In 2008, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center formed a partnership with Terrebonne General Health System and Cancer Care Specialists. Each party had one goal in mind: to offer residents of the Bayou Region a comprehensive cancer center, close to home.
Since then, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Houma has grown and evolved to meet the needs of the community, but its mission has remained the same: to improve survivorship and lessen the burden of cancer. This mission is especially important in Louisiana – a state that suffers from high cancer mortality rates due to lack of access to care, delayed diagnosis and other factors.
As a comprehensive cancer facility, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center provides the full continuum of cancer care – from prevention and early detection to diagnosis, treatment, recovery and survivorship. The Center’s services include screening, mammography, education, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery. Clinical trials and patient navigators – nurses who guide patients through the treatment process – are available as well.
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center offers world-class diagnostic and treatment technology, including the Elekta Infinity linear accelerator. This leading-edge technology enable faster, more accurate treatments.
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center offers free cancer screenings, community education and support opportunities for cancer patients throughout the year. Residents of the Bayou Region can also get free cancer screenings though the Early Bird, a mobile medical clinic that helps bring early detection to the uninsured at times and locations that are convenient.
The new center – constructed by the McDonnel Group – is also the first building in the region and the first hospital in Louisiana to earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification. And while these achievements are something to celebrate, the real focus of the new Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is the patient.
The American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC) has granted Three-Year Accreditation with Commendation to Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, a partnership with Terrebonne General Health System. To earn voluntary CoC accreditation, a cancer program must meet 38 CoC quality care standards, be evaluated every three years through a survey process, and maintain levels of excellence in the delivery of comprehensive patient-centered care.
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, a partnership with Terrebonne General Health System, 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.
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, a partnership with Terrebonne General Health System, is a designated Lung Cancer Screening Center by the American College of Radiology. This acknowledges that the center meets the ACR’s standards for Image quality, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures and quality assurance programs. 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 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.
The last day of treatment offers a special time of celebration. Spouses, children, mothers, fathers and the care team surround the patient as they ring La Cloche de la Vie, or The Bell of Life. The bell signifies the end of one journey and the beginning of another. The ringing of the bell is for all to hear – some patients choose to gently ring it while others strike it hard. Regardless of how they choose to celebrate this triumph, it is an unprecedented moment of joy.