Why we’re here, who’s involved
Human Touch Initiative (HTI) is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization begun in August 2008 by Kim Ross, a Rochester-area licensed massage therapist who is trained in oncology massage.
HTI’s mission is simple: To provide people with cancer access to massage, known for the relief of the side effects of cancer and its treatments.
A growing body of research supports massage, movement therapy and meditation as effective treatments for the symptoms of pain, anxiety and sleep problems that many cancer patients face. Through human touch, we can provide peace, solace, strength—a refuge—to patients in our community as they undergo their cancer treatments. Applicants are not required to prove financial distress; HTI’s services are available to anyone with a current cancer diagnosis who is living in Monroe or its bordering counties, as funds allow.
Our oncology massage program launched in November 2009 and has provided over 1,300 massage vouchers as of 3/2013. Our providers are all specially trained in oncology massage, and have agreed to provide their services at a reduced rate for up to 45-minute massages. We serve residents of Monroe and its bordering counties
HTI has minimal overhead since we operate virtually without needing leased space. In our first year, more than 80 percent of funds raised will go directly to provide services and education to the local community, including physicians.
Our leadership is headed by Cathy Tong. Cathy has worked with HTI for many years. HTI’s founder, Kim Ross, looked to Cathy when she decided that she no longer could be in this leadership position for the organization. Kim is still actively involved and working with the new board to move forward with the mission. Cathy’s father benefited from massage provided through HTI when he was living with cancer. He was in such pain and discomfort that medication was no longer helping. Words cannot describe the relief he received from the gentle massage by the licensed massage therapist. It is important to me that I continue the organization that helped my father. I hope that others diagnosed with cancer can reap the same benefits that my father received.
HTI’s Board of Directors
Secretary: Pamela Furr
Treasurer: Daniel Holland / Gail Phinney
Trustees: Jackie Crego, Wendy Guinn, Jonathan Reid, Kim Ross
Honorary Member: Dr. Wende Logan Young, founder of Elizabeth Wende Breast Care
Committee Members: Shelley Van Lare
Past Members: Karyl Mammano, PhD; Nancy Sutton; Debbie Zeeman; Ginny Weisel; Bill Testa