North Oaks Health System considers people its most valuable asset and is especially proud of its loyal, cooperative, productive long-term employees. To thank these long-term employees for their years of service, North Oaks Health System presents awards for five-year increments of service. The acknowledged years for each employee are based upon date of hire through December 31st of the celebrated years, ordinarily celebrated the following year. Staff must still be employed at time of celebration to receive awards.
Vice President/Human Resources
Jeff Jarreau began his career as a Staff RN/Charge Nurse with North Oaks in 1991, the same year he received his bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Southeastern Louisiana University. In 1995, Jeff was promoted to Telemetry Unit Coordinator and served in that capacity until 2003 when he was named Education Director. He accepted his current position in 2006. He was honored with the Nurse Excellence award in 1992 and 1996. He was named Leader of the Year in 2007. Jeff has earned his certification as a Professional in Human Resources, and is a member of the Greater New Orleans Society of Healthcare Human Resources, the American Society of Healthcare Human Resources Association and Society for Human Resources Management.
Vice President/Rehabilitation Services
Lisa Smith joined the North Oaks team in 1988 as Director of Physical Therapy. In 1998, she was named “Director of the Year” and has been a member of three CQI Teams of the Year. After receiving her bachelor of arts degree from the University of Mississippi at Oxford (Ole Miss), she attended law school there before deciding to become a Physical Therapist. She earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s School of Allied Health Professions and has earned additional degrees through the years, including: a master’s in health science from Louisiana State University Medical Center’s School of Allied Health Professions, and a doctorate from Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, both in New Orleans. She belongs to the American College of Healthcare Executives, the American Physical Therapy Association and the Louisiana Physical Therapy Association.
Assistant Vice President/Clinics
Sarah Mitchell joined the North Oaks team as a Rehabilitation Technician in 1996. In 1998, she became a Physical Therapist and was honored as the North Oaks Employee of the Year for 2002. In 2004, she was promoted to Physical Therapy Supervisor. She served in that position until 2006, when she was again promoted to Outpatient Rehabilitation Services Clinic Coordinator. In 2008, she was promoted to Assistant Vice President/Clinics. A recipient of the North Oaks Volunteer Scholarship in 2006, Sarah holds a master’s degree in Physical Therapy from Louisiana State Medical Center School of Allied Health in New Orleans and a master’s degree in mass communications from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. She also earned a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from Mississippi State University in Starkville. In addition, Sarah was recently named Hammond Junior Auxiliary’s Woman of the Year for her extensive volunteer service.
Vice President/Surgical Services
Terri Lewis’ North Oak experience spans more than 32 years, with more than half of her career spent in a Surgical Services leadership role. Her career began as a Nursing Assistant in 1977 when the Emergency Department had four beds. Through the years, she has worked as a Staff RN on the Surgery Unit, Surgery Unit Interim Head Nurse, Surgery Unit/Same Day Surgery Director and Surgical Services Director. In 1995, her leadership skills earned her recognition as Director of the Year. Terri is pursuing a master’s degree in health administration through St. Francis Cabrini’s Baton Rouge campus and earned a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Southeastern Louisiana University.
Leader of the Year 2011
Physician Services Director
Physician Services Director Stephanie Kropog joined the North Oaks team in July 1997 as a Market Strategist in the Business Development Department. She accepted the position of Physician Services Coordinator in June 2005 and was promoted to Director in January 2010. In November 2009, she was named Employee of the Month. A graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting, Stephanie has more than 14 years of health care recruitment and marketing experience. A Walker native, Stephanie lives in Hungarian Settlement with her husband Kenny and 17-year- old son, Lane. She is a member of St. Margaret Catholic Church in Albany, a board member of Kiwanis Club of Hammond and a Southeastern Louisiana University Alumni Association board member. She was named Kiwanian of the Year in 2010.
“While I don’t provide direct patient care, I feel like the next best thing is having a key role in bringing much needed physicians – both primary care and specialists – to our community.” -Stephanie
Volunteer of the Year 2011
Elaine Charbonnet of Ponchatoula began her association with North Oaks in 1986 in the hospital’s Welcome program, designed to greet each patient and provide him or her with a menu and magazine. Twenty-five years later, she is still visiting patients each Thursday.
Elaine retired from Louisiana Power and Light with 38 years of employment. She is the youngest in a family of five brothers and five sisters. A member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Ponchatoula, she is an active volunteer there and a member of the Rosary Altar Society. She also enjoys walking and playing cards.
Volunteer Director Melissa Dufour praises Elaine for making “patients feel like they are the only ones in the hospital, never rushing to complete her tasks.” Nutritional Services Director Ann McDaniel-Hall adds, “She does an incredible job with menus, making patients smile and helping them get what they want.”
“I get more pleasure from volunteering than from anything else I have done.”