A New Era for Cancer Care in the Gulf South Unfolds

Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center unveils renovated and expanded facility


(Baton Rouge, La.) After years of planning and construction, Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center unveiled its renovated and expanded facility at an Open House Celebration, Sunday, Sept. 13. Through a more than $23 million investment, the approximately 3,000 newly diagnosed patients that turn to the Cancer Center each year now have access to one of the most advanced cancer programs in the region with next-generation technology, a significantly larger, specialized medical team and key support services, along with many other vital resources required to fight cancer.

The renovation and expansion increased the total outpatient area of the Cancer Center from 120,000 to 140,000-square feet with 90 percent of the building dedicated to patient care activities. In determining the services, programs and building design and aesthetics, the Cancer Center team worked with oncology consultants, architects, construction personnel, art and wayfinding professionals and more, and patients’ needs and preferences drove every aspect of the all-encompassing initiative.

“On our path to become a destination cancer center, we looked closely at patient preferences: convenience and accessibility, specialized symptom management, a single point of contact for patients and advanced multidisciplinary care. And we’ve wrapped all of this and much and more into an attractive building that is personal, welcoming and state-of-the-art,” said Todd Stevens, president and chief executive officer, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center. “We invested our resources in the most effective ways—ones that would enhance patients’ experience and outcomes—and have delivered it all under one roof. The Cancer Center is delivering tomorrow’s cancer care, today,” said Stevens.

Key enhancements include (see attached for additional information):

  • Expanded radiation clinic and treatment areas, including the revolutionary Elekta Versa HD radiation system, which offers highly targeted treatments 40-50 percent faster than other similar technologies
  • Comprehensive Thomas J. Moran Imaging Center for cancer diagnosis, treatment planning and follow-up care, includes digital X-ray, CT nuclear medicine, SPECT/CT, PET/CT and MRI
  • Riley-Billings Oncology Supportive Care Clinic  that provides convenient access to many services, such as pain and symptom management and psychosocial and emotional support
  • Lane Infusion Center allowing patients to receive treatments in a relaxed, tranquil setting; it includes  three private and 52 semi-private infusion bays equipped with television, personal headphones and Wi-Fi for mobile devices, as well as a hi-tech onsite clinical pharmacy for quick, safe delivery of medications
  • A Healing Arts program to help provide relief from the anxiety and pain of illness, offering hope to patients and their loved ones

“A revolution in cancer treatment is underway and breakthrough discoveries are happening every day, said Daniel Nuss, M.D., chair of the Cancer Center’s renowned Head and Neck Caner Multidisciplinary Care Team and head and neck surgeon. “To keep pace with life-saving strategies, physicians need an arsenal of diagnostic tools and treatment options to profoundly impact patient outcomes, and I am proud to say there are all here at our disposal, significantly impacting patient outcomes and saving more lives.”

For years, the Cancer Center has been a national leader in all areas of cancer care, but specifically in the areas of prevention, training, treatment and research. For example, through a partnership with the Louisiana State University (LSU) Department of Physics and Astronomy, the Cancer Center is educating more highly-specialized medical physicists than even the most prominent academic institutions in the country, and their research is improving outcomes. The Cancer Center is the only location in Louisiana with a program of this kind. Additionally, the Cancer Center offers national and international clinical trials. Through a National Cancer Institute grant, the Cancer Center, along with its partners, LSU Health Sciences Centers in New Orleans and Shreveport, are providing access to clinical trials to about 80 percent of the state, including the most rural and urban areas.  And, lastly, the work the Cancer Center does around prevention and early detection has long been nationally recognized for its best practices and effectiveness.

“We are so proud of our newly renovated and expanded facility, and I am even more proud of the lifesaving services that happen within the walls of this beautiful space, delivered by the dedicated Cancer Center team,” said Linda Lee, Cancer Center administrator. “This includes physician experts skilled at treating a multitude of cancers, compassionate, highly-trained staff members and caring volunteers—all focused on helping patients live the healthiest and most positive lives possible.”

Open house program speakers included: Sister Barbara Arceneaux, provincial, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady; Terrie Sterling, chief operating officer, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center; Todd Stevens, chief executive officer, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center; Daniel Nuss, M.D., Head and Neck Multidisciplinary Care Team chair and head and neck surgeon, Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center and Linda Lee, administrator, Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center.

The Open House Celebration also included a special pre-event reception for its Rathbone Society donors, named after the late Jack Rathbone, M.D., a founding member of Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center and Medical Director of Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center for many years.


As the regional destination for cancer care, Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center offers advanced technology and services provided by nationally-recognized doctors and other oncology health professionals who have dedicated their lives to fighting the disease. The Cancer Center is consistently recognized for its dedication to offering best-practice, comprehensive care at every stage of the cancer journey.