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MISSION STATEMENT

Gift of Life’s mission is to help save the lives of underserved Southeast Texas women and men through the provision of free cancer screenings, diagnostics and navigation through treatment, integrated with preventative education and awareness for all.

History

Julie Rogers

The Julie Rogers “Gift of Life” Program was established in Beaumont, Texas in 1994 by Regina Rogers as a tribute to her mother, Julie (a breast cancer survivor), who passed away in 1998 following complications from a stroke and heart attack. Originally, the program was created only to provide free mammograms for medically underserved women. However, over time the organization’s services have multiplied in response to the needs of the region. Today, it is one of the largest cancer screening initiatives of its kind in the state of Texas.

Regina Rogers and Claudie Hawkins

Gift of Life client and Regina Rogers

Warner Roberts, Regina Rogers and Julie Rogers

Meet Our Team

Leadership

Regina Rogers

Founder & Chair

Norma Sampson

Executive Director

Gwendolyn Lavalais, M.D.

Medical Director

Officers

Linda Domino

Interim President

Marty Craig

Vice President

Donna Harris

Secretary

Dora Nisby

Treasurer

Paula O'Neal

Parliamentarian

Revd. A. Dean Calcote

Executive Committee

Charlotte Mains, RN

Executive Committee

  • Bo Alfred
  • Eddie Arnold
  • Jeff Branick
  • Antoinette Childs
  • Donald Cotten, PhD
  • Shaun Davis
  • Joe Domino
  • Guy Goodson
  • Betty Greenberg
  • Carl Griffith, Jr.
  • Bishop Curtis J. Guillory
  • Dan Hallmark
  • John Henderson IV, MD
  • Mark Kubala, MD
  • David Parmer
  • Joe Penland
  • Linda Penland
  • Diana Rivers, PhD
  • Marilyn Adams
  • Mark Adkins
  • Dorrie Adolph
  • Carla Allen
  • Becky Ames
  • Jane Angel, MD
  • Pat Avery
  • Irene Aydelott, RN
  • Charlene Babineaux
  • Nancy Beaulieu
  • Auia Bender
  • Virginia Bernard
  • Dinah Bernsen
  • Debbie Bishop
  • Judy Black
  • Ann Boutte
  • Denise Boutte, RN
  • June Brailsford
  • Joanne Broussard
  • JoAnn Comeaux Bryant
  • Revd. A. Dean Calcote*
  • Birma Castle
  • Cile Childress
  • Brandi Claybar
  • Linda Claybar
  • Clark Colvin
  • Charles Cox
  • Gina Crenshaw
  • Joy Crenshaw
  • Yvette Crorey
  • Tootsie Crutchfield
  • Eileen Deges Curl, PhD
  • Stephanie Daleo
  • Rita Davis, RN
  • Don Dodd
  • Yolanda Dowdy, RN
  • Tammy Droste
  • Pat Dubea
  • Johnnie Durden
  • Anne East
  • Mac Arthur English
  • Mark Fertitta
  • Sandy Fertitta
  • Danita Fierce
  • Marie Floyd
  • Karen Fontenot
  • Linda Foutz
  • James R. Fuller, PhD
  • Karol Gammill
  • Lee Ann Garth
  • Claudia Gentile
  • Robin Gerhardt, RN
  • Allison Getz
  • Allison Gilbert
  • Natalie Greenberg
  • Alea Greer
  • Marilyn Gripon
  • Georgine Guillory
  • Jan Hallmark, RN
  • Tanya Hansen
  • Audrey Nelson Hardy
  • Carolyn Hardy
  • Leslie Forey Harrison
  • Beverly Hatcher
  • Beverly Hay
  • Carol Hebert
  • Elaine Henderson, RN
  • Adanna Henry
  • Marsha Hoffer
  • Vicki Holcombe
  • Ruby Holloway, MD
  • Gisela Houseman
  • Reneé Hubbell, RN
  • Anne Huff
  • Becky Hunter, RN
  • The Hon. Leanne Johnson
  • Alberta Jones
  • Gay-Lynne Jones, RN
  • Carina Kirk
  • Pat Klein
  • Aileen Larson
  • Gwendolyn Lavalais, MD
  • Mary Ledyard
  • Cindy Lindsay
  • Minnie Zummo Lindsey
  • Gloria Locke
  • Phyllis Loeb
  • Pat Loggins
  • Evelyn Lord
  • Charlotte Mains, RN*
  • Lynda Kay Makin
  • Suzanne Maloney
  • Dianne Marks, RN
  • Jane McBride
  • Pat McKee
  • Patti McSpadden
  • Kathryn Grace Meadows
  • Geraldine Mickens
  • Jean Moncla
  • Lynda Moncla
  • Mary Monroe
  • Vernice Monroe
  • Teri Morgan
  • David Mulcahy
  • Iris Nathan
  • Brenda Nichols, DNSC
  • Camille Ohmstede
  • Denise Oliphant
  • Jolene Ortego
  • Gerard Parigi
  • Beverly Parker, PhD
  • Melody Parsons
  • Bobbie Patterson
  • Tracie Payne
  • Beverly Perry
  • Heather Petkovsek
  • Janey Phelan
  • Barbara Phillips
  • Vivian Pieternelle
  • Kurt Ploeger
  • Mary Poole
  • Deloris “Bobbie” Prince
  • Andy Quigley
  • Barbara Quinn
  • Connie Richard, RN
  • Jill Roy
  • Verna Rutherford
  • Lois Rutman, RN
  • Imad Sarkis
  • Gay Scott
  • Phyllis Sellers
  • Martha Simien
  • Susan Simmons
  • Judith Smith, RN, BSN
  • Michele Smith
  • Ross Smith
  • Neri Sotolongo
  • Harold Steward, PhD
  • Libby Stoma
  • Susan Stover
  • Penny Sullivan
  • Bob Thewman
  • Shelley Tortorice
  • Tonya Toups
  • Sheila Umphrey
  • Jo Vance
  • Shelly Vitanza
  • Ana Wallace
  • Fred Williams
  • Mary Williams
  • R. O. Williams, Jr.
  • Rosine Wilson
  • Maureen Winchell, RN
  • Paige Windham
  • Anne Winslow, RN, FNP
  • Karen Wortham
  • Harvey Zernial
  • Lindsay Zummo

* Executive Committee

BEAUMONT HEALTH CONSORTIUM
  • Irvin Barrett
  • Lisa Brittain
  • Jason Carr
  • Kenneth Coleman
  • Perla Davila
  • Christine DeJongh
  • Joe Dodd
  • Joshua Donald
  • Irma Dowden
  • Deborah Drago
  • Julia Dungan
  • Karl Durr
  • Ales Flood
  • Billy Flores
  • Lane Fortenberry
  • Karen Gilman
  • Dena Hughes
  • Clay Hutchinson
  • Darrell Irvin
  • Bridget Johnson
  • Lesly Johnson
  • Gay-Lynne Jones, RN
  • Eisha Killian
  • Julie King
  • Christi LeBlanc
  • Christine Loiacano
  • Cordella Lyon
  • Dan Maher
  • Kathryn C. Moff
  • Maria Morales
  • Zam Mumin
  • Elayna Nunley
  • Ray Peregrino
  • Ave Petit
  • Kim Phelan
  • Fernando Ramirez
  • Lois Roy
  • Argelio Sanchez
  • Gladys Sanchez
  • Todd Senters
  • Aziz Shaaban
  • Natashia Slack
  • Louis Talley
  • Kasidi Thibodeaux
  • Crystal Tucker
  • Sherry Ulmer
  • Earl White
  • Mary Williams
  • Grace Wong
  • Angelica Zamora
PORT ARTHUR HEALTH CONSORTIUM
  • Kevin Badeaux
  • Chris Bates
  • Tonyia Bernard
  • Julie Castenada
  • Nathaniel Collins
  • Carl Dahlquise
  • Eursula H. Davis
  • Harold L Doucet
  • Brandy Everett
  • Marie Floyd
  • Roy Gillord
  • Christina Green
  • Pat Hebert
  • Quentin Hope
  • Shenita Keyes
  • Thomas Kinlaw
  • Ranoda Lee
  • Shirley MacNeill
  • Dianne Marks
  • Kenneth Marks
  • Avia Mayfield
  • LaTasha Mayon
  • Robin McCutcheon
  • Elvira Narcisse
  • Ding Nguyen
  • Roland Ozane
  • Nataly Perez
  • Crystal Petry
  • Mark Porterie
  • Delores “Bobbie” Prince
  • Dallas Smith
  • Judith Smith
  • Scott Street
  • Glenda Trainer
  • Codie Vasquez
ORANGE HEALTH CONSORTIUM
  • Sarah Boehme
  • Dawn Burleigh
  • Elizabeth Campbell
  • Brad Childs
  • Dean Crooks
  • Jerry Ehrman
  • Genevieve Fletcher
  • Carolyn Flippin
  • Sherri Foreman
  • Carol Gaspard
  • Terri Gauthier
  • Clay Hutchinson
  • Claire Jackson
  • Joy Jacobs
  • Ricky Land
  • Janet Lemons
  • Joe King
  • Lois King
  • Robin McCutcheon
  • Roy McDonald
  • Leah Anne McGee
  • Pat McKee
  • Elizabeth Nash
  • Kelli Patin
  • Beverly Perry
  • Crystal Petry
  • Kathie Platt
  • Rhonda Powell
  • Grover Roberts III
  • Pete Runnels
  • Terrie Salter
  • Jimmy Sims
  • Terin Surber
  • Samuel Thompson
  • Sandy Wilson
  • American Valve & Hydrant
  • Baptist Regional Cancer Network, Dauphin Women’s Center and Julie & Ben Rogers Cancer Institute
  • BASF and TotalEnergies Miracle Match for Life
  • BASF TotalEnergies Petrochemicals, LLC
  • Barbara & Jim Brown / Script Care
  • Beaumont Internal Medicine & Geriatric Associates
  • City of Beaumont Community Development Block Grant
  • Gladys D. Bevil Charitable Trust
  • Burrow Global, LLC
  • Capital One
  • Catholic Diocese of Beaumont
  • Cheniere Energy
  • Chevron Phillips Chemical Company
  • Todd Christopher Legacy of Love Foundation
  • Christus Southeast Texas Health System
  • CommunityBank of Texas, N.A.
  • Cowboy Honda
  • Robin Dauphin
  • Entergy Texas
  • Eva Dujay Charitable Foundation
  • ExxonMobil
  • Golden Triangle Oncology
  • H-E-B
  • Wilton & Effie Mae Hebert Foundation
  • HH & Edna Houseman Charitable Trust
  • Jefferson County Commissioners Court
  • Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office
  • William C. & Sallye J. Keith Endowed Fund of the Foundation for Southeast Texas
  • Mamie McFaddin Ward Heritage Foundation
  • Mildred Yount Manion Charitable Foundation
  • Motiva
  • Neches Federal Credit Union
  • City of Orange CDBG
  • PAIG Advisory Group
  • Linda & Joe Penland / Penland Foundation / Quality Mat Company
  • City of Port Arthur CDBG
  • Riceland Diagnostic Health
  • Sempra LNG & Midstream
  • Vivian L. Smith Foundation
  • St. Katharine Drexel Humanitarians
  • Strake Foundation
  • T&T Foundation
  • Temple Emanuel Sisterhood
  • The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center – Active Living After Cancer (ALAC) Program, funded by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT)
  • Total Petrochemicals
  • TotalEnergies
  • TPC Group
  • Tri-Con / ExxpressMart
  • Valero Energy Foundation
  • Winners for Life
  • YMBL
  • Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas
  • Dauphin Cancer Screening and Prevention Center
  • Julie & Ben Rogers Cancer Institute
  • Local physicians
  • Riceland Diagnostic Health
  • University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and its local clinics
  • The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Gladys D. Bevil Charitable Trust
  • Capital One
  • City of Beaumont Community Development Block Grant
  • City of Orange Community Development Block Grant
  • City of Port Arthur Community Development Block Grant
  • Eva DuJay Charitable Foundation
  • Foundation for Southeast Texas
  • Hearst Foundation
  • Wilton & Effie Mae Hebert Foundation
  • HH & Edna Houseman Charitable Trust
  • Jefferson County Commissioners Court
  • Mamie McFaddin Ward Heritage Foundation
  • Mildred Yount Manion Charitable Foundation 
  • Miracle Match for Life – BASF and TotalEngeries Golf Tournament
  • Scurlock Foundation
  • Sempra LNG & Midstream
  • Vivian L. Smith Foundation
  • Nelda and H.J. Stark Foundation
  • Strake Foundation
  • TPC Group
  • The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center – Active Living After Cancer (ALAC) Program, funded by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT)
  • Valero Energy Foundation

Regina Rogers

Founder & Chair

As founder & chair of Gift of Life, Regina Rogers is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of Southeast Texans through education, awareness, and early cancer detection. Rogers began her career as the first female law clerk to Joe J. Fisher, Chief Judge of the Eastern District of Texas. Through her active participation in community affairs, Rogers became acquainted with the disparities that affected disadvantaged men, women, and children. She developed an abiding devotion to make a difference and has since established numerous nonprofit organizations that aid the underserved.

In addition to her important role at Gift of Life, Rogers has instituted the “I Have a Dream” Program, Coalition for Mutual Respect, IEA – Inspire, Encourage, Achieve, and the Southeast Texas Emergency Relief Fund. She is a member of the BarbaraBush@90: A Cause for Celebration Committee, Harris County Hospital District Foundation, Texas Heart Institute Foundation, Texas Southern University Foundation, Anti-Defamation League Southwest Region, Children’s Defense Fund Texas, Pauline Sterne Wolff Memorial Foundation, Holocaust Museum Houston, William A. Lawson Institute for Peace and Prosperity, and is a lifetime member of the Board of Visitors of The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

In addition, Rogers is President of the Joe Louis International Sports Foundation, established in 1972 by her late father, Ben Rogers. Named a George H. W. Bush Point of Light in 2019, a Newcomb College Outstanding Alumna in 2015 and a University of Houston Distinguished Alumna in 1994, Rogers was a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities from Lamar University in 2014. She also has been recognized by other organizations for her efforts to champion the rights of all individuals and provide opportunities for them to succeed.

Norma Sampson

Executive Director

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Gwendolyn Lavalais, M.D.

Medical Director

In 2022, Dr. Gwendolyn Lavalais, M.D., was appointed Medical Director of Gift of Life. A highly skilled physician with more than 20 years of experience in the fields of Internal Medicine and Oncology, Dr. Lavalais has devoted her career to serving Southeast Texans in need of critical care. Known for being a well-respected and integral part of the Southeast Texas medical community, Dr. Lavalais managed patient care and treatment at the Julie & Ben Rogers Cancer Institute before assuming the position of Medical Director at the Dauphin Cancer Screening & Prevention Center. Dr. Lavalais earned a reputation as a distinguished physician with vast experience and knowledge complemented by a loving, attentive dedication to each patient.

She is a true medical advocate for those in need, and has always given generously of her time in service to local women and men without health insurance. She regularly volunteers at Gift of Life breast and prostate cancer screenings and annual health fairs. Dr. Lavalais has been awarded the BE Reader’s Choice Oncologist of the Year, as well as Gift of Life “Shine a Light” Award, Gift of Life “Lifesaver Extraordinaire” Award and Gift of Life “Angel Among Us” Honoree.

Now as Gift of Life Medical Director, Dr. Lavalais will continue to work closely with medically underserved Southeast Texans as she directs patient navigation, managed care, and services for all Gift of Life clients.

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