More Free Cancer Screenings for St. Tammany and Washington Residents
New Mobile Medical Clinic Dedication
(Covington, La.) – A special dedication ribbon cutting was held Tuesday, June 25, at 4:30 p.m. outside Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center at St. Tammany Parish Hospital to showcase the new state-of-the-art mobile medical clinic – the Early Bird. Staff onsite conducted tours of the unit and provided early detection education.
The mobile clinic provides free screenings for breast, prostate, skin, oral and colorectal cancers for the uninsured and underinsured. Expanding access to cancer screenings is critical to detecting cancer earlier when more treatment options are available and better outcomes are possible. Death rates from cancer are higher than average in many Louisiana parishes due largely to late stage diagnosis.
“Fighting cancer starts with prevention and early detection – detecting cancer early can make all the difference,” said Renea Duffin, Chair, Cancer Center Leadership Team. “Offering more free screenings to at-risk populations is a critical part of our mission to improve survivorship and lessen the burden of cancer.”
The clinic has three exam rooms and provides services at convenient times and locations such as weekday evenings and weekends. The monthly calendar can be found online at http://marybird.org/stph/calendar-of-events. Early detection services on the mobile clinic are staffed by a community outreach coordinator, early detection specialist, nurse navigator, and physicians who conduct screenings.
Since 2002, Mary Bird Perkins and its partners across southeast Louisiana have screened more than 50,000 people for cancer. The organization began operating its first mobile clinic in 2006, which travels throughout an 18 parish service area. The Baton Rouge Area Foundation granted $2 million in 2012 for this additional mobile unit, including up to $750,000 for its purchase and $1.25 million to operate it for five years in designated parishes.
The Foundation provided the grant from its Fund for the Future of the Gulf, which is a flexible fund established following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in 2010 and generously funded by BP. Under the act of donation, the fund first assisted members of the deepwater drilling industry who suffered economic hardship as a result of the federal moratorium on drilling, and now is addressing long-term issues affecting people, wildlife and the environment, as well as developing and implementing solutions that deliver a stronger and smarter Gulf Coast.
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center at St. Tammany Parish Hospital provides comprehensive cancer care that strives to positively impact the lives of cancer patients and their families on the Northshore. Services include chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery, as well as patient navigation, clinical trials and free community screenings. Not only do patients have access to these vital cancer services and high quality cancer care, but these services are readily available close to home.