• 32°

New owners to take over Caring River Cancer

NATCHEZ — Caring River Cancer Center in Natchez has been acquired by Baton Rouge-based Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center.

Mary Bird Perkins operates centers throughout Louisiana, including in Covington, Gonzales, Hammond and Houma. Described as a merger, the acquisition gives the comprehensive cancer care organization its first presence in Mississippi, Mary Bird Perkins officials said in a news release.

Caring River Cancer Center co-owner Dr. Fred Emrick said he believes the merger will be good for the area and will ensure that Natchez-area residents will continue to receive the highest level of care in the region.

“Mary Bird Perkins services are top notch,” Emrick said. “They have a very reputable name in cancer care.”

Emrick said the Caring River Cancer Center Board approached the Mary Bird Perkins approximately six months ago. Emrick said the merger should be complete March 14.

When the acquistion is complete in March, the Natchez facility will be called the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Natchez.

Emrick said Mary Bird Perkins brings a wealth of resources, knowledge and technology that will serve the community well.

“They will be positioned to bring new advances in cancer care to the area, including the opportunity to bring super-specialized radiation therapy and other medical specialties,” Emrick said.

Mary Bird Perkins provides services to more than 5,000 new patients each year, including radiation services, clinical research and early detection and outreach programs.

Mary Bird Perkins President and CEO Todd Stevens said the services offered in Natchez will help address the high cancer incidence and mortality rates in Natchez, which exceed the state and national average for breast, colorectal and prostate cancers.

“As a Louisiana-based organization, many of our communities face the same challenges, so we have extensive-based experience on how to deliver the highest quality community cancer care,” Stevens said.