Philanthropic gift advances innovation for enhanced cancer care
(Baton Rouge, La.) Today, on National Philanthropy Day, Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center is announcing a major gift from philanthropist Art Favre that will help drive future innovative treatments, technologies and services. The $1 million donation, a contribution to the Cancer Center’s major gift initiative, will spur pioneering and creative solutions that positively impact thousands of patients served by the organization.
In talking about his motivation to give to the Cancer Center, Favre recalled losing an aunt to cancer when he was a child. He said her loss affected him profoundly and is something that has remained with him his entire life.
“The suffering she experienced is always in the back of my mind,” said Favre. “And I don’t have to look far to find others affected by the disease; there have been quite a few of our company’s employees who have been directly impacted by cancer. When the opportunity arose to help make a transformational difference in the way cancer care is provided, I jumped at the chance. Funding excellence and creativity in medicine is how I choose to support the Cancer Center’s work.”
An additional component of the gift will be the annual Favre Family Award for Innovation. Strategic funding will be provided annually to support original project ideas submitted by researchers, educators, and clinicians working at the Cancer Center to enhance cancer care. A selection panel, including Favre, will review proposals and award grant dollars to the idea with the greatest likelihood of influencing patient care.
“The Cancer Center not only seeks the latest innovations and brings them to our patients; we also develop best treatment practices in-house that are often shared in national and international scientific journals,” said Todd Stevens, president and chief operating officer of Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center. “We are proud that our team has discovered and refined better ways to care for patients, and that those techniques are available for our patients, and for those far beyond Louisiana. Philanthropists such as Mr. Favre are critical to this process and we would not be a premier destination for cancer care without the generosity of so many in the community.”
One example of successful innovation already underway at the Cancer Center is the medical physics program and its contributions to treatments. Through an ongoing partnership with LSU, the medical physics team develops improved ways of delivering radiation therapy to cancer patients. The renowned program also helps train the next generation of medical physicists.
Favre’s gift will also support the Cancer Center’s capacity to launch and sustain breakthrough cancer technologies that are often not available elsewhere in the Gulf South, such as the revolutionary Leksell Gamma Knife® Icon™ stereotactic radiosurgery system, which was recently installed for the treatment of primary brain tumors, brain metastases and other functional disorders. The Cancer Center is the first in the region and one of only a handful American institutions to offer the Icon.
Favre, a longtime Cancer Center donor and volunteer board member, is founder and president of Performance Contractors, a general industrial contractor firm established in 1979. He served on Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center’s Board of Directors for two consecutive terms and has served in a number of other volunteer and philanthropic capacities.
“It is fitting that we announce Mr. Favre’s gift on National Philanthropy Day, as he is the epitome of what it means to be a philanthropist,” said Brett Furr, chairman of Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center’s Board of Directors. “There is a long tradition of giving when it comes to the community supporting the Cancer Center. We are humbled by individuals like Mr. Favre who donate funds, resources and time to make the best cancer care available.”
National Philanthropy Day celebrates the charitable work that everyone does to make a difference and create impact in communities across America. From major donors to the humblest volunteer, from youth to senior citizens, the contributions that generous people make from the heart help make life better for all.
About Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center
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, extensive supportive care services and is the only facility in the Gulf South with the revolutionary Leksell Gamma Knife® Icon™. 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.