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 Kim Ross, HTI’s founder, executive director and the owner of Canalside Therapeutic Massage in Pittsford for the past eight years. Kim’s experience includes the development of a massage program at Elizabeth Wende Breast Care in 2007 where she supervised a staff of six therapists. Kim also has 20+ years of marketing experience.
HTI’s Board of Directors
President: Debbie Zeeman
Secretary: Ginny Weisel, LMT, trained in oncology massage
Treasurer: Daniel Holland
Marketing & Events: Bill Testa, Kim Ross, Michelle Ames
Medical Advisor: Dr. Patricia Somerville
Honorary Member: Dr. Wende Logan Young, founder of Elizabeth Wende Breast Care
Past Members: Karyl Mammano, PhD; Nancy Sutton