2016 Innovator Award

Mary Bird Perkins Named 2016 Innovator Award Recipient for Early Detection Program


(Baton Rouge, La.) Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center (MBPCC) has been named a 2016 Innovator Award recipient by the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) 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.

“Bringing evidence-based cancer screening activities to adults that lack access to these services requires we constantly monitor and adjust strategies,” said Renea Duffin, vice president of support and cancer outreach at MBPCC. “The Innovator Award is a wonderful affirmation that we are on the right track to helping diagnose more cancers early while also providing prevention education so that the disease never begins.”

Louisiana’s cancer mortality rate is the fourth highest in the nation due to a number of factors, including lack of education, inadequate access to cancer screenings, lack of primary healthcare in some regions and high percentages of late stage diagnosis. MBPCC’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. This is done primarily through the use of two mobile medical clinics that visit areas where services are most needed, offering quick convenient access to early detection screenings. The targeted locations are selected via a data-driven approach to guide activities and support a replicable design for screening one or several different types of cancers. Every patient who receives an abnormal finding is supported by a navigator who helps ensure further testing and care is provided, if needed.

In the early detection program’s 14-year history, more than 73,000 people have been screened and approximately 500 cancers have been detected throughout MBPCC’s 18-parish serving area. In partnership with local community hospitals, MBPCC offers a comprehensive array of cancer services, including early detection screenings. Partner hospitals include, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, St. Tammany Parish Hospital in Covington, Terrebonne General Medical Center in Houma and St. Elizabeth Hospital in Gonzales. MBPCC also serves the Hammond area.

“Advancing prevention and early detection services is part of our mission to improve survivorship and lessen the burden of cancer. We are humbled to be recognized through this award; it’s a truly meaningful acknowledgement as we move forward with our partners in the fight against this disease,” said Todd Stevens, president and chief executive officer, MBPCC.

In October, members of MBPCC’s early detection team will present the details and outcomes of the program at the ACCC 33rd National Oncology Conference in St. Louis, MO. For more information on this award, visit acc-cancer.org/innovator.

Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is a regional cancer care organization that has been fighting cancer for more than 40 years. With five centers in Baton Rouge, Covington, Hammond, Houma and Gonzales, its service area encompasses 18 parishes across southeast Louisiana.  For more information, please visit www.marybird.org.