COVINGTON, LA – Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is expanding its mission in Covington through a generous $665,000 philanthropic commitment from the Benjamin Blanchard Memorial Foundation to enhance programs benefitting communities across the Northshore. The gift establishes The Ben Blanchard Memorial Endowment Fund within Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Foundation, creating a permanent source of funding to support outreach and patient assistance services in St. Tammany and Washington Parishes.
This gift will largely strengthen and support Prevention on the Go, a Mary Bird Perkins mobile screening program that provides education, prevention and early detection services in locations where people live, worship, shop and play. With this investment, the Prevention on the Go team will:
- Host Live Well Northshore, a cancer and health screening event to engage the Northshore region and surrounding communities
- Expand cancer screenings via its mobile medical clinic and support a dedicated team focused on the Prevention on the Go program, providing consistency, efficiency and reliability for screening participants
- Expand community education and early detection programs throughout St. Tammany Parish and Washington Parish where cancer incidence and mortality rates are high
In addition, the endowment fund will provide, in perpetuity, much-needed resources to patients and families served by Mary Bird Perkins, including transportation assistance, medication, nutritional supplements, temporary lodging, dental extractions and personal items such as feeding tubes. The fund will also provide support for the Cancer Center’s Therapeutic Food Pantry.
In honor of Ben and his family, and in recognition of their generous gift, the Mary Bird Perkins infusion area in Covington will be permanently recognized as the Ben Blanchard Infusion Suite.
“We offer our most sincere gratitude to the Benjamin Blanchard Memorial Foundation for this generous gift,” said Mike Miranda, administrator, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Covington. “It will have such a profound impact on our ability to further expand cancer programs and services on the Northshore. By supporting our Prevention on the Go team and expanding our ability to offer early detection services, I have no doubt that this gift will save lives.”
This is just the latest contribution from the Benjamin Blanchard Memorial Foundation. The Foundation’s initial $100,000 gift in 2018 allowed the Cancer Center to launch Live Well Northshore and establish the Benjamin Blanchard Memorial Fund, which has provided an array of comprehensive services for cancer patients, their families and support networks.
“We are excited to present this gift to Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Foundation and see the impact it will make in cancer care on the Northshore,” said Chris Blanchard, president, Benjamin Blanchard Memorial Foundation board. “It truly embodies Ben’s loving, generous and compassionate spirit, and it’s something in which we know he would be proud. Our family thanks everyone who helped make this contribution possible.”
Established in 2016, the Benjamin Blanchard Memorial Foundation honors the late Benjamin Blanchard by engaging in philanthropy and supporting community programs across the Northshore and Greater New Orleans region. Benjamin’s love for South Louisiana and his passion for helping others has lived on through his family and friends by way of this foundation. It supports a variety of community causes, including educational programming and scholarships. It also supports cancer support services, a cause that is deeply personal and meaningful to the Blanchard family. Ben received a portion of his cancer treatment at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center.
“Through this visionary gift and the generous support the Ben Blanchard Memorial Foundation has provided to the Northshore community over the past few years, we have a truly extraordinary ally in the fight against cancer,” said Todd Stevens, president and CEO, Mary Bird Perkins. “As the Cancer Center celebrates its 50th anniversary, we hope this gift from the Blanchard family encourages others to engage in our mission. Ben’s legacy is his service to others and that holds true through this endowment fund, which will help advance Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center’s mission to improve survivorship and lessen the burden of cancer for years to come.”
Visit our website to find more information on Mary Bird Perkins and the organization’s work on the Northshore, learn more about cancer prevention and make a screening appointment or donate to the Cancer Center.
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 nine centers in Baton Rouge, Covington, Hammond, Houma, Gonzales, Zachary 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.
About Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Foundation
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Foundation secures the future of cancer care by building an endowment to provide long-term sustainability – ultimately advancing cancer care for generations to come. For information on the on the Foundation, visit marybirdfoundation.org.
About the Benjamin Blanchard Memorial Foundation
The Benjamin Blanchard Memorial Foundation keeps alive Ben’s spirit of love for community and encouraging others through school leadership, educational programs, and scholarships; as well as supporting cancer services in the Greater New Orleans and Covington areas. Learn more by visiting their website at www.benblanchardfoundation.com.