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Bodker Retires from North Oaks Health System's Board of Commissioners

  • Category: Media Release
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Melanie Zaffuto
Bodker Retires from North Oaks Health System's Board of Commissioners

A.J. Bodker of Ponchatoula has retired from the North Oaks Health System Board of Commissioners following 12 years of service from February 2004 to February 2016.

Bodker’s tenure on the Board of Commissioners and as Chairman of its Building Committee coincides with numerous milestones for the health system. Several additions were completed, including North Oaks Diagnostic Center in 2004; North Oaks Drive in 2006; as well as North Oaks-Livingston Parish Medical Complex and North Oaks Surgery Center, both in 2011. Also in 2006, a renovation and expansion of North Oaks Rehabilitation Hospital was completed. North Oaks Clinic Building and a five-story hospital tower at North Oaks Medical Center emphasizing private patient rooms and surgical services opened in 2012. Completion of an Emergency Department expansion followed in 2014. Services also received enhancements ranging from a second cardiac catheterization lab and robotic surgery to the North Oaks Physician Groupnetwork of nearly 100 employed primary and specialty care providers and over 30 clinics. Electronic health record technology was implemented system-wide. Stroke care certifications were achieved at both North Oaks Rehabilitation Hospital and North Oaks Medical Center. And, North Oaks implemented a Shock Trauma Program.

“It has been a pleasure working with Mr. Bodker. He is both a consummate professional and a gentleman at all times,” affirms North Oaks Health System Board of Commissioners Chairman Blake Daniels. “His experience and wisdom have helped guide North Oaks through some of the most tumultuous times ever in health care. I know that I am a better board member because of working with him for the last 6 years. He will be missed.”

James E. Cathey Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of North Oaks Health System, agrees. “It has been an absolute pleasure working with Mr. Bodker these past 12 years. He is one of the most dedicated and loyal individuals I know,” Cathey notes. “He has such a passion for his hometown of Ponchatoula, Tangipahoa Parish and its people. His leadership has been extremely helpful in moving North Oaks through challenging times for our industry, state and nation.”

The Tangipahoa Parish Council appointed Bodker to the North Oaks Health System Board of Commissioners for a 6-year term effective February 2004. He was reappointed for a second term in 2010. He served as Vice Chairman from 2010 to 2013, and from 2014 until his retirement, he served as Chairman.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve North Oaks Health System and the people of our region,” Bodker shares. “I am humbled, yet proud, to have played a part in North Oaks’ evolution into one of the finest health systems in Southeast Louisiana with a national reputation for excellence in patient experience, quality and efficiency.”

A retired educator, Bodker served as Ponchatoula High School’s principal for 35 years. Just 4 years into his tenure, the Tangipahoa Parish School System honored him as Principal of the Year in 1967. Prior to becoming principal, he taught and coached at Ponchatoula High School for 11 years. From 1988 to 2003, he supervised Southeastern Louisiana University student teachers.

Bodker also is a past member of the Board of Directors for the Tangipahoa Parish Library and Rosenblum Mental Health Center, past elder of First Presbyterian Church in Ponchatoula and past chairman of the Retired Teachers of Tangipahoa Parish. He has belonged to the Ponchatoula Rotary Club since 1964 and belonged to the Ponchatoula Jaycees for 10 years. Additionally, he is a member of the SLU Alumni Association, having served as President of the Board of Directors and on the Membership Committee.

The Tangipahoa Parish Council appointed Ponchatoula native, Robert E. Barsley, DDS, JD, as Bodker’s replacement in December 2015. He began a 6-year term effective February 1, 2016.

To learn more about North Oaks and the health system’s Board of Commissioners, click here.