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Hospital Massage Therapy Stewardship Program

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Application deadline for the 2020 cohort: February 1, 2020 (Applications are now being accepted for the 2021 cohort.)


Healwell trains practicing massage therapists each year through its Hospital Massage Therapy Stewardship Program, an intensive nine-day continuing education course in hospital-based massage therapy practice. The program includes six days of hands-on clinical practice working with patients on three units at Virginia Hospital Center.

This training teaches therapists how to apply critical thinking skills and how to safely work with any patient, regardless of diagnosis.  Therapists also learn the many facets of professional and practical excellence in a clinical environment.

The first module, “Orientation to the Hospital Setting” is three days. The second module, “Clinical Observation and Practice” is six days. Therapists must attend both modules within the same cohort to complete the course.


You will be a steward in many ways.

The program provides more than hard skills and knowledge. We are also dedicated to instilling a culture of care and stewardship in therapists. You will be a steward of:

  • care for the patients with whom you work
  • the legitimacy and value of the discipline of massage therapy in the hospital setting
  • a paradigm shift that values compassionate, present, clinically-skilled massage therapists
  • the meaningful integration of massage therapy and massage therapists into healthcare
  • Module I: March 2021
  • Module II: April 2021


Both modules are held at Virginia Hospital Center
1701 N. George Mason Drive
Arlington, VA 22205-3698


63 CEUs


The Stewardship consists of two modules. The first must be completed before stewards can proceed to the second. Both modules must be completed within the same cohort.

A Stewardship applicant must:

  • be a graduate of a 500+ hour basic massage therapy training program
  • carry active professional liability/malpractice insurance
  • have completed no less than 24 hours of Society for Oncology Massage “foundational” oncology massage training provided by a Recognized Education Provider
  • be fluent in written and spoken English. In some cases, a prospective steward may be asked to submit results from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or equivalent examination

Virginia Hospital Center requires that anyone providing direct patient care has a current flu shot. If this is an issue for you please contact us.


*Special consideration may be given to those who have nursing or other medical experience. Please contact us if you have any questions about the selection process or requirements.

63 NCBTMB-approved CEUs


The curriculum includes:

  • medical terminology and documentation
  • cross contamination and PPE procedures and guidelines
  • contraindications and adaptations
  • body mechanics for the hospital setting
  • introduction to common meds and their effects
  • establishing therapeutic relationships
  • communication with other members of the medical team
  • working with the hospitalized patient
  • 25+ hours of hands-on patient care on three units (ICU, inpatient rehabilitation and oncology)


The Stewardship consists of two modules. The first must be completed before stewards can proceed to the second.


Module I:
Orientation to the Hospital Setting (21 CEUs, 3 days)

The first module will introduce stewards to the hospital culture and logistics.  It is essential that stewards have all of the information and tools they will need to operate at Virginia Hospital Center like members of the staff.  Stewards will attend hospital orientation with the other new staff members at the hospital to introduce them to the hospital’s policies, procedures and floor plan.


Module II:
Clinical Rotations (42 CEUs, 6 days)

The second module is a six-day intensive practical experience with patients and families at Virginia Hospital Center.

Stewards will spend no less than 25 hours (often much more) in direct contact with patients and other health professionals in the hospital setting providing care in the ICU, acute rehabilitation and oncology units.


Course tuition is $1,299. You will pay a $199 application fee that is applied toward your total tuition when you are welcomed into the program.  If you are denied acceptance into the program or if you are asked to apply again at a later date all but $50 of this fee will be refunded to you.  Stewards are expected to pay in full the balance of the tuition prior to the first day of the first module.*


* If a steward is welcomed into the program, but must decline admission for any reason, within 30 days of the first day of the course and Healwell is able to fill the spot, 50% of the deposit will be refunded.  If a steward is not accepted into the program, all but a $50 administration fee will be refunded.  If a student must drop the course after it has begun or if Healwell deems a student unfit to continue, Healwell reserves the right to partially refund or retain full tuition, at its discretion, in cases where participation in a future cohort is not possible.


Additional Costs: 

Additional costs beyond tuition are required for travel, accommodations, apparel and preparatory materials.  Please see the Travel & Accommodations and How to Prepare tabs for details.



“One person’s story has the power to affect a million others.” -Jared Enyart

Thanks to generous donors, Healwell is proud to offer two memorial scholarships in the amount of $500 each year.



This scholarship is offered as a tribute to a woman who embodied the concept of healing and who continued to learn and grow until the day she died.  It will be awarded, in the form of a $500 Healwell tuition credit to be used during the year in which it is awarded, to a female above the age of 40 who wants to participate in the Stewardship Program to expand her knowledge in the service of others.



This scholarship is offered as a tribute to a man who committed his life to serving his family, friends and the greater community by acting as a peacemaker and bridge-builder to bring together people from all walks of life.  This scholarship will be awarded, in the form of a $500 Healwell tuition credit to be used during the year in which it is awarded, to a man who aspires to and exemplifies this spirit as a positive force of healing in his community.


How Do I Apply For A Scholarship?

Type your responses to the items listed below in a Word document and attach the document in an email to:

Essay (one page, typed):

  • Describe an event or person that/who has been a positive source of healing in your own life in a way that has helped shape you to be the person you are today.


  • Please list three goals that you have set for yourself and explain why these goals are important to you.
  • Describe how your experience as a Healwell Steward will enrich your vision for attaining these goals.

Activities outside the classroom/clinical setting:

  • What do you do when you are not in class?
  • For the past three years, what activities have you participated in at school, in your community, or at home?
  • List five (at least 3 should be outside your employment) of the most significant activities with regard to time commitment and value to your school, community, and/or family. Describe your involvement and positions held.

NOTE: Your total application should not exceed 2 typed pages.

Expenses such as transportation, accommodation, and meals are the responsibility of each steward (including buying or bringing your lunch at/to the hospital).



The closest and most convenient airport is Reagan National Airport [DCA] in Washington, DC.  It is metro-accessible and there are direct flights from many areas of the country.  Dulles International Airport [IAD] is also nearby, but is not metro-accessible and may cause you to pay cab or shuttle fares and to do more logistical legwork to get to Arlington.

You may notice cheaper fares for flights to Baltimore-Washington Airport [BWI].  You’re an adult, but we want to discourage you from coming into BWI unless you plan to stay with family in Baltimore, which is quite far.  You will quickly squander any savings from cheaper airfare on ground transportation and stress.



Local Healwell Hosts may be able to offer free lodging if you are coming from out of town, but we cannot guarantee this.  Healwell Hosts are a community of local supporters who offer a room in their home at no charge.  Our Hosts are within a few miles of the hospital and are located within walking distance or easy access by public transportation.  The hospital is on a major bus route that is easily accessible by metro.  There are a limited number of spots in the Healwell Hosts program.  If you would like to be considered for a housing placement with a Healwell Host, send an email to after you have been accepted.

After you have been accepted to the program you will receive a packet of information with complete instructions about required reading, necessary apparel, health screening, HR requirements and more.

Step 1: Apply Here

Application deadline for the 2020 cohort: February 1, 2020 (Applications are now being accepted for the 2021 cohort.)

Step 2: Pay Application Fee Now