North Oaks Medical Center’s Emergency Services Drive has been renamed in memory of Dr. Jay
Smith, who served as medical director of the hospital’s
emergency department for 22 years until his untimely passing in July 2016.
With the approval of the Tangipahoa Parish Council and the City of Hammond
earlier in the year, the street has been officially renamed “Jay
Smith, MD, Drive.”
The change was pursued to honor Smith’s legacy and countless contributions
to the health system’s past, present and future, according to North
Oaks President/Chief Executive Officer Michele Sutton.
“Jay served the health system and the community with great dedication
and provided exceptional care to thousands upon thousands of patients,”
Sutton continues. “His passion for making a difference in people’s
health was immeasurable.”
On Aug. 15, the North Oaks team joined with Smith’s family for a
ribbon cutting at which the current medical director,
Brandon Cambre, MD, spoke.
“Jay was an amazing doctor, friend and family man with a great capacity
to empathize with others. He designed a work environment that felt like
a family unit where we cared for patients and each other,” Cambre
praised. “His spirit lives on, and having this street named in his
honor serves to cement the legacy he created.”
Smith graduated from Louisiana State University, and performed an internship
at Charity Hospital, both in New Orleans. He joined North Oaks in April
1990 as an emergency room physician, and was promoted to medical director
of the Emergency Department in 1994.
Under his leadership, the Emergency Department grew from 18,000 annual
visits to more than 80,000 and from 12 to 45 beds. He was elected by the
medical staff to serve as chief of staff in 1998. As the Emergency Department
medical director, Dr. Smith also served for almost 20 years on the medical
staff executive committee. In 2014, his colleagues named him
North Oaks Physician of the Year.
He served as a standard-bearer for North Oaks by taking the Emergency Department
to a nearly paperless state prior to system-wide implementation of
electronic health records. Likewise, he championed the establishment of North Oaks Medical Center as a
Primary Stroke Center and
Level II Trauma Center. He also served as vice chairman of the
Louisiana Emergency Response Network’s Regional Commission for Region 9 helping to improve pre-hospital and emergency
Dedication of the hospital’s Emergency Department in his memory occurred
in June 2017 and preceded the dedication of Jay Smith, MD, Drive.
The Smith family leads the ribbon cutting for Jay Smith, MD, Drive on Aug.
15. From left are: Dr. Smith’s wife Melanie and their children,
Shelby and Alex. Melanie Smith continues to work at North Oaks Medical
Center as a Critical Care Registered Nurse.