Our Story: Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center

Through a partnership born of compassion, excellence and technological innovation, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center and Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center have joined forces to offer our region and patients a national best-practice model for comprehensive cancer care. Because of this combination of expertise and resources, the Cancer Center is able to extend resources into every aspect of the cancer care continuum. Through truly comprehensive programs, residents across the region and cancer patients now have access to programs and services that rival resources most often associated with academic cancer centers.

Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center

In the late 1960s, community leaders saw the need for a community owned, non-profit cancer facility in the Greater Baton Rouge area that would improve survivorship and lessen the burden of cancer. These passionate volunteers worked together to cap off a successful fundraising campaign to establish this new entity. Businessman Paul Perkins donated land for the cancer center and the Board of Directors honored his daughter’s memory by naming the center after her. Opening its doors in 1971 as Mary Bird Perkins Radiation Treatment Center, a tradition of excellence and compassion began, which set the stage for what would later become Louisiana’s leading cancer care organization. Through innovative partnerships with hospitals and physicians, and long-standing community and volunteer support, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center has expanded its founders’ vision. Today, there are multiple locations across the region offering high quality cancer care close to home, just as the founders intended.

Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center

Our Lady of the Lake’s story began when Mother de Bethanie Crowley and five Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady made a historic voyage to America in the early 1900’s to further their Order’s mission of serving the sick and needy in Louisiana. Eventually arriving in Baton Rouge, Mother de Bethanie founded Our Lady of the Lake Sanitarium in downtown Baton Rouge. In 1978, the original hospital was closed and a 460-bed, state-of-the-art facility on Essen Lane opened to better serve a growing population. Today, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center is one of the largest private medical centers in Louisiana while staying true to its mission of living in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi, spreading a ministry of compassion and healing.