Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center Announces Expansion to Central and North Louisiana

BATON ROUGE, La. – Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is pleased to announce its expansion into new regions of the state through a strategic alliance with MD Clinics—a cancer care provider with locations spanning central and north Louisiana. The integration, beginning in April 2024, will be reflected with all MD Clinics locations becoming Mary Bird Perkins locations, significantly expanding the Cancer Center’s footprint across Louisiana. The new partnership is poised to enhance the groundwork laid by MD Clinics by providing additional resources and services, fostering a collaborative approach to providing cancer care that aligns with the shared missions of both organizations. The partnership represents a unified effort to bring more robust cancer care to these regions.

Mary Bird Perkins’ expansion into central and north Louisiana marks a significant milestone in its fifty-plus year history and delivers on the organization’s mission to improve survivorship and lessen the burden of cancer by providing high-quality cancer care close to home.  Over the past few years, the Cancer Center has unveiled state-of-the-art technology, recruited additional oncology experts, forged new partnerships, initiated phase one clinical trials and expanded its education and early detection programs.

Chandice Boothe Jenny Anderson Melissa OBanion Kim Hicks
(l-r) Chandice Boothe, RN; Jennifer Anderson, clinical program specialist, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center; Melissa O’Banion, vice president, marketing and communications, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center; Kim Hicks, director of clinical affairs, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center

MD Clinics’ physicians and team members will join the Cancer Center team, remaining at their current locations. Patients will also continue to receive care at the location most convenient for them, including specialty support services already available at several clinics.

Through the integration, Mary Bird Perkins will be able to enhance services already being provided in these regions of the state where the need is great. According to the Louisiana Tumor Registry, cancer mortality rates in central and north Louisiana are 15-20 percent higher than the national average.

Jonas Fontenot, PhD, MBA, president and CEO, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, expressed enthusiasm for the integration, stating, “We are thrilled with the opportunity to work with the MD Clinics team, who share our vision for empowering providers with the resources needed to deliver exceptional cancer care to patients in their own communities.”

Through the integration with MD Clinics and its partnerships with other organizations, Mary Bird Perkins will provide oncology services at 18 locations across the state.

“This opportunity marks a significant step in our journey to improve access to high quality cancer care, improve survivorship and lessen the burden of cancer for patients across Louisiana. As a community cancer care organization, we are here to serve.” 

Renee DeMoss Dr. Manish Dhawan Jodi Conachen Susan Dickerson
(l-r) Renee DeMoss, practice administrator, MD Clinics; Manish Dhawan, M.D., chief executive officer, MD Clinics; Jodi Conachen, chief operating officer, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center; Susan Dickerson, vice president, human resources, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center

Manish Dhawan, MD, founded MD Clinics in 2019, along with several other specialists, to bring high-quality cancer care to communities across central and north Louisiana. Through the integration, his team can now leverage the Cancer Center’s resources to care for even more patients. Across central and north Louisiana, MD Clinics provides 6,500 unique patients visits and maintains 2,500 new patient consults annually.

“By combining MD Clinics’ expertise and knowledge of the region with Mary Bird Perkins’ leading-edge cancer services and resources, we are forging a continuum of care that goes beyond traditional boundaries for patients,” said Dhawan. “Joining forces with Mary Bird Perkins empowers our team to reach more patients and offers them additional resources to achieve the best possible outcome for the patients we serve.”

Key benefits of the integration include:

  • Research: Because research is key to unlocking the future of cancer care, Mary Bird Perkins plans to extend its robust clinical trials program into the region. Clinical trials provide many patients with enhanced outcomes and shapes cancer care for generations to come.  
  • Advanced Technology and Expertise: Communities gain access to state-of-the-art technology, additional highly-skilled oncologists and greater collaboration among a robust network of experienced cancer care professionals.
  • Comprehensive Patient Care: Patients continue to benefit from a broad range of medical services, fostering a patient-centered approach to cancer care.
  • Enhanced Coordination: Closer coordination among more healthcare professionals ensures timely and well-coordinated care throughout the treatment journey; integrating MD Clinics’ operations within Mary Bird Perkins’ clinical and technical systems will help bring this collaborative approach to fruition.
  • Community Impact: The integration solidifies the commitment of both organizations to serving local communities, ensuring residents have access to high-quality cancer care close to home. MD Clinics’ providers and staff understand the unique needs of the patient population and will help ensure optimal resources and services are included in integrated growth plans.

To learn more about Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center and to find a location near you, visit


About Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is Louisiana’s largest cancer care organization and has been leading the fight against cancer for more than 50 years. Founded in Baton Rouge in 1971 by a group of community leaders, the Cancer Center now serves every region of Louisiana and communities across southwest Mississippi. With the most expansive team of highly-trained oncologists leveraging innovative therapies and technologies, Mary Bird Perkins is offering the most personalized treatment options available in the Gulf South. The Cancer Center’s emphasis on community-based care allows patients to access these resources close to home. From early detection through our innovative Prevention on the Go screening and education program, to diagnosis, treatment and life after cancer, Mary Bird Perkins offers a wide array of individualized support services to improve survivorship and lessen the burden of cancer. For more information, visit