2022 MTF Community Service Grants Awarded

Posted:Saturday, August 13, 2022

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Massage Therapy Foundation Awards 2022 Community Service Grants

(Evanston, Ill., August 12, 2022) The Massage Therapy Foundation (MTF) announces the award of five Community Service Grants for the 2022 granting cycle. MTF’s Community Service Grants bring the benefits of massage therapy to people who would otherwise not have access. To date MTF has granted over $500,000 to non-profit organizations across the country and internationally. The grantees are as follows:

Free Massages for Cancer Patients and Caregivers
Cancer Family Care
Cincinnati, Ohio
$5,000

Cancer Family Care (CFC) provides mental health counseling and supportive services to children, adults, and families coping with cancer across Greater Cincinnati. CFC serves an average of 3,000 cancer patients and family members per year, including children ages 4-18. As part of its Waddell Family Healing Hands Program, CFC offers free oncology massage to cancer patients (up to four free massage sessions per patient) and a low-cost massage to caregivers. Demand for free oncology massage is higher than ever due to the cancer patients and caregivers/families dealing with heightened stress and anxiety caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The outcome of the program is to reduce cancer patients’ physical symptoms of pain, stress, soreness, fatigue, muscle tightness, and spasms. CRC also hopes to enhance cancer patients’ sense of well-being and improve their quality of life. CFC also received an MTF Community Service Grant in 2015.

Increasing Access to Therapeutic Massage
Bridgeport Hospital
Bridgeport, Connecticut
$5,000

For over 20 years, Bridgeport Hospital’s Integrative Medicine & Support Services program has provided therapeutic massage to patients in need, regardless of their ability to pay. The program serves uninsured and underinsured patients from Greater Bridgeport, Connecticut, a low-income community that is over 70% people of color. The area poverty rate is 22%. Licensed massage therapists participating in this program are certified in oncologic massage. The program’s goal is to help patients by lessening cancer treatment side effects such as insomnia, muscular pain, anxiety, and depression. As underserved, high risk patients are less likely to participate in the program due to language, cultural and perceived financial barriers, this MTF funded project uses three approaches to increase access: multilingual group education about the benefits of massage, meeting the patient, and one-on-one information about massage given to the patients by informed medical providers.

Morale Center Massage Therapy Program
Rochester Veterans Outreach Center
Rochester, New York
$5,000

The Veterans Outreach Center (VOC) of Rochester, NY serves veterans with compassion and advocates for all who have worn our nation’s uniforms so they can live life to the fullest. The VOC’s Moral Center is dedicated to facilitating self-care, for mental, social, and physical health. Offering massage therapy encourages the veteran community to come to the Outreach Center and use other VOC resources like counseling, job placement/training, help with insurance and VA benefits, and more. Visits to the center create stability for veterans who are struggling with basic life skills, and the more services the VOC can offer, the more repeat visits it can achieve. MTF funds will be used to offer veterans a series of massages instead of 1-2x a year possibility offered by current volunteer services. Massage therapy encourages a regular self-care routine for veterans who may be managing PTSD, opioid addiction, mental illness, or are just trying to transition successfully into civilian life.

On-Farm Clinics
People’s Medicine Project
Greenfield, Massachusetts
$5,000 

The People’s Medicine Project (PMP) will use MTF grant funds to provide on-site massage therapy to immigrant agricultural workers in Western MA, as part of a larger project and collaboration with the Community Health Center of Franklin County. Despite their work being essential to feeding the world, farmworkers face hazardous working conditions and experience many barriers to accessing health care. The farmworkers served by this program may be domestic or international workers, including guest workers who participate in the H-2A program.

Over 2500 immigrant/seasonal agricultural workers live and work in Franklin and Hampshire counties. PMP finds the most common health issues, stemming from trauma, stress, isolation, overwork, hazardous work environments including chemical exposure, substandard living conditions, lack of access to healthy food, and lack of access to health care. The benefits of massage therapy for chronic pain and injury have been substantiated. Likewise, multiple studies document the benefits of massage for its mood-elevating, and stress-reducing effects. PMP hopes that a robust on-site massage therapy program will prove supportive and accessible to Latinx immigrant farmworkers.

SHE Retreats: Trauma-Informed Massage & Self-Care
Divas Who Win Freedom Center
Athens, Georgia
$5,000

This grant will support SHE Retreats: Trauma-Informed Massage and Self-Care, offered to women who are survivors of sex trafficking and/or overcoming addiction and trauma to aid them in successfully reentering society. This therapeutic method has proved to be a healthy and healing link between the various life skill-building therapeutic services and the gift of massage. The objective includes: fortifying connection peer to peer, cultivating recovery relationships, healing the trauma tissues within oneself through the modality of massage, decrease return to use and/or return to sex trade by developing a peer mentor bond with therapist and peer coaches, as well as emphasizing and exploring new modalities of self-care through massage. Clients served are often in the lower socioeconomic class and having faced the aforementioned traumas. Many have not had the economic power to indulge in massage so introducing healing modality, expands their tools in their self-care, self-worth toolbox. Divas is a 3rd year MTF Community Service Grant winner.

About the Massage Therapy Foundation

The Massage Therapy Foundation is a 501(c)3 public charity supporting scientific research, education, and community service for the massage therapy profession. The Foundation founded and publishes an open-access, peer-reviewed scientific journal and provides educational resources for massage therapists, educators, and students. MTF is an independent organization that promotes international scientific and technical collaboration through grants, resources, training, and services.

For more information contact:
Gini Ohlson, Executive Director, 847.905.1520, gohlson@massagetherapyfoundation.org or

Marla Gamze, Communications/Development Manager, 847.905.1635, mgamze@massagetherapyfoundation.org