Expanding access to preventative cancer screenings has been one of the Cancer Center’s key areas of focus for more than two decades. That effort is continuously reinforced through the Prevention on the Go program where the Cancer Center team brings cancer screenings into the local community via a mobile medical unit. All of the services provided through the Prevention on the Go program are free to participants thanks to the support of generous donors like GMFS Mortgage, Mary Bird Perkins’ first corporate partner.
Since joining forces in 2017, GMFS has continuously and passionately supported the Cancer Center’s mission. From the partnership’s inception, for every mortgage loan closed statewide, GMFS has donated a percentage of the transaction to the Cancer Center. The company’s commitment to fighting cancer was elevated in 2022, as it began a three-year pledge to donate a cumulative $150,000, its largest total to date.
“Just as GMFS is a leader in its industry, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is on the forefront of cancer treatment,” Tee Brown, president and CEO, GMFS Mortgage, said. “Through this vital partnership, our goal is two-pronged: to continue funding critical cancer prevention initiatives and provide resources to allow the Cancer Center to build upon its unrivaled care.”
This ongoing partnership has been demonstrated twice already this summer. A skin and colorectal cancer screening event, made possible by GMFS, was held at BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo on Saturday, June 4. Forty-nine total screenings, equally split among skin and colorectal cancer, were conducted. Sixty-seven percent of participants reported never having been screened before.
“Providing screenings to as many communities as possible, especially those that historically have been underserved, is critical in detecting cancer early and improving survivorship outcomes in the region,” Danielle Mack, vice president and chief development officer, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, said. “We are so thankful for the leadership GMFS continues to provide, especially as they seek to make a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable populations.”
Beyond providing cancer education and screenings, a key component of creating a heathier community is keeping oneself well. That’s why GMFS also takes advantage of the Prevention on the Go Workplace program, which brings preventative and early detection measures directly to its own employees, eliminating barriers including time and cost.
Ahead of the Zoo Screening, GMFS brought skin cancer screenings directly to all team members during an employee appreciation event, providing real-time access to prevention and education resources without requiring them to leave work.
Forty-seven employees took advantage of the free screenings, 45 percent for the first time.
“If people have to find, or make, the time to schedule a preventative cancer screening, they’ll likely put it off,” Charity Gay, coordinator, Prevention on the Go Workplace, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, said. “The Prevention on the Go Workplace initiative not only makes it easy for employees to get screened, it also helps create a healthy workforce.”
To date, Prevention on the Go Workplace has screened more than 5,000 participants since 2016.
“I always say, GMFS is changing lives, while Mary Bird Perkins is saving lives,” Brown added. “This partnership allows us to continue working collaboratively to do even more to fight cancer.”