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Linda Lee Administrator Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center


When recalling the past, it’s the moments with others we cherish most—a hug, touch or kind word can last only seconds, but can create timeless snapshots within our hearts. As you walk through the Cancer Center, you will see sleek, state-of-the-art technology, imaginative artwork and soothing wall and glass textures, but patients tell us there’s nothing more beautiful to them than the interactions they experience with our doctors, team members, volunteers and one another. In this report, we provide snapshots of some of these moments, as well as other special memories made over the last year. There’s so much more to share than we can fit into the pages of this report. Our hope is that this glimpse will inspire you to join us, and so many other supportive community members, to improve survivorship and lessen the burden of cancer for thousands of individuals and families in Louisiana. So please, take a walk with us and share in the joy of some of our favorite memories within our beloved cancer care community.

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WE ARE ALL IN THIS, TOGETHER. While we surround patients with everything they need to help conquer cancer, community members, businesses and grantors surround the Cancer Center to make this possible. Generous donor funding broadly supports prevention, education and early detection, teamwork, survivorship, innovation, research and patient assistance— all of which are featured in this publication. This deep philanthropic community connection sets the Cancer Center apart, undergirds the mission and helps continue our highly-personalized approach to each patient’s experience.

We all look forward to a day when there is no more cancer. That’s the moment we all live for.


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MILESTONES The Cancer Center’s extensive renovation and expansion, a more than $23 million investment, was completed. The investment increased the total outpatient area from 120,000 to 140,000 square feet and included the procurement of next-generation technology, a significantly larger, specialized medical team and key support services, along with many other vital resources required to enhance patient outcomes. The one-of-a-kind Fostering Hope program launched, taking pet therapy a step further by integrating animal interaction into survivors’ homes, while at the same time providing safe, loving environments for homeless cats and dogs. Renovations began on a treatment space for the Leksell Gamma Knife® Icon™, the first such stereotactic radiosurgery system in the Gulf South. The Gamma Knife Icon provides the most precise and versatile technology available to treat brain tumors and central nervous system disorders, such as trigeminal neuralgia. Sheldon Johnson, MD, and Kenneth Lo, MD, retired after caring for cancer patients for more than 34 and 29 years, respectively. Dr. Johnson and Dr. Lo practiced radiation oncology at the Cancer Center during its infancy and pioneered practices that are now standards of care throughout the country. The Cancer Center was honored to partner with the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine and provide treatment to the university’s live tiger mascot, Mike VI, who was diagnosed with spindle cell sarcoma. The Cancer Center was selected to treat Mike VI due to its ability to provide stereotactic radiosurgery and longstanding relationship with LSU. Jingya Wang, MD, radiation oncologist, joined the medical staff after completing her residency at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Wang earned her medical doctorate degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 8

The Cancer Center’s early detection program received an Innovator Award from the Association of Community Cancer Centers, which recognizes pioneering solutions for the effective delivery of cancer care. In the early detection program’s 14-year history, more than 73,000 people have been screened and approximately 500 cancers have been detected. A pilot program, funded by the Albemarle Foundation, was launched to bring cancer screenings and education to the workplace. This $1 million donation was the first contribution announced as part of the Cancer Center’s major gift initiative. Andrew J. McWhorter, MD, a laryngologist and expert in laryngeal cancer, was one of a select number of American physicians invited to present at the International Federation of Head and Neck Oncologic Societies’ World Congress on Larynx Cancer in Australia. At the Congress, Dr. McWhorter shared his knowledge with colleagues as a means to benefit patients with laryngeal cancer around the globe. The Hepatobiliary/Upper Gastrointestinal Multidisciplinary Care (MDC) Team was established to further integrate care for patients with diseases and tumors of the esophagus, stomach, pancreas, gallbladder, small intestine, liver and related areas, increasing the Cancer Center’s total number of site-specific MDC teams to seven. LSU Department of Physics & Astronomy Professor and Director of LSU Medical and Health Physics Wayne Newhauser, Ph.D., whose role is jointly supported by the Cancer Center and university, was named a Fellow of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine. Individuals making significant contributions to and demonstrating leadership in the practice of medical physics are recognized with this honor. The Cancer Center enrolled a record number of patients in clinical trials. Those who meet the criteria to participate in clinical research receive a standard of care treatment, but with the added benefit of a trial that may enhance their outcomes. # M O M E N T S T H AT L A S T

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MOMENTS Take a moment to view the full stories of our courageous patients:





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OPEN HOUSE CELEBRATION The newly renovated and expanded Cancer Center was unveiled at an Open House Celebration, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015. Hundreds gathered to experience the exciting transformation. “This beautiful new building is the physical expression of the mission we all live every single day—to improve survivorship and lessen the burden of cancer.” – TODD STEVENS, PRESIDENT AND CEO, MARY BIRD PERKINS CANCER CENTER

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“Being on stage at the Open House Celebration and ringing the bell for completing treatment felt like my homecoming; it was my moment,” said Blake. “Looking out over the crowd and seeing all the beautiful faces of those who took such good care of me made my heart full.” BLAKE LABRAN | HODGKIN’S LYMPHOMA SURVIVOR

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RENOVATION & EXPANSION A Perfect Fit for Patients As part of the Cancer Center’s commitment to patients and their families, a $23 million renovation and expansion of the facility was completed in 2015. Every decision—from the intelligent redesign of the facility to its soothing, serene aesthetics—was made with patient comfort and convenience in mind. KEY ENHANCEMENTS INCLUDE: • Expanded radiation clinic and treatment areas • Comprehensive Thomas J. Moran Imaging Center • Riley-Billings Oncology Supportive Care Clinic for pain and symptom management and psychosocial and emotional support • Gerry Lane Infusion Center with an onsite clinical pharmacy


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“To keep pace with life-saving strategies, physicians need an arsenal of diagnostic tools and treatment options, and they are all here at our disposal, significantly impacting patient outcomes and saving more lives,” DANIEL NUSS, MD, CHAIR OF THE HEAD AND NECK CANCER MULTIDISCIPLINARY CARE TEAM

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“Caring for Mike VI was an extraordinary opportunity, and I’m confident the work we did together with the LSU Vet School will impact the future of veterinary and human medicine in a very meaningful way.” – DAN NECK, MS, DABR, DIRECTOR OF CLINICAL PHYSICS There are many, many team members behind the scenes working to ensure treatment plans are tailored for every individual at the Cancer Center. Mike VI, LSU’s live tiger mascot, received the same personal level of care when he was treated for a very rare spindle cell sarcoma. The Cancer Center, which has long partnered with the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, was honored to help. Mike VI will forever live on as a cherished memory for Tiger fans.


Photo Courtesy of Eddy Perez, LSU Division of Strategic Communications

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MEDICAL PHYSICS Where Innovation Meets Medicine Benefiting cancer patients throughout the world, as well as both organizations, the Cancer Center and LSU enjoy a long-standing partnership that has enhanced cancer treatment for more than a decade. This partnership provides medical physics students with unique training opportunities and research scientists with facilities and resources that are found in few places. Most importantly, it provides patients with the most innovative treatment options available today. This partnership received national recognition and publicity this year related to a research project using 3-D printing technology to identify and define tumors and isolate them from healthy tissue. The medical physics team is now using 3-D printers to create realistic mannequins, or phantoms, of patients undergoing radiation to better target cancerous tumors.


Photo Courtesy of Andrea Barbier

Photo Courtesy of Collin Richie

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COMMUNITY EVENTS Proud to Be Part of the Baton Rouge Community Our survivorship program took the lead in supporting cancer-related community events by sharing some of its most popular offerings, such as the Healing Arts and pet therapy programs. A highlight of the busy spring event season was bringing these acclaimed programs to the 2016 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Participants were able to visit the Cancer Center’s tent and experience how art and animals can influence physical, emotional and spiritual health. Each year, we support a number of cancer-related community events as part of our mission to improve survivorship and lessen the burden of cancer.


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“When you don’t speak English, you’re always fearful language will be a barrier to your care, but that was not the case,” said Ruth. “Now, I tell people to not be afraid and take advantage of the Cancer Center’s free screening services; they will be with you every step of the way. They saved my life.” “Cuando uno no habla Inglés, uno siempre tiene miedo de que esto cree una barrera para recibir los cuidados propios para nuestra salud,” dice Ruth. “Ahora, le digo a todo el mundo que no tenga miedo de buscar ayuda y aprovechar los servicios gratis de detección para el Cáncer que ofrece el Centro del Cáncer; ellos los guiarán durante cada paso de el proceso. Ellos salvaron mi vida.” RUTH PORTILLO | BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR

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PREVENTION, EDUCATION AND EARLY DETECTION Providing Access to Life-Saving Services FOR THE COMMUNITY: Last year, 38 screening participants heard the words, “You have cancer.” That’s 38 people too many, and it’s the reason why the Cancer Center team is always looking to do more in the fight against this disease. For us, this means working to stop cancer before it starts, or detecting it early. Our nationally-recognized outreach program takes this message to communities across the region to provide our most vulnerable neighbors with life-saving cancer screenings and educational opportunities. With the help of the mobile medical clinic, more than 4,700 people were screened for cancer. Approximately 900 participants with an abnormal finding were personally assisted by a navigator to ensure they received the help they needed.


FOR THE WORKPLACE: Thanks to a $1 million transformational gift from the Albemarle Foundation, the Cancer Center’s successful screening and education program has expanded to the workplace. In 2016, a pilot phase of the program was launched, with three companies— Albemarle Corporation, Lipsey’s and Forte and Tablada, Inc.—serving as test sites for their employees to participate. The fully operational program is expected to begin in early 2017. “In partnership with the Cancer Center, we can make a positive impact for many people in practical and manageable ways, and together we can save lives.” – LUKE KISSAM, CEO OF ALBEMARLE CORPORATION

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FEST FOR LIFE As people danced and enjoyed the food and entertainment at the 2016 Fest for Life, something extraordinary was happening. Hundreds of people were also taking charge of their health. Since Fest for Life began in 2007, more than 4,800 free cancer screenings have been provided for five types of cancer. Held in recognition of National Minority Cancer Awareness Week, the one-day event offers free access to cancer screenings and other health tests and education. Thanks to Karnival Krewe de Louisiane and other generous community sponsors for making Fest for Life possible.


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HEALING ARTS Creative Expression Leads to Healing The Healing Arts program is one of the exciting new initiatives launched as part of the Cancer Center’s renovation and expansion. The art-focused program helps stimulate healing and provides relief from the anxiety and pain of illness. Patients and their loved ones have many opportunities to participate in Healing Arts projects throughout their cancer journey. From holiday ornament decorating to painting, drawing, coloring and more, the Healing Arts program is offered as a means to restoring the mind and body through creativity. In addition, the artwork displayed throughout the Cancer Center was created by regional artists and is designed to present beauty for patients and other guests as they visit various areas of the newly-renovated facility.


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GAMMA KNIFE ICON Revolutionary Care for the Brain “With the Gamma Knife Icon, it’s like using the finest, thinnest paint brush imaginable to eliminate tumors and spare healthy brain tissue. This translates to a better quality of life and new hope for patients.” – CHARLES WOOD, MD, MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF RADIATION ONCOLOGY It was an amazing sight. In 2016, a six-foot-thick concrete block weighing about 63,000 pounds was removed from the roof in preparation for the delivery of the Leksell Gamma Knife® Icon™. With ultrahigh precision, this new technology can treat virtually any cancerous or non-cancerous brain tumor, as well as some central nervous system disorders such as trigeminal neuralgia. The Cancer Center is one of only a handful of facilities in the U.S., and the first in the Gulf South, to offer this noninvasive radiosurgery treatment device, which requires no head frame, surgery or recovery period.

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THE TASTE Phenomenal Community Members Are Recipe for Success Have fun. Save lives. These words perfectly describe The Taste, one of the largest and most anticipated fundraising events of the year led by amazing community volunteers. The Celebrity Chef Cook-off was the highlight of The Taste 2015 and was hosted by Food Network Star finalist Jay Ducote of the Bite and Booze radio show. Returning champion Chef Cody Carroll and his competition teammate, Louisiana State Police Colonel Mike Edmonson, won the competition with their version of a Louisiana classic, crawfish etouffee. Avery Kyle, a star of the MasterChef Junior TV show, participated in the cooking competition and social media aspects of the event. More than 800 people attended The Taste, with $173,000 raised to assist local cancer patients—a record-breaking amount.


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MERRILL LYNCH Taking a Swing at Cancer The Cancer Center’s annual Merrill Lynch Golf Tournament offers some of the best golfing action in the region. This year’s tournament, held at The Bluffs Country Club and Resort in St. Francisville, raised nearly $178,000, benefiting cancer care for patients in the Capital Area. Thanks to the many sponsors, players and supporters who make this event successful each year.


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“I received the same answer from other healthcare facilities all over the country: my tumor was inoperable,” said Elizabeth. “But Dr. Lyons understood my disease in a way others didn’t; he possessed expertise that others didn’t. He saved my life, so now as a social worker I can help other people fighting cancer.” ELIZABETH FRANKLIN | STOMACH CANCER SURVIVOR


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A TEAM EFFORT Experts Collaborate to Bolster Care At the Cancer Center, close collaboration among the medical staff promotes the valuable and dynamic exchange of ideas, experiences and knowledge. The 3,500 new cancer patients we care for each year receive the benefit of more than 100 oncology specialists working together to ensure gold-standard care. This cooperation occurs in many ways, including through seven different disease-specific multidisciplinary care teams focusing on some of the most prevalent and dangerous cancers. Additionally, at weekly tumor conferences, physicians discuss individual cases, ensuring the most accurate diagnoses and effective treatments. Joining physicians in this important and ongoing dialogue are other key members of the patient care team, such as navigators, nurses, nutritionists, clinical researchers and social workers.


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“I want to continue doing what I do best: making people laugh. I also want to travel, dance and fish. I’ve got so much life left to live, and with the help of God, Dr. Cataldo and immunotherapy, I’m going to do just that.” WANDA POCHE | LUNG CANCER SURVIVOR

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VOLUNTEERS Helping Hands and Hearts Volunteers offer something extra-special to patients. Their gentle spirits, kind words and cheerful smiles offer a different kind of healing that only these special people can provide. Patients tell us they always enjoy their interactions with volunteers and look forward to spending time with them. Many patients look for these familiar friends when visiting for treatment. We have had many patients say the moments they share with volunteers are some of the most impactful, inspirational and comforting to them. Our volunteers are absolutely devoted, and their hours speak for themselves. In 2015, nearly 50 volunteers contributed 5,136 hours of service to cancer patients.


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THRIVE SURVIVORSHIP PROGRAM A Mind-Body Medicine Approach to Cancer Care The mind-body medicine approach aims to treat the physical, emotional, social and spiritual aspects of survivorship, combining evidencebased complementary therapies with traditional cancer care. The THRIVE survivorship program, based on mind-body medicine, offers 14 free, unique programs for survivors and caregivers to enhance life during and after treatment. Patients and family members partake in workshops, support groups, yoga, mindful meditation, art therapy, pet therapy and much more. During the first-ever spring retreat, cancer survivors recharged and reconnected. It was a healing opportunity, allowing survivors to immerse themselves in a positive environment as a means to nurturing the whole person: body, mind and spirit.


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“I’m in remission, but my aggressive cancer could return. I’ve had to become more comfortable with uncertainty, and that’s not always easy,” said Clyde. “But when we participate in massage, meditation or art programs, there is a real positive change that happens within our minds and bodies. It’s helping us learn to better manage the struggles and embrace the triumphs.” CLYDE SANDIFER | ACUTE MYELOID LEUKEMIA SURVIVOR & HIS WIFE, BIRDIE

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FOSTERING HOPE Fur-filled unconditional love is now prescribed at the Cancer Center through the Fostering Hope program. In partnership with the Companion Animal Alliance of Baton Rouge and the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, Fostering Hope is the only such known program in the country pairing cancer survivors and homeless pets to complement one another’s lives. The first coupling matched cancer survivor Barbara Keller and the aptly named miniature schnauzer, “Hope.” Research shows that the human-animal bond is real and benefits are far-reaching, especially for people who have been through a traumatic experience such as cancer.


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KKDL KKdL Passes a Good Time for a Good Cause “Everyone in Southeast Louisiana loves a good time, and the KKdL ball is one of the best around. I’m so proud of the krewe’s long-standing contributions to the fight against cancer, and I invite everyone in the community to join us for this party with such an important a purpose.” – TRENT BONDY, KKDL BOARD PRESIDENT There’s only one Karnival Krewe de Louisiane (KKdL). What makes this krewe so special? KKdL was formed for the sole purpose of raising funds for the Cancer Center. In 2016, KKdL raised a record-breaking $210,000. The group is looking forward to an epic 30th anniversary of the organization in 2017 and endeavors to raise even more funds that provide key support services for patients.


Photos Courtesy of Eye Wander Photography

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RECOGNIZING REMARKABLE COMMITMENT INAUGURAL SISTER LINDA CONSTANTIN COURAGE AND COMPASSION AWARD: Kristina Little, a licensed clinical social worker and patient navigator, was named the inaugural Sister Linda Constantin Courage and Compassion Award winner in December 2015. Little was recognized for the dedication she exhibits as she navigates head and neck cancer patients who often have complex diseases. The purpose of the award, named in honor of Sr. Linda Constantin, a longtime nurse and member of the senior administrative team at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, is to recognize a Cancer Center team member who exemplifies her life of service to others. Sr. Linda passed away in 2005 after a courageous battle with colon cancer.


SPECIAL ANNUAL AWARDS: Each year, three very special awards are given to community leaders who have made a significant difference in the fight against cancer. Each award was created to honor the legacy of the individual for whom it is named. KIM AND TREY BOWMAN D. Jensen Holliday Memorial Community Service Award

THOMAS J. MORAN (Posthumously Awarded) Louis D. Curet Memorial Volunteer Fundraising Award

JAMES R. MCILWAIN Hillar C. Moore, Jr., Memorial Outstanding Leadership Award

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EVERYONE CAN HELP FIGHT CANCER Geaux Give Is the Easy, Powerful Way to Make an Impact Geaux Give is a simple, convenient way for everyone in the community to support local cancer patients in his or her unique way. From a neighborhood lemonade stand to a corporate golf tournament, each event—large or small—makes a big difference. The community showed an outpouring of support for Geaux Pink, one of the Cancer Center’s largest third-party programs, this year. Local restaurants, schools and businesses hosted events throughout Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October to raise awareness and funds that will benefit cancer patients. Other examples of Geaux Give throughout the last year include Yoga on the Lawn, hosted by Yogalates II South and Mockler Beverage Company, and the Suits and Sneakers ESPY Awards Viewing Party, hosted by L’Auberge Casino & Hotel Baton Rouge. In all, a total of $286,671 was raised through impassioned, grassroots efforts.


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THE BELL Sweet Sound of Courage “Everyone faces challenges in their lives, some big and some small, and it’s what you make of those challenges that makes you who you are.” – TANIE BUSH, BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR (pictured on page 61) Can you hear it? It’s a beautiful sound. Upon finishing treatment, patients ring a special bell to signify completion of this part of their journey. The bell ringing also serves as encouragement for those still undergoing treatment that their day will come, too. It is a joyful time for patients, staff and volunteers each time the bell is rung.


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A DEDICATION TO THOSE IMPACTED BY THE GREAT FLOOD OF 2016 As the waters rose during the historic flood of August 2016, so did the resolve of South Louisiana residents to recover and respond to neighbors’ needs. The Cancer Center dedicates this report to everyone impacted in our community, especially our patients and team members who compassionately helped one another during this unprecedented time. Many people suffering themselves were the first to offer help to others. Your determination to persevere is inspirational to us all. Please know you remain in our thoughts and prayers, and our support remains steadfast as you continue to rebuild.

Mary Bird Perkins and Our Lady of the Lake have been accredited together since 1992 by The American College of Surgeons, the gold standard for community-based cancer care.

Outstanding Achievement Award


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