Today, James E. Cathey, Jr. announced that he would be transitioning to
a new role with North Oaks effective December 31, 2016, and the North
Oaks Board of Commissioners named Michele Kidd Sutton, FACHE, as the successor.
James E. Cathey, Jr. has successfully led North Oaks Health System through
a period of unprecedented growth and industry change for 30 years. Cathey
shared, “It has been my honor and privilege to work with the Board,
Physicians, Leadership, Staff and Volunteers of this great institution
to make a difference in the lives of this community.”
During his tenure, North Oaks has grown from one small hospital known
as Seventh Ward General to the largest community based health system on
the Northshore. North Oaks Health System includes: North Oaks Medical
Center which is a 330-bed acute care hospital; the 27-bed North Oaks Rehabilitation
Hospital; North Oaks Physician Group; North Oaks-Livingston Parish Medical
Complex; two Outpatient Diagnostic Centers; and North Oaks School of Radiologic
Technology and Dietetic Internship Program. Since 1986, Cathey has led
the organization through unprecedented growth—from 400 employees
to close to 2,700 and developed the medical staff from 60 to more than
240 physicians in 38 different specialties.
Cathey has been a member of the Louisiana Hospital Association (LHA) for
30 years and is currently their Treasurer and member of the Executive
Committee. In 2004, he was recognized by the Louisiana Hospital Association’s
Society for Hospital Public Relations and Marketing with the Golden Pelican
President’s Award for CEO of the Year and has served as the Southeast
District President of LHA. He has been a member of Rotary for over 40
years between several chapters, most recently in Hammond. Also, he is
an active member of the Northshore Healthcare Alliance and a past president.
In addition, Cathey is on the Northshore Business Council and a member
of the Greater Hammond Chamber of Commerce where he has fulfilled his
passion for sports by serving on the Top 28 committee since its inception.
“Jimmy has had a very distinguished and enduring career with North
Oaks. Under his tutelage the organization has expanded to meet the growing
health care needs of our community. I know I speak for the entire Board,
when I emphatically state he has done an excellent job in leading with
passion, vision and dedication. He is leaving the Health System well-positioned
to navigate the challenges that we face with health care in our community.
We thank him and wish him all the best,” stated North Oaks Board
of Commissioners Chairman Blake Daniels.
Daniels continued, “It's my privilege to announce on behalf of
the Board of Commissioners, its selection of Michele Kidd Sutton, FACHE,
to succeed Jimmy as President and CEO of North Oaks Health System. She
will step into her new role January 1, 2017. Sutton will spend the next
several months working with us and her leadership team to develop and
execute a smooth transition.”
“Sutton’s passion, health care acumen and vision for North
Oaks and this community make her the right choice,” affirmed Ann
Carruth, Vice-Chairman North Oaks Board of Commissioners.
The 28-year veteran of North Oaks has worked in or overseen nearly every
aspect of the more than quarter of a billion dollar organization and assisted
in its many successes. Since 2006, Sutton has served as North Oaks Health
System’s Executive Vice-President/Chief Operating Officer. In 2012,
she added Administrator of North Oaks Medical Center and Chairman of North
Oaks Physician Group to her existing job duties. She also led over $250
million dollars of community reinvestment through facility expansions,
new construction and services to meet the growing Florida Parishes’
health care needs.
Furthermore, Sutton is credited with establishing the robust North Oaks
Physician Group which employs close to 60% of the medical staff. When
Sutton took over the helm of physician employment, there were only two
clinics. Today, North Oaks has 34 clinics in two parishes staffed with
both physicians and midlevel providers. She and her team also led the
implementation of North Oaks’ first system-wide electronic health record.
Sutton is board certified as a health care executive by the American College
of Healthcare Executives. She earned both her Master of Business Administration
and Bachelor of Arts Degrees from Southeastern Louisiana University.
She is active in several professional organizations, including the American
College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) where she is currently fulfilling
a three-year term as Regent for the State of Louisiana. She also served
as President and Vice President of the Southeast Louisiana Chapter of
ACHE. She has been a member of Louisiana Hospital Association for 28 years
and currently serves as a member of the Legislative, Regulatory, and Policy
Committee. She also served on the State-wide Perinatal Commission to revise
licensing standards for the Department of Health and Hospitals. She has
been a member of Healthcare Roundtable for Chief Operating Officers since 2006.
Her love and devotion to this community is further evidenced by her service
to it. She has been a member of the Hammond Rotary Club for more than
a decade and served as its President, President Elect and several terms
as Secretary. In 1991, Sutton was recognized as Rotarian of the Year and
became a Paul Harris fellow in 2007. Sutton also held many offices over
3 decades with the Greater Hammond Chamber of Commerce to include: President,
President Elect, Treasurer, Secretary, Board of Director and numerous
committee chairmanships and committee memberships. She is a lifetime member
of the Southeastern Louisiana University Alumni Association, past board
member and a Southeastern University Felion where she currently serves
as chairman of Champagne Bingo. Over the years, she has also worked on
numerous committees throughout the community with United Way, Special
Olympics, Red Cross, Richard Murphy Hospice Foundation, Downtown Development
District, Swamp Romp, Hammond Balloon Festival and Airshow, Hammond Jaycees,
Southeastern President’s Ladies, Southeastern Alumni Association
and Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority and Corporation Board.
Sutton was recognized as one of the Most Influential Women of Tangipahoa
Parish by the Daily Star in 2014; one of the Women of the Year by New
Orleans CityBusiness in 2007, Marketer of the Year by the Louisiana Society
for Hospital Public Relations and Marketing in 2004 and received the Greater
Hammond Chamber of Commerce Annie Award for Outstanding Woman in Business for 1999.