(Covington, La.) – Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is expanding support services for patients in Covington and across the Northshore. The Cancer Center team understands that patient care extends well beyond the four walls of the Cancer Center. By offering an array of peer support groups, patients have the opportunity to share their stories with others facing similar challenges, learn new coping strategies and find encouragement as they navigate their cancer journeys.
Mary Bird Perkins is excited to announce the launch of the following support groups. Every group meets at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, 2nd Floor Conference Room, 1203 S. Tyler Street in Covington. All impacted by cancer are welcome – this event is not limited to Mary Bird Perkins patients. Anyone preferring to join virtually may participate via Zoom.
- Breast Cancer Support Group
This support group is designed and carefully crafted to meet the needs of patients with breast cancer. Meetings are held from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. on the first and third Wednesdays of each month, beginning on Oct. 6, 2021. This group provides a safe place for cancer fighters to support one another, exchange ideas and explore strategies to improve overall wellbeing. Lunch is provided. Advanced registration is not required and participants are welcome to attend as often or as little as they prefer.
The group is facilitated by Melinda Breaux, MEd, LPC, LMFT. Melinda is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She is recently retired from the St. Tammany Parish school system, where she served for almost 30 years. As a cancer survivor herself, Breaux understands the unique needs and challenges experienced by cancer survivors. She brings her passion, expertise and experience into each group she facilitates.
- Facing Cancer Together Support Group
No one should have to face cancer alone. This support group is open to anyone affected by any type of cancer. The supportive gathering is designed to provide cancer patients with the tools and encouragement they need to lead happy and healthy lives – even while battling cancer. Meetings are held from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. on the second Wednesday of every month, beginning on Oct. 13, 2021. Lunch is provided. Advanced registration is not required and participants are welcome to attend as often or as little as they prefer.
This group is facilitated by Maeghan Jacob, LCSW. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Maeghan began her interest in oncology as an intern at Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge and has spent the last six years in various healthcare settings. She returned to oncology in 2020 as a social worker. Jacob lends her skills and experience to support groups so that individuals on their cancer journeys have the support they need to move forward.
- Caregiver Support Group
This support group is open to anyone providing care to someone battling cancer. While many programs focus on those going through their cancer journeys, Mary Bird Perkins understands the important role that caregivers play in this process. Caring for a loved one with cancer can be challenging – caring for yourself is important too! Join this group to learn how others are coping, strategies when caring for loved ones and ways in which you can practice self-care. Meetings are held from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of every month, beginning on Oct. 27, 2021. Lunch is provided. Advanced registration is not required and participants are welcome to attend as often or as little as they prefer. This group is also facilitated by Breaux.
“We know from research that people greatly benefit from speaking with others who are going through a similar cancer experience,” said Colleen Hughes, LCSW, OSW-C, support services manager, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Covington. “We are so pleased to offer three new cancer support groups to our community. Talking about your cancer experience can really reduce the burden. You may find out ways to deal with your treatment, or meet new friends who know exactly what you are going through.”
This is just the latest service expansion announced on the Northshore. In August, the Cancer Center announced a new, expanded partnership with Northshore Oncology Associates (NOA), the leading and most-experienced medical oncology group in Covington. Mary Bird Perkins has worked with NOA physicians, Jack E. Saux, III, MD, James E. Carinder, DO, and Faizan I. Malik, MD for many years. Genevieve Maronge, MD, joins the group Nov. 1. With this deeper partnership, the group is now further aligned and is offering advanced, collaborative care with the Cancer Center’s team of renowned radiation oncologists. Services offered now include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy and other advanced medical oncology services.
“We are so proud to serve residents on the Northshore,” said Mike Miranda, administrator, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Covington. “As we’ve demonstrated for years now, we’re firmly planted in this region and we continue to expand our range of services. These support groups are especially important amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to social distancing and the very careful way in which our patients must navigate the pandemic, many of these folks have been unable to meet regularly with their support networks. Through Zoom and those who wish to meet in person, we’ll bring support groups to them.
To learn more about any of these support groups or for information on participating remotely via Zoom, please contact Maeghan Jacob at (985) 875-2234. For more information on Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Covington, please visit marybird.org/covington.
About Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is a regional cancer care organization that has been fighting cancer for 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.