GOLD2024

HEART TOUCH PROJECT

The Power of Touch

aka THE HEART TOUCH PROJECT   |   Santa Monica, CA   |  www.hearttouch.org

Mission

The Heart Touch Project is a non profit educational organization dedicated to the training and delivery of compassionate and healing touch to homebound or hospitalized, men, women and children.

Ruling year info

1995

Founder

Ms. Shawnee Isaac-Smith

Main address

3400 Airport Ave, Ste 42

Santa Monica, CA 90405 USA

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EIN

95-4529022

NTEE code info

Community Health Systems (E21)

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

Health Support Services (E60)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Heart Touch Hospice Program

Considered the model of quality end-of-life care, hospice care involves a team-oriented approach that focuses on comfort and compassion, not curing. Towards this end, the Hospice Team develops a care plan that meets each patient’s individual needs for pain management and symptom control. Heart Touch’s professionally trained volunteers, working in coordination with the Hospice Team, provide much-needed comfort and compassionate touch to the hospice patient through therapeutic massage. The core of the program is a twenty-hour training that introduces the practice of mindful, compassionate massage. Graduates are assigned to one of our twelve partner hospice organizations where they volunteer to deliver free massage once a week to their assigned patients.

Population(s) Served
People with diseases and illnesses

The Children's Program trains and manages bodywork professionals to provide compassionate, caring touch to medically fragile children, ages birth to late teens. A sixteen-hour training deals with the physical, psychological, social and emotional issues facing seriously or terminally ill children. An additional workshop, geared to train parents to massage their infants, is required for volunteers to work with medically fragile newborns. 
The Heart Touch Children’s Program is currently in place at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, Mattel Children's Hospitalat UCLA and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Heart Touch volunteers provide compassionate touch to infants in  Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU), children in Pediatric Intensive Care Units (PICU), Pediatric Units, a Rehabilitation Department and an outpatient Pain and Palliative Care Clinic. Providing therapeutic massage in these settings is a way for children to gain the benefits of massage and have a positive touch experience during their hospital stay.  Heart Touch assigns volunteers to TrinityKids Care, a program devoted exclusively to children in hospice.

Heart Touch also provides education to the physicians,nurses and other medical staff in each of the hospital departments where they provide care.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

The Heart Touch International Global Outreach Program recruits bodywork professionals who spend two weeks in Southeast Asia or India to provide compassionate touch and massage to orphans, to patients in hospitals and to those impacted by HIV/AIDS. Participants in this program raise money or pay for all the expenses associated with this program.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Heart Touch Project's goals are to:
- Provide compassionate and healing touch to homebound or hospitalized men, women, and children;
- Train bodywork professionals to provide therapeutic touch therapy to vulnerable populations in Southern California; and
- Educate healthcare practitioners in the Heart Touch approach.

In his landmark publication Touching: The Human Significance of the Skin, Ashley Montagu characterized touch as “above all, an act of communication." He further says that the “use of touch and physical closeness may be the most important way to communicate to acutely ill persons that they are important as human beings." It is in this spirit that Heart Touch staff created a variety of trainings to assist volunteers develop the awareness and skills needed to communicate that importance. For these reasons, the trainings put great emphasis on the dignity and worth of those struggling with serious illnesses and medical conditions.

Heart Touch teaches a gentle, nurturing and mindful form of touch therapy based on a profound respect for the physical and psychological needs of the individual. Strictly speaking, the Heart Touch approach is neither a technique nor a modality, but a specialized form of skilled touch, based on a holistic approach to therapeutic massage.

Over the years, Heart Touch has trained more than 3,500 bodywork professionals, who have given more than 23,000 free massages to 1,000 of the most vulnerable members of our community.

In the years ahead, The Heart Touch Project strives to expand the programs to a wider network of hospitals and hospices in the greater Los Angeles and train more bodywork professionals in the Heart Touch method.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback

Financials

HEART TOUCH PROJECT
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

HEART TOUCH PROJECT

Board of directors
as of 03/15/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Dr Mario Milch


Board co-chair

Stuart Smith

Shawnee Isaac Smith

Founder

Rene Russo

CAA

Keri Frankenstein

Dr Krissy Jones

Secretary to the Board

Dr Mario Milch

Chair to the Board

Missy Akbar

Naphat Chatchavalkosol

David Hawkins

Debbie Mulvaney

Treasurer

Vince Newman

Stuart Smith

Vice Chair

Gagan Shokar

Dr Pauline Yi

Jessica Abercrombie

Robin Patrick

Samuel Mathey

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/15/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/15/2024

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.