The Year Ahead, A Message From Dr. Fontenot

Jonas FontenotBy Jonas Fontenot, PhD, MBA
President and CEO

As we are all making our annual plans and resolutions for the new year, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is similarly moving forward with our dedicated strategy in the fight against cancer for those affected by it. I am proud to share that in 2022, our team seized every opportunity to bring the highest level of cancer care to the communities we serve. This brings us to where we are today.

I began serving as president and chief executive officer earlier this month, and I could not be more excited to be a part of this team in this new role. I came to Mary Bird Perkins nearly 15 years ago as a newly trained medical radiation physicist to join the most progressive oncology program in the state – fueled by great people and technology and grounded in a renowned program. In 2017, I transitioned to the leadership position of chief operating officer and Chief of the Dr. Charles M. Smith Medical Physics Program, which is jointly supported by LSU. The opportunity to now help to steward Mary Bird Perkins as its president and CEO is truly an honor and privilege.

As a community-organized non-profit, our roadmap for 2023 will continue to be inspired by our mission of improving survivorship and lessening the burden of cancer for everyone. Over the next year, we anticipate exciting advancements in precision medicine, cancer research and continued expansion of local access to high-quality community cancer care, including:

  • New and earlier-phase clinical trials for new treatments and therapeutics.
  • Expanding our cancer care programs to communities that are underserved or face substantial barriers to accessing health care.
  • Advances in genetic testing and precision medicine that provide more individualized cancer treatments.
  • Access to palliative and supportive medicine programs to better support patients through their diagnosis and into survivorship.
  • Rollout of our third and newest medical unit that will allow us to bring increased prevention, education and screenings across the Gulf South.
  • Unveiling of the region’s first adaptive radiation therapy system that will transform how our oncologists care for patients with certain cancers.
  • Adding physicians, researchers and cancer experts to a cancer care team that is already the largest in the region.
  • Deeper collaborations and partnerships that extend our mission into more communities, including the Baton Rouge General, Woman’s Hospital, Terrebonne General Health System and Opelousas General Health System.

As your community’s Cancer Center, you can count on our enduring commitment to the highest standards of cancer care, investments in leading technologies and cancer research, and service to our communities. I would also like to extend my appreciation and gratitude to all of our patients, supporters, physicians and team members who make our mission and work possible.

We are always seeking additional support so that we can do even more. If you haven’t yet, we hope you’ll join us in our mission!