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Michael Watkins Promoted to Chief Operating Officer of North Oaks Health System

  • Category: In The News
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  • Written By: Melanie Zaffuto

Michael Watkins of Hammond has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer of North Oaks Health System.

Michael Watkins

“With more than three decades of management and leadership experience, Michael is well-equipped to oversee business operations of our health system,” asserts North Oaks President/Chief Executive Officer Michele Kidd Sutton, FACHE. “The breadth of his professional experience and the depth of institutional knowledge he has garnered in his 14 years with North Oaks make him an excellent choice. I have every confidence in his expertise.”

With Watkins’ oversight, North Oaks realized implementation of a $40 million electronic medical record system, as well as more than $150 million in facility expansions to enhance and broaden access to emergency, surgical and ambulatory services on the Northshore.

The former Senior Vice President of Operations and Chief Compliance Officer began his career with the health system in 2002 as a Senior Financial Analyst. He went on to earn promotions to Budget Program Manager, Senior Business Development Representative, Contracts Coordinator, Assistant Operations Officer and Vice President of Operations before becoming Senior Vice President of Operations in 2011 and Chief Compliance Officer in 2014. From 2003 to 2005, he also served as an adjunct instructor in finance for Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond.

Prior to his association with North Oaks, Watkins worked as a network administrator for Elmer Candy Corporation in Ponchatoula, Louisiana, for four years. His professional career also includes 3 years of experience working as an industrial engineer technician for Intel Corporation in Hillsboro, Oregon, and 13 years of experience as a supervisor in the wood products industry in Portland, Oregon.

Watkins earned a master’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in finance from Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond.

Professionally, he represents North Oaks on the National Information Technology Committee of Premier Purchasing Partners. He is certified in health care compliance through the Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA) and as a Six Sigma yellow belt through the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).

Regionally, Watkins is a member and former board member of the Ponchatoula Kiwanis Club and volunteers as an assistant coach for the junior varsity girls’ basketball team at St. Joseph Catholic School, also in Ponchatoula. He recently served on the Ready Cities Steering Committee for the City of Hammond and is a current member of the Greater Hammond Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.