Despite Severe Weather, Mary Bird Perkins’ Inaugural Live Well Mississippi Event Reaches Screening Milestone

106 screenings conducted at Natchez Middle School on Saturday, April 15

NATCHEZ, Miss.  – Though heavy rain and lightning forced organizers to relocate Live Well Mississippi indoors mid-event, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center completed more than 100 cancer screenings during its inaugural Mississippi community health event.

Live Well Mississippi Screenings
Live Well Mississippi screening participants arrive for appointments at one of Mary Bird Perkins’ mobile medical units

106 total cancer screenings were completed, including for skin (36)colorectal (34)breast (24), and prostate cancers (12). Of those screenings, three required navigation due to abnormal findings and will be assisted with further testing. Live Well Mississippi services were provided at no cost to participants, thanks to generous donors.

“Even in a downpour, the determination of both the Prevention on the Go team and Natchez-area residents to screen and be screened was evident,” said Renea Duffin, vice president, cancer support and outreach, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center. “That is a testament to our team members and partners’ tireless work in southwest Mississippi. For residents to partake in more than 100 screenings shows how important they regard their preventative care. It highlights the desire for our early detection resources to be made more readily available in that region.”

Cancer Center and local officials attend Live Well Mississippi
Dan Gibson, mayor, City of Natchez; Jodi Conachen, chief operating officer, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center; Renea Duffin, vice president, cancer support and outreach, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center; Travis Patten, sheriff, Adams County

Thanks to MyPOGO, the Cancer Center’s cloud-based screening portal, the Mary Bird Perkins outreach team can break down scores of data from Live Well Mississippi to better inform future screening efforts in the area.

Of the 59 screening participants, nearly 44 percent reported never having been screened for any type of cancer before the April 15 event. Another 25 percent hadn’t been screened in more than three years.

Those screened were evenly split between having insurance and being uninsured. That seems to convey that even those with the means to be screened for cancer annually desire comfortable and convenient access to early detection and prevention resources.

“Across the vastly rural stretch of northeast Louisiana and southwest Mississippi, access to healthcare services, including cancer screenings, is sometimes hours away, at best,” said Duffin. “By providing no-cost screenings closer to home for those who may not be able to spend an entire day traveling for care, we’re more likely to increase participation – leading to earlier diagnoses and better outcomes.”

To set up an easy-to-use account or to view your personalized screening calendar and upcoming screening events, visit


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