Celebrating Volunteer Leadership at Board Reunion

Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center celebrates more than 40 years of Volunteer Leadership at Board Reunion


(Baton Rouge, La.) Present and past members of Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center’s board of directors and its Foundation board of directors, representing every decade of the organization’s history, recently gathered to reunite and celebrate a remarkable legacy of volunteer leadership. The reunion, held Thursday, April 7 at Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center, included current and former members of Mary Bird’s boards, spanning the cancer care organization’s more than 40 years of service to the community.

Mary Bird Perkins opened its doors in 1971 when the United States was declaring the War on Cancer. It was just a few years prior that sixteen commuity leaders, including founding board member Dr. M.F. Currier who attended the board reunion, gathered to focus their efforts on creating access to high quality cancer care in Baton Rouge. These visionary leaders knew how essential it was for patients to receive cancer treatment, close to home with loved ones nearby.

In addressing reunion attendees, Todd Stevens, president and chief executive officer of Mary Bird Perkins, said, “As I look out across the room, I am just overwhelmed and humbled by the the leadership we have been blessed with over the years. At Mary Bird, both the Center and Foundation boards have been comprised of special people, truly the gold standard of leadership. It all began with you. We are here today because of you. And, I am also struck that so many of you have children and grandchildren involved with the Center today.  It’s wonderful to see the passion for the mission pass from generation to generation.”

Mary Bird Perkins first began treating patients in Baton Rouge, but today the organization has a presence throughout southeast Louisiana in conjunction with hospital and physician partners. Board chair Brett Furr acknowledged  that volunteer leadership has been key to the organization’s growth and success.

“Because of the contributions you and many others have made, Mary Bird is a beacon of light and hope to those fighting cancer. The fact that so many of you have joined us for this reunion is a testament to your dedication and belief in the mission of the Center. I am proud to be in your company.”

Other speakers during the reunion program included past Center board chairs, Tom Meek, Jr., M.D., and Donna Saurage.  All attendees were invited to tour the newly renovated Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center following the program.


As a regional destination for cancer care, Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center offers the most advanced technology and services provided by a dedicated team of nationally-recognized oncology experts. The Cancer Center provides best-practice, comprehensive care at every stage of the cancer journey, including disease site-specific multidisciplinary care teams, a robust clinical research program and extensive supportive care services. As a nonprofit organization, donor generosity is essential to sustaining the mission of improving survivorship and lessening the burden of cancer for so many throughout Southeast Louisiana and beyond. For more information on the Cancer Center, and how you can become involved, please visit mbpolol.org.