Cancer Services and Mary Bird Perkins announce merger

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - After years of collaboration in providing services to those impacted by cancer, Cancer Services and Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center are merging with no changes or interruptions in client services.

The boards of directors of the two organizations decided to deepen their relationship following an extended period of discussions. Anthony B. O'Connor, board president of Cancer Services, said the decision was based on the organization's desire to extend and preserve its mission by partnering with a like-minded organization focused exclusively on cancer.

"The Cancer Services' board leadership and staff are excited about this alignment with Mary Bird Perkins," O'Connor said. "It's been Cancer Services' desire for many years to expand our reach beyond the Greater Baton Rouge region and we'll do this by leveraging Mary Bird Perkins' 18-parish service area throughout Southeast Louisiana, thus helping many more people. The best part is that our clients will still access all resources in the same location and from the same staff they have come to know and trust."

O'Connor stressed that Cancer Services remains a resource for all of the organization's clients and that all cancer centers may continue referring patients to the organization.

Renea Duffin, vice president of cancer support and outreach at Mary Birth Perkins said there are few organizations with the depth and breadth of services that Cancer Services offers.

"Through this merger, we'll be able to streamline programs and determine how we can offer even more to those impacted by this disease. Including Cancer Services as part of our center is a natural extension of our mission to improve survivorship and lessen the burden of cancer."

Duffin said that Cancer Services' board of directors will continue to provide volunteer leadership for the organization and that all employees have been offered employment as part of MBPCC.

David Perry, immediate past board president, Cancer Services, commented on the strategic merger, saying it's a win-win for both organizations and its supporters, but it is especially advantageous for individuals and families living with, through and beyond cancer.

"You have these two tremendously respected cancer-focused organizations making a strategically sound decision to come together and combine their expertise and resources. It will provide enhanced services for more people and make the best use of generous donor dollars. I can see other organizations throughout the country following suit and using this as a best practice for efficiently and effectively leveraging resources to enhance community cancer care," said Perry.

Cancer Services currently serves about 4,000 people and MBPCC provides services to more than 3,500 new patients annually. Through this partnership, Cancer Services will have the potential to reach every MBPCC patient in five locations, including Baton Rouge, Gonzales, Hammond, Covington and Houma. Cancer Services provides for the emotional, financial and physical needs of those affected by cancer in the community. MBPCC, with its hospital partners, offers comprehensive cancer services, including education and early detection, treatment, clinical trials and survivorship programs.

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