Blue Cross Foundation Grant to Fund Cancer Education and Early Detection Services in Delta Region
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center receives grant to provide life-saving services; organization plans listening session to determine needs
(Baton Rouge, La.) – Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center announced today that the organization will begin the initial phases of providing its cancer education, prevention and screening services to the Delta Region of Louisiana, thanks to a three-year grant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation (Blue Cross Foundation). The investment includes 12 parishes and Mary Bird Perkins is inviting the public to attend special sessions, offering the public and community members an opportunity to share their views about the services most needed and how they prefer to access them.
During a Thursday, March 5 listening session at VCOM – Louisiana Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, 4408 Bon Aire Drive Monroe, LA 71203, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Mary Bird Perkins and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation representatives will provide an overview of the grant and how it will benefit early detection in the Delta Region. The Foundation will also present a check to the Cancer Center. Please see below for additional listening sessions in other communities, made possible by the Blue Cross Foundation.
Since 2002, Mary Bird Perkins has screened more than 90,000 individuals throughout Southeast Louisiana through collaborative relationships with local healthcare providers. The Blue Cross Foundation is the latest to join with the cancer care organization to help improve survivorship. The Louisiana Tumor Registry reports that an average of 24,166 invasive cancer cases per year were diagnosed during 2011-2015 in Louisiana. The most common diagnoses were lung, prostate, breast, colorectal and lymphoma with the majority of these cancers being screening accessible and can be detected early.
“The strength of our Prevention on the Go early detection program is that we bring services to the communities we serve, allowing individuals to easily access education and screenings in areas close to where they live, work and play,” said Renea Duffin, vice president of cancer support and outreach, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center. “Cancer doesn’t have to be life-ending. We know more about the disease than ever before and we are grateful for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation’s generous grant that will allow us to reach more people and save more lives.”
Parishes included in the grant service area include: Caldwell, Catahoula, Concordia, East Carroll, Franklin, LaSalle, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, Tensas and West Carroll. The following listening sessions are planned:
Wednesday, March 4
American Legion Hut, 414 James Street, Oak Grove, LA 71263
Thursday, March 5
VCOM – Louisiana Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, 4408 Bon Aire Drive, Monroe, LA 71203
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Louisiana Delta Community College, 2889 Highway 15, Winnsboro, LA 71295
Thursday, March 12
CLTCC – Rod Brady Campus, 521 E Bradford St, Jena, LA 71342
Noon – 1 p.m.
CLTCC – Ferriday Campus, 2100 EE Wallace Boulevard, Ferriday, LA 71334
4 – 6 p.m.
Friday, March 13
LDCC – Tallulah Campus, 132 Old U.S. 65 South, Tallulah, LA 71282
Noon – 1 p.m.
“The Foundation is committed to building a healthier Louisiana through community outreach and charitable giving focused on community health and the health of Louisiana’s children,” said Michael Tipton, president of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation. “Our grants help partners create new solutions, scale successful efforts and make positive, systemic change and we are excited to partner with Mary Bird Perkins to enhance cancer survivorship and quality of life in the Delta Region.”
About Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is a regional cancer care organization that has been fighting cancer for almost 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.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation works each day to improve the health and lives of Louisianians by empowering everyday people to do extraordinary good. By building and funding coalitions of friends, families and neighbors, the Foundation hopes to build a healthier Louisiana, particularly for its children. The Foundation is funded solely by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, but is a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity. For more information, visit bcbslafoundation.org.