January 23, 2018
As Taylor Porter Partner Brett Furr concluded in 2017 his two-year term as Board Chair at Mary Bird Perkins, the Cancer Center’s CEO and President Todd Stevens said Furr’s leadership and contributions of time and talent have helped the organization experience some of its most successful years to date.
“The organization successfully brought the groundbreaking Gamma Knife Icon technology to the Gulf South; launched a new corporate screening program funded through philanthropy; and formed a new partnership between Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center and Woman’s Hospital for breast and GYN cancer. Throughout Brett’s tenure as board chair, he was fully dedicated to advancing Mary Bird’s mission,” Stevens said.
Furr will remain on the board for two years as Immediate Past Chair. He was elected Board Chair in 2015, and has served on the board since 2007.
Stevens added: “Brett was instrumental in many of Mary Bird’s successes. He wanted to be involved and aware of everything to ensure he could provide the strongest possible leadership and help maintain the Cancer Center’s position as Louisiana’s premier cancer care organization. And his enthusiasm was infectious, inspiring his fellow board members as well as the Mary Bird team.”
Seeing more than 3,500 patients per year, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is a regional cancer care organization that has been fighting cancer for more than 45 years. With centers in Baton Rouge, Covington, Hammond, Houma and Gonzales, its service area encompasses 18 parishes across southeast Louisiana.
In 2015, Mary Bird underwent a $25 million renovation and expansion project that included upgrades for more and enhanced patient services, including new expanded patient drop-off and pick-up areas, high-speed elevators, radiation equipment, refurbished radiation oncology and infusions areas, and an imaging center. Following those renovations, other key projects around the Center included renovated conference room space and clinical research office, relocating the palliative and supportive care clinic, and the creation of a new specialty pharmacy. The Center also houses two medical oncology practices.
“It was an honor to serve as Chair of Mary Bird Perkins, and work with Todd, his executive staff, and some very hard-working board members to maintain the longstanding tradition of the Cancer Center in continuing to provide a state-of-the-art facility that offers innovative treatments and cancer services to improve survivorship and lessen the burden of cancer for patients and their families,” Furr said.
Bill O’Quin, President, Financial Services Online, has succeeded Furr as Board Chair of Mary Bird Perkins. He is joined by 2018 board officers: Art Favre, Vice Chair; David Winkler, Secretary/Treasurer; and Furr, Immediate Past Chairman.
“During Brett’s tenure as Chair, Mary Bird Perkins was presented with some difficult challenges and great opportunities,” O’Quin said. “Brett brought a unique set of skills - legal, negotiation and common sense - that helped our executives make and execute the correct courses of action. We appreciate Brett’s time, efforts and support of the mission of Mary Bird Perkins. He was the ‘right-hand man’ for our CEO, and will be missed by Todd, our board and management team. My tour of duty will be much easier because of the Brett’s accomplishments, but I will still have some very, very big shoes to fill.”
At Taylor Porter, Furr engages primarily in a real estate, commercial litigation and banking practice. He is a frequent lecturer on bankruptcy, bank liability, and related matters, and he has been selected for inclusion in Chambers USA (Bankruptcy/Restructuring), Louisiana Super Lawyers (Banking) and Best Lawyers (Real Estate).
In the Baton Rouge community, Furr was selected as a recipient of the LSU College of Human Sciences and Education Distinguished Service on Behalf of the College Award. He is a past president of the University Laboratory School Foundation and formerly co-chaired a capital campaign which raised over $6.5 million. He is an Elder and Trustee of First Presbyterian Church, where he chairs the Budget and Personnel Committees. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Baton Rouge Water Company. He served two terms on the Board of Governors of the City Club of Baton Rouge, serving on the Executive Committee and as Secretary.
Taylor Porter’s support of Mary Bird Perkins - Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center dates back more than 25 years, as the Firm has annually participated in “Geaux Pink” fundraising activities; in the Susan G. Komen Walk; and in the Merrill Lynch Open. In 2017, Taylor Porter received a “Community Partner” Award from Mary Bird for its “Geaux Pink” fundraising efforts. In 2016, Taylor Porter committed to a multi-year pledge to further support the "Take the Fight Forward" campaign, a five-year strategic initiative centered around a comprehensive approach to cancer care and strengthening the Center's position as a destination cancer center in the Gulf South.
From left: Dr. Jonas Fontenot, Mary Bird Perkins COO and physics chief; Robb Walton, sr. health policy advisor; Mary Bird Immediate Past Chair Brett Furr; and Todd Stevens, Mary Bird CEO. Pictured right, Brett Furr visits with current and former board members of Mary Bird Perkins.