Your questions, answered
For Clients & Donors

What is HTI?

Human Touch Initiative (HTI) is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization founded to provide people who have a current cancer diagnosis with free or low-cost access to integrative therapies, including oncology massage.

Who is eligible to receive HTI services?

Anyone in Monroe and its bordering counties who has a current cancer diagnosis. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older.

Do applicants have to prove financial distress?

No, our services are for anyone with a current cancer diagnosis. However, on the application for services there’s an option to pay a small part of the massage therapist’s fee ($15) to help HTI’s funds go further. Those who indicate they are not in the position to help pay for their services will receive oncology massage services at no charge.

How does it work?

A simple application for services is available to submit on our Web site. If you don’t have an email address, you may print your completed application and mail it to HTI at the address below OR download the application, print a copy and mail to submit. Download Application PDF Once the application is approved, each client will receive three (3) massage vouchers and a list of participating massage therapists trained in oncology massage. Clients are responsible for making their own appointments with the participating provider of their choice. Massage vouchers will be available on a first-come, first-served basis as funds are available.

Where do clients go to receive a massage?

Clients can choose a therapist who is most conveniently located to them from our list of participating providers.

Who are the HTI providers?

Participating therapists are local practitioners who have met HTI’s criteria for special training in oncology massage, have a current NYS license and operate a private massage practice in our community.

Are providers donating their services?

No. We respect the level of training and investment our providers have made to operate their businesses and offer a nurturing and safe service environment for our clients. So we’ve negotiated reduced fees with them, creating a relationship that is beneficial to all—the client, the practitioner and HTI.

Do I need my doctor’s permission?

It’s always best to check with the physician overseeing your care before adding any therapies to your cancer treatment plan. Your massage therapist wants to be part of your wellness team.

Is massage ever not safe for someone with cancer?

The medical community has pronounced massage for those with cancer as completely safe, as long as it’s provided by a therapist who is specifically trained to work with cancer patients. Research is continually emerging to support massage as a valuable therapy in relieving symptoms of pain, anxiety, depression and sleeplessness. Only a very small number of clients would require a therapeutic-touch technique where rubbing or compression of the skin is avoided.

How much of the money HTI raises will go toward providing services?

In our first year of operation, more than 80 percent of funds raised will go directly toward service vouchers for clients. HTI keeps its overhead expenses minimal: we operate as a virtual agency, with out leasing office space. Our expenses include our Web-hosting service and insurance for our board members. In coming years, we expect that even more of the contributions we receive to go toward meeting demand for services.

What to expect…

Once you receive your vouchers and our list of participating providers in the mail you can make your appointment with any provider you choose. The massage therapist will take a thorough health history. They may send you a questionnaire to fill out ahead of time or they may have you fill one out once you have come to their office. Your personal information, as any conversation you have with your therapist, is always kept confidential.

The massage itself will outwardly be comparable to any massage you have had in the past. One difference you will be able to find comfort in is, due to their specialized training in oncology massage, the massage therapist will be making well-informed, mindful decisions about you and your current state of health during your session with them. If you have never had a massage before then rest assured the massage therapist will take time to explain what they are going to be doing. You will be modestly draped under linens at all times. You may choose to undress to your level of comfort. Some clients prefer no clothes, some prefer to keep on their underwear. Always feel free to ask questions or to ask the practitioner to make a change in their technique if you are uncomfortable in any way. Remember, this is your time to find some calm in the chaos. Your massage therapist is there for you.

What kinds of services will HTI add in the future?

We plan to build a network of movement and guided meditation practitioners who will offer classes to HTI clients at discounted prices or free of charge.

How can I support HTI?

There are many ways to help support HTI, through your time, your funds or your talents. You may donate online at the Donate page on our Web site——by mail, or by calling us at 585.755.6622. If you have a service you’d like to donate, please give us a call.

Where can I mail a donation to HTI?

Our mailing address is: Human Touch Initiative, 86 Seminole Way, Rochester, NY 14618.

Can I help with fund-raising or host an event?

Absolutely! We have a growing list of opportunities and are looking for more ideas. Your participation will spread the word about HTI and help us grow. Please call 585.672.6222 if you would like to host a fund-raising event for HTI or volunteer with us. We appreciate any and all support you can provide as we establish our presence in the Rochester-area community.