Say hello to Gift of Life’s new medical director

Published 12:18 am Tuesday, March 15, 2022

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Dr. Gwendolyn Lavalais has joined Gift of Life as its new medical director and will provide oversight of the program’s medical services, coordinate client care and help achieve the mission of assisting vulnerable populations in Southeast Texas.

“The appointment of a Gift of Life Medical Director will have a transformational effect and help advance our services and cancer prevention initiatives, particularly in the aftermath of COVID,” said Gift of Life Executive Director Norma Sampson.

“Dr. Lavalais is a highly respected physician who has been an invaluable volunteer with the program’s women and men’s service areas, along with innumerable healthcare endeavors integral to the Southeast Texas medical community. We are honored to have her join our team because our clients will thrive under her care.”

A beloved local physician with more than 20 years of experience in the fields of Internal Medicine and Oncology, Lavalais has devoted her career to serving populations in need of critical care.

She managed patient care, navigation and treatment at the Julie & Ben Rogers Cancer Institute before assuming the position of Medical Director at the Dauphin Cancer Screening & Prevention Center.

“I have always regarded Gift of Life as Southeast Texans’ vital safety net of care for medically underserved individuals,” Lavalais said.

“The organization’s ‘no charge’ healthcare provides a critical bridge to essential cancer screenings and medical diagnoses for breast and prostate cancer. It is my blessing to participate in the provision of services for Gift of Life clients as we further the health and wellness of our communities.”

Lavalais has received the BE Reader’s Choice Award for Oncologist of the Year, as well as the Gift of Life “Shine a Light” Award, Gift of Life “Lifesaver Extraordinaire” Award and has been a Gift of Life “Angel Among Us” Honoree.

“We are exceptionally grateful for the lasting and positive impact Dr. Lavalais will make on our program in this new leadership role,” said Gift of Life Founder & Chair Regina Rogers.

“Her extensive knowledge complemented by years of experience makes her well-positioned to direct our growth as we move closer towards our shared vision of a healthier, more vibrant community. With the guidance of Dr. Lavalais, our clients will receive the highest level of compassionate care and understanding of their unique circumstances.”

For more information about Gift of Life, contact the organization at 409-833-3663 or