Health—General & Rehabilitative


We make massage therapy matter.

aka Healwell

Arlington, VA


Healwell's mission is to improve quality of life for people affected by acute, chronic, and serious illness through massage therapy, education, and research.

Ruling Year


Executive Director

Lauren Cates

Main Address

4201 Wilson Blvd., #110-341

Arlington, VA 22203 USA


healthcare, massage therapy, education, integrative medicine, research, serious illness, palliative care, hospice





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Health Support Services (E60)

Adult, Continuing Education (B60)

Medical Specialty Research (H90)

IRS Filing Requirement

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

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Social Media


Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

Healwell makes massage therapy (MT) matter. We partner with hospitals to conduct research about feasibility, integration and the value of MT. We provide MT in healthcare, train massage therapists (MTs) and other professionals in skills that make MT a collaborative addition to care and educate decisionmakers and clinicians to support the shift toward whole human care. In 2016, the CDC made recommendations away from pharmacologic therapies that inspired a number of organizations to make powerful statements about the imperative of greater access to non-pharm therapies. Doctors are not able to make these referrals because insurance companies have not made the necessary shifts in coverage. Healwell addresses 3 key issues: 1. Most MTs lack the training to make a real contribution to healthcare 2. There is little quality research about the effectiveness of MT in these settings/populations. 3. Volunteerism is the expected way to incorporate MT for both MTs and institutions.

Our programs

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Massage Therapy in Clinical Settings



Where we workNew!

Charting Impact

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

Healwell aims to improve quality of life for people affected by acute, chronic, and serious illness. We aim to create and support a meaningful shift in the body of knowledge and experience that will open the door to greater access and reimbursement for massage therapy as a healthcare intervention. Healwell aims to build a massage therapist workforce that is trained to meet the clinical and educational demands of the healthcare setting and complexities presented by human illness.

Healwell brings research, education and service together to make massage therapy matter. We develop partnerships to conduct clinical research about the feasibility of meaningful integration of massage therapy (MT), about MT’s effect on patient experience, opioid use, pain, anxiety and other factors. We provide advanced training for licensed massage therapists to work with people affected by serious illness. Our courses include clinical content, but also communication with healthcare professionals and how to come into closer contact with one’s own mortality, biases and limitations. A clinically excellent MT is never as useful as a clinically excellent MT who also possesses deep, accessible self-knowledge. We cultivate curious, well-rounded practitioners who are prepared to meet real humans in real places in real ways. We also develop and staff integrated service programs providing massage therapy as part of a healthcare team in integrated environments.

Healwell harnesses the energy and experience of its three primary staff members, Executive, Operations and Service Directors, to address its three program areas and to deliver on a vision that changes healthcare not only in the DC metro, but throughout the US. Each has a strong background in MT and MT education. In addition, they bring excellent written and spoken communication skills, a keen interest in healthcare trends and barriers and experience in policy change and service delivery. Our board of directors adds valuable resources ranging from large-scale and community-based fundraising to association and non-profit management, education, finance and research. Each trustee has a connection to the need for change in healthcare. Healwell’s financial health, clarity of communication and community outreach all benefit from this mix of experienced and passionate professionals. Healwell has also mobilized an impressive fleet of physician and allied health champions.

Healwell makes progress: - every time we touch a patient who says, “I still have pain, but I feel SO much better,” or when a physician who is initially skeptical begins to make direct referrals for Healwell’s therapists to provide massage therapy to his/her/their patients. - every time a physician or other allied health professional reaches out to us to ask a question, share an observation or otherwise chooses to collaborate with us as members of the healthcare team. - when we increase the number of patients we touch in our programs by more than 25% in a year and that growth continues. - when our teachers and leaders are invited to speak and present at gatherings of allied health professionals and researchers - when access to massage therapy in healthcare settings increases in both prevalence and ease. - when insurance companies reimburse patients for massage therapy services provided by licensed practitioners.

Healwell has - developed service programs in 5 of the DC metro area’s largest hospitals. - taught more than 1,000 MTs and allied health professionals from all over the world. - published clinical MT research with our partners - secured large-scale community grants in partnerships - been instrumental in creating a national standard for oncology massage training - grown steadily in both service reach and revenue, since 2010 Within the next 5 years, Healwell will: - conduct and publish at least 3 clinical studies - partner directly with at least 2 more DC metro hospitals/hospital systems - become an active voice and advisor in the conversation with policymakers about increased access and reimbursement - develop new educational offerings that build on interdisciplinary care and interprofessional training - have at least 30 MTs working in 12 service programs through the DC metro - include clinical program development consulting as a mission-driven revenue stream

External Reviews

Affiliations & Memberships

Chamber of Commerce




Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

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  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2016, 2015 and 2014
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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2016, 2015 and 2014
A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
Click here to see what's included.

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


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?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


Organizational Demographics

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Race & Ethnicity

South Asian

Sexual Orientation

We do not display sexual orientation information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.


We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Diversity Strategies

We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
We have a diversity committee in place
We have a diversity manager in place
We have a diversity plan
We use other methods to support diversity