Gift of Life appoints new medical director

Published 12:22 am Wednesday, March 16, 2022

BEAUMONT — Gift of Life announced this week that Gwendolyn Lavalais, M.D. has been appointed the new medical director for the organization.

Lavalais will oversee the non-profit’s medical services, coordinate client care and assist the organization in achieving its mission. 

Prior to joining Gift of Life, Lavalais, who has 20-plus years working in internal medicine and oncology, devoted her career to serving populations in need of critical care, the organization said in a news release. Prior to assuming her current role, Lavalais worked in patient care and treatment at the Julie and Ben Rogers Cancer Institute and was the medical director at the Dauphin Cancer Screening and Prevention Center.

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“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.”

Lavalais has previously been awarded with the Gift of Life Shine a Light award, the Gift of Life Lifesaver Extraordinaire award and was a Gift of Life Angel Among Us honoree. 

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

For more information about Gift of Life, contact the organization at (409) 833.3663 or visit