Jo Paula Lantier Recipient of D. Jensen Holliday Memorial Award

Lantier awarded for outstanding contributions in fight against cancer


(Baton Rouge, La.) Jo Paula Lantier of Baton Rouge was presented with the D. Jensen Holliday Memorial Award for outstanding contributions in the fight against cancer. Lantier was presented with the award Tuesday, Nov. 19, during a reception in her honor at the City Club of Baton Rouge.

The prestigious award was established in 2004 by the Board of Directors of Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center. It was created as an expression of gratitude for the significant contribution Holliday made to the Center as a member of the board of directors for 10 years, including the two years he served as chairman from 1998 – 2000 prior to his death.

“Jensen was a friend of mine,” said the current Chairman of Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center’s Board of Directors, Dr. Tom Meek. “Both he and tonight’s award recipient have a lot in common, including a  commitment to making Baton Rouge a better place through involvement in cancer activities and other community endeavors.” These categories are key factors in selecting the winner of the award from among the many nominations submitted each year.

Meek shared highlights from Lantier’s nomination that included the following: After being diagnosed with breast cancer in July, 1996, Lantier attended her first Komen Race for the Cure that same year. In 1997, she began volunteering for the Race in various capacities, from committee member to Race co-chair and chairwoman, and became one of the first board members when the Baton Rouge Affiliate was established. Having been instrumental in its creation, she has also held many Affiliate Board and leadership positions. While a Komen Affiliate Grant Committee Chair, Lantier held grant writing workshops to help educate those wanting to apply. She has been an integral part of bringing local funds to local programs to benefit local women and their families.

Lantier has also served the community through her involvement in multiple capacities with the Girl Scouts; the First Methodist Church in Gonzales; as a volunteer at Woman’s Hospital; past board member of the Baton Rouge General Hospital Volunteer Auxiliary; past board member of the EBR Parish Master Gardener Association; past president of the River City Quilt Guild; and a current member of the Excalibur Club of Baton Rouge honoring volunteers in the community.

Todd Stevens, president and CEO, Mary Bird Perkins, explained that Mary Bird Perkins was and still remains a community partnership. “No one understood that better than Jensen, who was the embodiment of a community servant,” he said.

Mrs. Estelle Holliday presented Lantier with the D. Jensen Holliday Memorial Award, evoking applause and a standing ovation from the audience.

Lantier addressed those in attendance by saying in part, “I met Mr. Holliday as a survivor at a Relay for Life event many years ago. I am very honored to receive this award in his name.”

A celebratory reception followed with assorted food tastings and beverages.

Nominations are accepted annually for this award and are reviewed by a select committee of community members to choose the nominee who best reflects Holliday’s vision and dedication to the greater good of a community served by Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center while making a sustained and measurable difference in the fight against cancer.


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