Our Story


Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is Louisiana’s leading cancer care organization, caring for more patients each year than any other facility in the region. And with strategic hospital and physician partnerships, we are delivering on our mission to improve survivorship and lessen the burden of cancer.

Mary Bird Perkins and its partners work together to provide state-of-the-art treatments and unparalleled collaborative, comprehensive cancer services. This culture of innovation helps attract the best cancer minds in the country, from expert physicians and highly specialized scientists to forward-thinking leaders in supportive care and other disciplines.

Together, with our hospital and physician partners, we are one-hundred percent focused on cancer care.


For over 40 years, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center has delivered with compassion and excellence the most advanced cancer care available. Our mission is to improve survivorship and lessen the burden of cancer through expert treatment, compassionate care, early detection, research and education.


In the late 1960s, sixteen community leaders headed by Dr. M.J. Rathbone, Jr. and Anna B. Lipsey saw the need for a community owned, nonprofit radiation cancer facility in the greater Baton Rouge area. With both the vision and financial support of the Baton Rouge community the Cancer Radiation and Research Foundation – now known as Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center – was established.

In 1968, the Foundation held a capital campaign capped by a generous gift of land from philanthropist Paul D. Perkins, whom he made in honor of his late daughter, Mary Bird. In 1971, the Mary Bird Perkins Radiation Treatment Center opened its doors in Baton Rouge. After 14 years of operation, in 1985, Mary Bird Perkins relocated to its present site on Essen Lane and installed the first linear accelerator in the state. The following year, in 1986, the name of the center was changed to Mary Bird Perkins, Cancer Center.

In 1988, the first satellite treatment center was opened in Hammond, followed by 3 more Centers in southeast Louisiana: Covington in 1998, Houma in 2008 and Gonzales in 2009.

From its inception, the mission of Mary Bird Perkins (MBP) has been to provide the highest quality  radiation therapy and compassionate support to all patients and their families, regardless of ability to pay. This commitment, created by the Center’s founders, has been generously supported year after year by the local community.

Today, Mary Bird Perkins is not only a leader in providing state-of-the-art radiation therapy across southeast Louisiana, but it is also bringing screenings and early detection programs, education and research to its 18-parish service area (Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Lafourche, Livingston, Point Coupee, St. Helena, St. John, St. James, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, West Baton Rouge, West Feliciana and Washington). Through multiple innovative partnerships, Mary Bird Perkins is succeeding in its mission to fight cancer.

Mary Bird Perkins was and still remains a community project. It is through support from the community and partner organizations that MBP will successfully meet future challenges of providing patients with state-of-the-art technology, a committed radiation team and the best cancer care available – without having to leave home.



Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center (MBPCC) and Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center (OLOL) have been accredited together since 1992 by The American College of Surgeons, which is the gold-standard for community-based cancer care. However, the National Cancer Institute’s competitive selection of the Cancer Center as a National Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP) site in 2007 quickly accelerated the partnership’s progress.

Together through NCCCP, MBPCC and OLOL and only 20 other facilities throughout the country helped develop a best practice model for community cancer care until the program’s completion in summer 2014. NCCCP collaboration helped the Cancer Center launch or enhance many of its programs, including survivorship services, early phase clinical trials, screenings for disparate populations and multidisciplinary cancer care teams that focus on colorectal, lung, skin and head and neck cancers.

In 2012, MBPCC and OLOL entered into an agreement signifying an even closer, integrated alliance in providing cancer care to the surrounding communities. Jointly branded as Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center, the two organizations are moving forward together as a destination cancer center for the Gulf South, offering robust inpatient and outpatient care, both comprehensive and innovative in scope.


Mary Bird Perkins and St. Elizabeth Hospital have partnered for years to provide high-quality cancer services in Ascension Parish. When the doors of this Cancer Center opened in early 2009, the breadth, scope and quality of services available to cancer patients in Ascension Parish were expanded. Today, the Cancer Center offers the most advanced cancer-fighting technology and vital on-site services including nutritional and social services, early detection and outreach, as well as patient financial counseling.

This Center represents the forward-thinking, innovative, unabashed desire on the part of St. Elizabeth Hospital and Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center to pursue to the fullest the mission to lessen the burden of cancer.


Since 1998, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center has worked closely with St. Tammany Parish Hospital in Covington to provide cancer services to the Northshore community. In April 2012, the partnership took a significant step forward with the opening of the state-of-the-art Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center at St. Tammany Parish Hospital.

The new comprehensive cancer facility, which opened in 2012, provides the full spectrum of cancer care, from prevention and early detection to diagnosis, treatment, recovery and survivorship. The Center’s services include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, clinical research trials, patient navigation, free community screenings, education and more. These services are readily available to Northshore residents where it matters most – close to family and close to home.

Nationally accredited with commendation and recognized for excellence in cancer care by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center at St. Tammany Parish Hospital offers cancer patients and families access to advanced technology and clinical expertise. The Center’s diagnostic and treatment technologies include the Elekta Infinity linear accelerator that allows for faster, more accurate treatments.

The Cancer Center occupies more than 20,000-square-feet and is located on the campus of STPH. Access is at street level for outpatients while hospital inpatients are transported for treatment via a sky bridge connecting the two facilities. Throughout the Center, the hospital’s Foundation Healing Arts Initiative has installed various pieces of art created by local artists to enhance the patient experience and healing process. One special tribute piece that hangs in the waiting room is dedicated in honor of Rufus Upton Lea and his wife Marianne Spetz Lea, both of whom received care at the Center.


In 2008, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center formed a partnership with the hospital 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 TGMC Cancer Center 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 TGMC 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 TGMC 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 TGMC 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 TGMC Cancer Center is the patient.


Generous, brilliant and reserved are terms most often used to describe Mary Bird Perkins. Born in 1927, Mary Bird was a pioneer of her time, becoming one of the first female graduates of the Louisiana State University Law Center in 1950. After practicing law for many years in Baton Rouge, she moved to Paris, a city she loved dearly, and lived there until 1966 when she passed away unexpectedly.

In 1969, her father, local businessman and philanthropist Paul D. Perkins, made a substantial capstone donation to build Baton Rouge’s first Radiation Treatment Center. Because of his generosity, the Cancer Center was named in Mary Bird’s honor, which today is known as Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center.

Mary Bird’s forward-thinking approach to live lives on today through the Cancer Center’s physicians, staff, volunteers and donors, as we continually strive for excellence as the destination for cancer care in the Gulf South.



Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center has been awarded a three-year term of reaccreditation in radiation oncology as the result of a review by the American College of Radiology (ACR). The Cancer Center has been reaccredited for its Baton Rouge, Gonzales, Hammond, Covington and Houma locations. The ACR seal of accreditation represents the highest level of quality and patient safety. It is awarded only to facilities meeting specific Practice Guidelines and Technical Standards developed by ACR after a peer-review evaluation by board-certified radiation oncologists and medical physicists who are experts in the field. Patient care and treatment, patient safety, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures and quality assurance programs are assessed.

For more information, read the press release here.


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.

For more information, read the press release here.


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.

For more information, read the press release here.


Louisiana and Gulf South residents have more options to seek advanced cancer treatment, thanks to a $5.6 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 continues through 2019 and focuses on conducting multi-site cancer clinical trials and cancer care delivery research studies in many Louisiana communities. Working in partnership with LSU-New Orleans is grant collaborators Mary Bird Perkins and LSU Health Sciences Center-Shreveport, referred to collectively as the Gulf South Minority/Underserved NCI Community Oncology Research Program.

For more information, read the press release here.



The Better Business Bureau of South Central Louisiana has named Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center a winner of the Douglas Manship, Sr. Torch Award for Ethics in Business. The Torch Award was established in 2001 to honor those businesses which exhibit the highest ethical standards of behavior toward customers, suppliers, users, shareholders, employees and the community.


The Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center Foundation was formed to build a long-term endowment to support the fight against cancer. Your gift, your legacy, will help grow our endowment and transform cancer care for patients and their families, today and for generations to come.

To learn how you can leave your legacy, Click here or call (225) 215-1224 or email for more information.