Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center Receives Grant to Expand Screenings in Rural Areas of Northeast Louisiana

MONROE, La. – Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center has been awarded a nearly $20,000 grant by The Living Well Foundation to expand access to cancer-related services across Northeast Louisiana. The funds from this grant will be used to provide access to cancer screenings, patient education resources, navigation services and diagnostics for 1,500 medically underserved individuals in multiple parishes across the Delta Region.

Through generous philanthropic gifts and grants, the Cancer Center will continue to provide critical prevention and early detection resources to northeast Louisiana, a largely rural area of the state, which will allow for improved health outcomes, according to Myra Gatling-Akers, Delta regional manager, early detection and education, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center.

“The state of Louisiana contains many diverse communities that face a variety of barriers to care,” said Gatling-Akers. “With the help of The Living Well Foundation, Mary Bird Perkins can continue delivering screenings and education by targeting specific communities, making sure we’re not only maximizing our reach, but going into the areas that need these services the most.”

Services through this grant will be provided in five northeast Louisiana parishes, including Caldwell, Franklin, Morehouse, Ouachita and Richland Parishes.

Early screening and prevention play an important role in the fight against cancer. However, convenient access to these resources remains a challenge for many throughout this region. It is not uncommon for those living in rural areas of Louisiana to have limited access to medical services and education, including routine cancer screenings. Often, significant travel is required to obtain these resources.

For these reasons, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center launched its Prevention on the Go (POGO) program more than two decades ago. POGO provides education and early detection services in locations where people live, work, worship, shop and play. To date, more than 107,000 screenings have been conducted across Louisiana and southwest Mississippi resulting in more than 800 diagnoses.

For more than 15 years, The Living Well Foundation has supported quality of life and health causes for those in north Louisiana. The organization strives to produce collaborative and innovative networking within the region. These local partners are incredibly important when tackling disparities in cancer care.

“In order to improve one’s health and quality of life, a strong support system is essential,” said Alice Prophit, president and chief executive officer, The Living Well Foundation. “This is the why we work with organizations like Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, which has a long history of providing community-focused services to those in need. Together, we can reach even more residents who desire, and need, cancer prevention services.”

Learn more about Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center and cancer screening events held across the region by visiting


About Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is a regional cancer care organization that has been fighting cancer for more than 50 years. The cancer care organization provides care at 10 centers in Baton Rouge, Covington, Gonzales, Hammond, Houma, Opelousas, Slidell, and Natchez, Mississippi, and its service area encompasses southeast Louisiana and southwest Mississippi regions. Mary Bird Perkins has a strategic affiliation with OneOncology and the largest radiation and medical oncology groups from across the area including exclusive partnerships with Southeastern Louisiana Radiation Oncology Group, which provides radiation therapy throughout Mary Bird Perkins’ service areas, Northshore Oncology Associates, serving St. Tammany and Washington Parishes, specifically the communities of Covington and Slidell and Louisiana Hematology Oncology Associates, which services the Greater Baton Rouge area. For more information, please visit

 About The Living Well Foundation                                                                                   The Living Well Foundation is a public non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the health, wellness, and quality of life in northeast Louisiana. Founded in 2006, the Living Well Foundation serves the residents of Caldwell, Franklin, Jackson, Lincoln, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland and Union Parishes. For more information about the Foundation, visit