Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center Names Melissa O’Banion Vice President of Marketing & Communications

BATON ROUGE, La. – Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center has named Melissa O’Banion to the role of vice president of marketing and communications where she is responsible for advancing the organization’s mission through comprehensive messaging and brand strategies.

Prior to O’Banion’s new position at Mary Bird Perkins, she served as director of marketing and brand at the Cancer Center where she led strategy and stewardship of the brand’s visual identity, architecture, voice and positioning to support growth across the regional network and beyond. She also partnered with the communications team to ensure cohesive, brand-focused messaging was delivered through media, public relations and internal communications.

Melissa O'Banion“Melissa has been a longtime champion and leader of the Mary Bird Perkins brand, relentless in her pursuit to share our message of focused cancer care for the many communities and patients we serve,” said Jonas Fontenot, PhD, MBA, president and chief executive officer, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center. “Since she began with us seven years ago, her talent, capacity for leadership, and commitment to our mission have been clearly apparent. We are proud to have Melissa serve in this new capacity for the organization.”

O’Banion belongs to a number of community groups and organizations, including: 2023 Fork Cancer Planning Committee, American Cancer Society; Society for Healthcare Strategy and Marketing Development; American Advertising Federation and Echo Alliance, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center. She graduated from Leadership Baton Rouge and participated in the Adweek Executive Mentor Program in 2022.

“I am excited to take this next step in sharing Mary Bird Perkins’ mission and leadership in oncology,” said O’Banion. “There are many stories of courage, survivorship, and how our cancer care team is bringing the best technology and advanced treatments to the region. It’s a true privilege to serve in this new capacity and lead a team of some of the best marketing and communications professionals in the region.”

O’Banion has 12 years of experience in her field and was previously employed by Hart Entergy in Houston, Texas and The Moran Group in Baton Rouge, La.

She is a graduate of Louisiana State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications.


About Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is a regional cancer care organization that has been fighting cancer for more than 50 years. The cancer care organization provides care at 10 centers in Baton Rouge, Covington, Gonzales, Hammond, Houma, Opelousas, Slidell, and Natchez, Mississippi, and its service area encompasses southeast Louisiana and southwest Mississippi regions. Mary Bird Perkins has a strategic affiliation with OneOncology and the largest radiation and medical oncology groups from across the area including exclusive partnerships with Southeastern Louisiana Radiation Oncology Group, which provides radiation therapy throughout Mary Bird Perkins’ service areas, Northshore Oncology Associates, serving St. Tammany and Washington Parishes, specifically the communities of Covington and Slidell and Louisiana Hematology Oncology Associates, which services the Greater Baton Rouge area. For more information, please visit