Mary Bird Perkins plans to extend its reach under new CEO

Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in the coming year will work to expand its reach into areas that don’t currently have access to high-quality cancer care, says COO Jonas Fontenot, who will move up to CEO at the beginning of next year. 

Longtime CEO Todd Stevens will remain with the organization as “chief business officer” and continue to work closely with Fontenot as MBPCC seeks new opportunities and raises the profile of the brand, Fontenot says. 

“Despite the fact that the organization was formed in Baton Rouge, Mary Bird’s mission is not defined by geographic boundaries,” he says. 

Fontenot holds master’s and doctorate degrees in medical physics and joined MBPCC as part of the radiation oncology staff in 2008 after finishing his training at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He also earned an MBA from LSU in 2020. 

Fontenot says Stevens and former board chair Brett Furr approached him in 2016 about becoming Stevens’ successor. He became COO the following year and has been involved in developing the center’s strategic priorities ever since, culminating in today’s announcement that he will be the next CEO. 

MBPCC’s partnership with OneOncology, which officials say will serve to expand access to community-based cancer care, launched in January. Fontenot says the integration is about 90% or so complete, with only some back-office functions left to sort out.