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Mary Bird Perkins Expands Access to Cancer Screenings With Third Mobile Medical Unit

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BATON ROUGE, La. – Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center unveiled its latest state-of-the-art mobile medical unit on Tuesday, August 9 at Star Hill Baptist Church in North Baton Rouge. This new $1 million mobile unit, the organization’s third, was made possible with support from the state of Louisiana. The mobile unit will allow Mary Bird Perkins to offer additional cancer screenings in communities across 34 parishes and counties in southeast Louisiana and southwest Mississippi.

The new mobile unit will expand free cancer screening opportunities through Mary Bird Perkins’ life-saving Prevention on the Go program. This initiative provides education and early detection services in locations that lack access to healthcare services – often in communities like North Baton Rouge where access to cancer education and preventive screenings is limited.

“For many in our community, access to reliable transportation or taking time off of work to get screened for cancer isn’t possible,” said Jonas Fontenot, Ph.D., MBA, chief operating officer and Dr. Charles M. Smith chief of physics. “In order to improve health disparities and eliminate barriers to care, we must bring essential services to places where people live and work.”

Mary Bird Perkins’ senior leadership, Prevention on the Go team, Congressman Garret Graves, Louisiana Department of Health Secretary Courtney Philips, State Senator Franklin Foil and others were on hand to cut the ribbon and tour the new mobile unit. The clinic on wheels is configured just as a physician’s office would be including the latest technology and later this year, a mammogram machine will be installed allowing the Cancer Center to expand its breast cancer screening offerings.

“This new mobile unit will literally save lives across the Capital Region and beyond,” said Franklin Foil, Louisiana state senator. “This mobile unit serves as an example of what can be accomplished through teamwork and collaboration at all levels. Throughout Louisiana, I am proud to serve as an advocate and voice for Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center and the life-saving services they provide to our communities.”

Since its inception, the Prevention on the Go program has conducted over 100,000 free cancer screenings and detected nearly 800 cancers. Opportunities are available for partners interested in hosting a cancer screening event in their community. If interested, please contact (225) 215-1234. 

To learn more about Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center and the organization’s Prevention on the Go program, visit marybird.org.

Caption: Pictured at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center’s ribbon cutting for its new mobile medical unit are, l-r,: Renea Duffin, Mary Bird Perkins; Franklin Foil, State Senator; Courtney Philips, Louisiana Department of Health, Dr. Jonas Fontenot, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center; and Congressman Garret Graves.

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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 eight centers in Baton Rouge, Covington, Hammond, Houma, Gonzales, and Natchez, Mississippi, and its service area encompasses southeast Louisiana and southwest Mississippi regions. Mary Bird Perkins has a strategic partnership 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 www.marybird.org.