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Blue Cross Foundation Unveils Plans to Enhance Cancer Education and Early Detection in Delta Region

Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation partner to provide life-saving services

 

(Baton Rouge, La.)Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center today detailed plans outlining the initial phases of providing its Prevention on the Go cancer education, prevention and screening services to the Delta Region of Louisiana, thanks to a three-year grant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation (Blue Cross Foundation). The more than $600,000 investment will serve a 12-parish area, officially kicking off today with a check presentation and meetings aimed at gaining feedback from community members about cancer early detection needs in the area.

Prior to the start of the listening session in Monroe, Mary Bird Perkins and Blue Cross Foundation representatives explained the goals and benefits of this initiative. The event was held at VCOM – Louisiana Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Monroe and future sessions are planned in other Delta Region areas in the coming days.

“The Foundation is looking forward to making a meaningful, life-saving impact through this investment in the Delta Region,” said Michael Tipton, president, Blue Cross Foundation. “Mortality rates from cancer in our state are improving, but there is much left to be done and we’re excited to collaborate with Mary Bird Perkins as we partner to enhance early detection in the community. Our ultimate goal is to save more lives and prevent as many cancers as possible.”

Parishes included in the grant service area include: Caldwell, Catahoula, Concordia, East Carroll, Franklin, LaSalle, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, Tensas and West Carroll. Nearly 2,000 people are diagnosed with cancer and 700 succumb to the disease each year in the Delta Region, according to State Cancer Profiles.

“Thanks to the generosity of the Blue Cross Foundation, more people will have access to lifesaving prevention, education and early detection services,” said Renea Duffin, vice president cancer support and outreach, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center. “It’s important for us to hear what the priorities  are for community members, healthcare providers and elected officials, so these listening sessions are key as we move forward. This initiative will be a true partnership between the Delta Region communities, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation and Mary Bird Perkins – all in an effort to improve survivorship and lessen the burden of cancer.”

 

Additional upcoming listening sessions:

 Thursday, March 12

Central Louisiana Technical Community College – Rod Brady Campus, 521 East Bradford Street, Jena, LA
Noon – 2 p.m.

Thursday, March 12

Central Louisiana Technical Community College – Ferriday Campus, 2100 E.E. Wallace Boulevard, Ferriday, LA
4 – 6 p.m.

Friday, March 13

Louisiana Delta Community College-Tallulah, 132 Old Highway 65 South, Tallulah, LA
Noon – 1 p.m.

 

For more information, call (225) 215-1234.

 

About Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is a regional cancer care organization that has been fighting cancer for almost 50 years. The cancer care organization provides care at nine centers in Baton Rouge, Covington, Hammond, Houma, Gonzales, Zachary and Natchez, Mississippi, and its service area encompasses southeast Louisiana and southwest Mississippi regions. For more information, please visit www.marybird.org.

 

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation works each day to improve the health and lives of Louisianians by empowering everyday people to do extraordinary good. By building and funding coalitions of friends, families and neighbors, the Foundation hopes to build a healthier Louisiana, particularly for its children. The Foundation is funded solely by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, but is a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity. For more information, visit bcbslafoundation.org.