Forrest General Healthcare Foundation Receives Donation from Laughs 4 Life
Laughs 4 Life Founder, Kent Oliver, center, presented a check to Martha Dearman, executive director of the Forrest General Healthcare Foundation, second from right. The check will be used at the Forrest General Cancer Center, one of Laugh 4 Life’s annual beneficiaries. Also pictured are, from left, Christopher Sentell, Clinical Trials coordinator; Bo Hrom, MD, Hematology/Oncology; and Gloria Simmons, Clinical Trials nurse.
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (September 22, 2022) The Forrest General Healthcare Foundation is the recipient of a $21,000 donation from the sixth annual Laughs 4 Life. This donation will be used for research and clinical trials at the Forrest General Cancer Center.
“We raised approximately $178,000 during this year’s fundraiser,” said Kent Oliver, Laughs 4 Life founder. “Since Laughs 4 Life began in 2016, we have been able to distribute more than one million dollars to our partner beneficiaries, including the International Myeloma Foundation, Children’s of Mississippi, and the Forrest General Cancer Center.
Laughs 4 Life is a fundraiser intended to generate smiles throughout the Pine Belt. Each year, Laughs 4 Life brings in a well-known comedian for a night of fun and laughter. This year’s show, which featured James Austin Johnson, Keith Alberstadt, and headliner, Leanne Morgan, was held July 29. But most importantly, it's a way to benefit incredible organizations who are making highly tangible differences through research and patient experience.
“We are fortunate to continue our partnership with the Forrest General Cancer Center,” said Oliver. “Their extensive clinical trial program, which has become one of the largest in the state of Mississippi, provides patients with the opportunity to access state-of-the-art immunotherapies and other targeted therapies locally under the care of caring healthcare professionals within our community.”
Cancer Center donations, which have totaled $197,525 since Laughs 4 Life began in 2016, have been used for new equipment, palliative care seminars, precision therapy, the Patient Navigation program, and research.
“We appreciate the ongoing support of Laughs 4 Life,” said Forrest Health Vice President, Millie Swan. “Donations such as this enable us to continue carrying out our mission to do what is best for our patients.”
Oliver said when Laughs 4 Life started, they focused on two initiatives when selecting partner beneficiaries. “We felt research and patient experience were important,” he said.
This is the sixth time Laughs 4 Life has been able to make a substantial contribution to the Foundation which benefits the Cancer Center’s focus on research and clinical trials. “Over six years, Laughs 4 Life has provided the Forrest General Healthcare Foundation with $197,525 to be utilized in these key areas at the Cancer Center,” Oliver said.
The FGH Cancer Center is near and dear to Oliver and his family. “We are fortunate that our family has benefitted from the Cancer Center in many ways,” Oliver said. “Most don’t appreciate how fortunate we are to have that level of advanced medicine here in Hattiesburg. I’ve talked with patients who have traveled from the Coast, or from an hour or more away to be at our Cancer Center. Unfortunately, it’s needed, but fortunately, it is here. We all have people in our lives who have been impacted by cancer and to have that level of care provided here locally is something we should take great pride in.”
The Healing Garden located at the Cancer Center is named in honor of his parents, Bill and Becky Oliver. Bill Oliver was a former president/CEO of Forrest Health.
About the Forrest General Healthcare Foundation
The Forrest General Healthcare Foundation cultivates and inspires meaningful, lasting relationships and investments that enrich the healthcare experience in our community. They raise money and promote awareness to support Forrest Health in improving the healthcare and well-being of its patients.
About Forrest General’s Cancer Center
Forrest General Hospital’s Cancer Center ranks among the largest and most sophisticated cancer treatment centers in South Mississippi. It offers a place where patients can receive advanced care in a beautiful, compassionate environment. Forrest General operates the only comprehensive community Cancer Center in the 19-county service area, and is accredited by the College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. The center features the services of a multidisciplinary team led by medical oncologists/hematologists and radiation oncologists, who provide high quality medical care in a continuum of settings. In addition to medical and radiation oncologists, a complete range of physician specialists provide expertise in diagnoses, surgical removal, disease management and reconstructive procedures.