In the late 1960s, community leaders saw the need for a community-owned cancer radiation treatment center in the greater Baton Rouge area that would provide local access to quality care. These passionate volunteers worked together to cap off a successful fundraising campaign to establish the new organization. A local businessman Paul Perkins made a generous donation to the radiation treatment center and the Board of Directors honored his daughter’s memory by naming the center after her. Mary Bird Perkins Radiation Treatment Center opened its doors in 1971 on the Woman’s Hospital campus and a tradition of excellence and compassion began, setting the stage for what would later become Louisiana’s leading cancer care organization. We opened our doors on the Our Lady of the Lake campus on Essen Lane in 1985, establishing a larger space for the tremendous growth the Cancer Center would experience in the years to come.
In 2021, Mary Bird Perkins celebrated its 50th anniversary, and thanks to generous community support, expert, compassionate care, and a 100% focus on cancer, the center will continue providing patients with leading-edge treatments and technologies for decades to come.
In 2022, Baton Rouge General’s Pennington Cancer Center (BRG) and Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center partnered to expand and enhance cancer care resources in the Greater Baton Rouge area.
This partnership enables Baton Rouge General, a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, and Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center to work together to make it easier for patients to receive the highest quality cancer care close to home. It also serves the missions of both organization by emphasizing a strong community focus on prevention, early detection and treatment.
Both organizations share technology and collaborate on clinical programs like clinical trials, nutrition, rehabilitation, support groups and medical oncology, and connect patients with enhanced treatment options. Whether patients choose to receive care at Mary Bird Perkins or Baton Rouge General, linked electronic medical record systems streamline treatments and communication. Depending on patients’ needs and preferences, they can receive care from either organization, or both, as some medical oncologists rotate between facilities.
Since 2017, Woman’s Hospital, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, and Our Lady of the Lake have partnered to increase access to cancer care for women battling breast and gynecologic (GYN) cancers. This collaboration blends the recognized expertise of each organization in caring for women with cancer to deliver the most advanced, coordinated care throughout Baton Rouge and region.
The partnership has increased access to physician specialists, offered additional treatment options and clinical trials and enhanced support and survivorship programs. In addition, physicians, nurses and other cancer care professionals have access to a wider array of resources to provide the most focused, individualized patient care plans.
In 2018, the Breast & GYN Cancer Pavilion (now Woman’s Cancer Pavilion) was built, providing a physical location to offer a convenient, comprehensive array of Breast & GYN cancer services. The state-of-the-art facility is located on Woman’s Hospital’s campus and houses diagnostic services, outpatient surgery, infusion (chemotherapy), radiation therapy, clinical trials and physician offices.
Women from throughout the region are choosing the Woman’s Cancer Pavilion to receive the unique level of care offered by some of the foremost experts in the country.
The National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer (NAPRC), a quality program of the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, has awarded a three-year accreditation to the Cancer Center, in collaboration with Our Lady of the Lake. To achieve NAPRC accreditation, a rectal cancer center must demonstrate compliance with the NAPRC standards that emphasize Program Management, Clinical Services and Quality Improvement. In addition, programs must meet standards in addressing the clinical services that the rectal cancer program provides, including Carcinoembryonic Antigen (CEA) testing, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Computerize Tomography (CT) imaging for cancer staging, and ensuring that a patient starts treatment within a defined time frame. Rectal centers seeking accreditation must be accredited by the Commission on Cancer and undergo a site visit every three years.
Louisiana Hematology Oncology Associates (LHOA) has been recognized by the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) Certification Program (QCP™), a subsidiary of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®).
QCP builds on ASCO’s Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®), providing a three-year certification for outpatient hematology-oncology practices that meet nationally recognized standards for quality cancer care.
LHOA has been QOPI-accredited since 2010.
the Cancer Center’s Thomas J. Moran Imaging Center has been awarded a three-year term of reaccreditation in nuclear medicine as the result of a recent review by the American College of Radiology (ACR), Committee on Nuclear Medicine Accreditation. Nuclear medicine is a branch of medical imaging that uses small amounts of radioactive material, administered or by the patient, to diagnose or treat a variety of disease, including many types of cancers, heart disease and certain other abnormalities within the body.
The ACR gold seal of accreditation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety. It is awarded only to facilities meeting ACR Practice Parameters and Technical Standards after a peer-review evaluation by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field. Image quality, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures and quality assurance programs are assessed. The findings are reported to the ACR Committee on Accreditation, which subsequently provides the practice with a comprehensive report that can be used for continuous practice improvement.
The ACR, founded in 1924, is a professional medical society dedicated to serving patients and society by empowering radiology professionals to advance the practice, science and professions of radiological care. The College serves more than 37,000 diagnostic/interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, nuclear medicine physicians, and medical physicists with programs focusing on the practice of medical imaging and radiation oncology and the delivery of comprehensive health care services.
The Cancer Center, in collaboration with Our Lady of the Lake, is a designated Screening Center of Excellence by the Lung Cancer Alliance. The Cancer Center is the first center in Louisiana to receive this recognition. This acknowledges organizations adhering to LCA’s quality standards, the National Framework of Excellence, which includes: utilizing quality screening methods, employing recommended criteria for selecting high-risk individuals for screening and educating about risks and benefits, and providing evaluation and follow-up with a multidisciplinary team of experts.
The Commission on Medical Physics Education Programs (CAMPEP) has granted full reaccreditation to the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center Medical Physics Residency Program. Mary Bird Perkins is the first center in Louisiana to establish such a program, helping provide highly specialized professionals to the workforce and enhanced care for cancer patients. Mary Bird Perkins has been accredited by CAMPEP since 2014.
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center was been named an Innovator Award recipient by the Association of Community Cancer Centers for the organization’s early detection program. Through the Innovator Award, organizations are recognized for their forward-thinking, pioneering solutions for the effective delivery of cancer care. Mary Bird’s early detection program is working to help reduce mortality especially among the uninsured and underinsured adults who are traditionally underserved and experience even higher rates of mortality than the general population.
Louisiana and Gulf South residents have more options to seek advanced cancer treatment, thanks to a $13.6 million National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) award. Presented to LSU Health Sciences Center-New Orleans by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the NCORP grant focuses on conducting multi-site cancer clinical trials and cancer care delivery research studies in many Louisiana communities. Mary Bird Perkins, along with other partners, will work in partnership with LSU Health New Orleans, referred to collectively as the Gulf South Minority/Underserved NCI Community Oncology Research Program.