Nearly 200 men receive tests through Gift of Life, health department collaboration

Published 12:20 am Friday, June 9, 2023

The Julie Rogers Gift of Life Program launched June Men’s Health Month with free men’s health screenings June 3 at the Port Arthur Health Department.

The annual event was made possible with the support of donors and the participation of Gift of Life staff, community healthcare workers and many dedicated volunteers.

More than 175 underserved men from the community received a battery of tests, including PSAs for prostate cancer and individual consultations with physicians at no cost.

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Norma Sampson, Gift of Life executive director, credited the medical outreach to compassionate care of a team of physicians led by Medical Director Gwendolyn Lavalais, along with “amazing Port Arthur Health Department staff and team leader Judith Smith.”

Jefferson County Commissioner Everette “Bo” Alfred, left, and MacArthur English are pictured at the June 3 event in Port Arthur. (Courtesy photo)

“Beyond men’s health screenings and medical attention, the event provided an enriching experience, along with health, hope and healing for the most vulnerable members of our communities,” Sampson said. “Each client also received a delicious Jason’s Deli lunch, T-shirt, gloves, a large box of food from the Southeast Texas Food Bank and a $25 Jason’s Deli gift card.”

Gift of Life Founder and Chair Regina Rogers said those providing services heard countless expressions of gratitude from the men receiving care.

“As became obvious, the need was great and the men were extremely thankful for the lifesaving attention, which was wrapped in an atmosphere of love,” she said. “Some clients left with tears in their eyes, telling Gift of Life volunteers how good it made them feel to know they were valued.”

Port Arthur Health Department Director of Health Services Judith Smith praised everyone’s tremendous work to save lives in this region.

“One of the gentlemen, after having blood drawn at my workstation, expressed his gratitude saying, ‘I am so glad someone thought about us,’” she recalled. “This was such an impactful statement that rested with me for the remainder of the evening, and a statement that I believe was in the hearts of every man who walked through those doors.”

Gift of Life is providing free Men’s health screenings in June and July, including June 10 at the Orange Baptist Campus Hospital Lobby on Strickland Drive, June 24 in Beaumont at the Julie & Ben Rogers Cancer Institute and July 15 at the Hardin County Health Department.

Men can register by calling 409-833-3663 or visiting

Written by Kathie Platt