family members and friends impacted by an individual’s cancer diagnosis.  

Changes in an individual’s cancer status (e.g., a recurrence or new metastasis) may impact the services they are eligible to receive/participate in. After one year of utilizing services, it may be necessary for Dempsey Center staff to contact you to collect relevant information about your cancer impact, to ensure the services available to you best meet your needs.  

How do I start using Dempsey Center services?

Call us at (877) 336-7287 or complete the form below to schedule an appointment for your first visit at any of our locations. During your first visit, you will receive an orientation to our services and work with a member of our team to find the services that will benefit you the most.

What is a Dempsey Center Orientation?

During your first visit to the Dempsey Center, whether in-person or virtually, a member of our team will meet with you to get to know your needs, your cancer experience, and the challenges you are facing. The orientation will introduce you to all of our services and together with our team, you can sign up for the classes, workshops, and services that you are interested in. Orientations can be done in-person for those who can travel to either of our physical Centers or virtually from anywhere. To schedule your Orientation, you can either fill out the form below or call us at 877-336-7287.

Can I experience the Dempsey Center without completing an Orientation or becoming a client?

Each trimester, we have several Public Workshops which are open to anyone, regardless of cancer experience. These workshops are a great way to experience the Dempsey Center without becoming a client. However, if you’d like to access client-only services such as acupuncture, massage, counseling, consultations, or dozens of other classes and workshops, you must complete the process to become a client. Our team is here to help every step of the way!

Do I need a referral from my doctor?

You don’t need a referral to visit the Dempsey Center and use services here. However, you will need approval from your healthcare provider in order to receive massage services.

Does it matter where I’m getting cancer treatment?

The Dempsey Center is an independent nonprofit organization and is not affiliated with any medical group. You can use services at the Center no matter where you receive medical treatment.

I’m no longer receiving treatment for my cancer; can I still use the Dempsey Center’s services?

Yes! The Dempsey Center knows that the cancer journey doesn’t end when treatment does. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with cancer, you can come to the Dempsey Center at any point – before, during, and after treatment. We do reserve some services for cancer patients and primary caregivers within two years of diagnosis. On your first visit to the Center, you will learn more about the services for which you qualify.

What can clients expect, and what does the Dempsey Center expect of clients? 

The Dempsey Center strives to be a safe place and a haven of support for those impacted by cancer. Clients can expect dedicated and competent staff and volunteers, who are knowledgeable about navigating a cancer impact, and can recommend services that are evidenced-based and research-informed that may increase an individual’s quality of life during their cancer journey.  

The Center expects that all team members treat clients with courtesy and respect, holding team members accountable for kindness and compassion.  

The Center’s staff recognizes that often clients can come to the Center in one of the worst periods of their life, and individual behavior and general presentation can be impacted by this experience. The Center also understands that often, as a side effect of a specific cancer or a specific treatment, that sometimes clients will have situations where mental capacity and physical capacity may be limited. The Center will strive to make all reasonable accommodations in this regard and will also prioritize the safety of both clients and team members as its priority.  

Participation in the Center’s programs is subject to the observance of the Center’s rules and procedures, including specific guidelines (which may include limits to the volume of services, or timing of services) which vary by program or service. Further, participation in the Center’s programs is subject to the observance of the Center’s Client Code of Conduct. This is a document reviewed with clients upon orientation to the Center and is required to be adhered to for Clients to participate in services. For any questions about behavioral conduct expectations, please do not hesitate to request an additional copy of the Client Code of Conduct document or speak directly with a Dempsey Center team member.   

Contact Us

We are here for you today and every day. Please complete the form below and a member of our client experience team will be in touch with you shortly.