Gift of Life Provides Free Healthcare Screenings for Medically Underserved Men
Published 1:20 pm Saturday, May 21, 2016
Special to The Leader
BEAUMONT – During National Men’s Health Month in June, the Gift of Life, with medical partners Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas and local healthcare organizations, will provide medically underserved men with free prostate cancer tests and other important screenings, along with educational outreach, to heighten awareness of men’s preventable health problems in Southeast Texas.
Serving as Honorary Chairman is Jefferson County Commissioner Everette “Bo” Alfred, who is a steadfast advocate of the organization’s mission of saving lives.
“I encourage Southeast Texas men to take advantage of these lifesaving screenings that are provided at no cost by the Gift of Life,” Alfred said. “It’s a matter of good health, and this is a great opportunity to take care of yourself. Be a man and get screened!”
Screenings will be performed from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 4 in Orange at Lamar State College; Saturday, June 11 in Beaumont at Lamar Institute of Technology; and Saturday, June 25 in Port Arthur at the Carl Parker Center.
Screening pre-registration is recommended, and walk-ins will be accepted subject to eligibility.
Gift of Life screens men who are at least 45 years of age (40 if African American or younger if there is a family history of prostate cancer) and have not had prostate cancer, have limited income and are medically underinsured. Early detection is the best protection, and statistics reflect that the five-year survival rate for men whose prostate cancer is diagnosed early is nearly 100 percent.
Gift of Life’s essential services, which help to reduce healthcare disparities, benefit men who cannot afford insurance or who have high deductibles. At screening sites, clients receive comprehensive primary healthcare services—including on-site consultations with medical professionals to discuss the significance of test results and healthy lifestyle practices—educational information and navigation to necessary resources. The free panel of screenings includes prostate-specific antigen (PSA), cholesterol and glucose, blood pressure, HIV and Hepatitis C tests. Gift of Life’s Men Against Cancer Prostate Cancer Support Group members volunteer and offer assistance to clients and their families and ensure everyone receives breakfast and lunch, door prizes and other health-related materials.
Also participating at the screenings with Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas will be representatives from UTMB, Legacy Community Health, Gulf Coast Health Center, Triangle Area Network, Spindletop Center and Lamar University faculty and students, all of whom are vital partners in the organization’s coordinated medical continuum of care and deliverance of regional services for medically underserved men.
Since 2000, the Gift of Life has made available nearly 8,400 free prostate cancer screenings and helped extend the lives of 69 men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Screenings, diagnostic tests and cancer treatment costs are entirely paid for by the Gift of Life. The majority of funds for this endeavor are generated by the organization’s annual fundraiser, Champagne and Ribs.
Gift of Life’s Prostate Cancer Support Group, Men Against Cancer, meets on the second Tuesday of each month at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and allows men an opportunity to receive support, share experiences and gain information from featured speakers as they embark on their journey of recovery.
For more information, visit giftoflifebmt.org or call the office at 409.833.3663. To register for a screening, please call the 24-hour hotline at 409.860.3369.