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Foundation Formed to Support North Oaks Health System's Mission of Improving Lives Board of Directors Announced

  • Category: Media Release
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Melanie Zaffuto

The North Oaks Board of Commissioners announces the formation of the North Oaks Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to improving health in Tangipahoa and Livingston parishes through philanthropic and advocacy efforts supporting the health system.

A volunteer Board of Directors will govern the non-profit organization and includes: Chairman Guy Recotta Jr., Clerk of Court for the City Court of Hammond; Vice Chairman Alton Lewis, President of First Guaranty Bank; Treasurer Stan Dameron of American Bank and Trust; A.J. Bodker, retired educator, Tangipahoa Parish School System; Cally Berner, Director of Event and Conference Services for Southeastern Louisiana University; John Crain, PhD, President of Southeastern Louisiana University; James Nelson, MD, retired surgeon; Judy Nesser, owner, K-Team Printing and Imaging; and Ann Smith, retired educator, Tangipahoa Parish School System.

“In partnership with contributors, the North Oaks Foundation will provide funding for programs and equipment purchases which may not otherwise be possible for the health system to fund through its operations,” explains Recotta. “Areas of focus to start will include patient and employee assistance programs, acquisition of major equipment and technology, physician recruitment and the establishment of a mobile clinic to bring medical care to patients with transportation challenges. As a patient and a member of the health system’s Board of Commissioners for 12 years—six of which were spent as chairman—I have seen firsthand how hard the staff and physicians work to help keep our community healthy. I am honored to help further their efforts through the foundation.”

Speaking on behalf of the North Oaks Health System Board of Commissioners, Chairman Blake Daniels affirms, “We are delighted to have the support of this stellar group of professionals on our inaugural foundation board. They represent many of our community’s leading organizations and partners. Likewise, Attorney Skip Philips Jr. and CPAs Ed Burns and Dennis James are to be commended for helping to lay the legal and financial groundwork for the foundation.”

Smith adds, “I am honored to be a member of this inaugural board and our efforts to reach out and help others where there is great need. My focus will be concentrated on creating a strong connection between the health system and the northern reaches of Tangipahoa Parish. Because of past experiences with North Oaks, I have confidence in its mission to improve lives, every time and with every touch.”

The foundation announcement culminates a year of significant accomplishments for North Oaks Health System. Incoming President/Chief Executive Officer Michele K. Sutton, FACHE, explains, “Our newly-designated Level II Trauma Center is saving lives by providing timely, expert care to victims of trauma. Mothers are having healthier babies because of programs initiated by our Labor and Delivery Unit, which received the national Blue Distinction® Center+ designation for Maternity Care. And, for the second year running, our clinics and diagnostics services rank in the top 10 percent in the nation for outstanding patient experience, earning these teams national acclaim as Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence Award® recipients.”

Sutton continues, “We are truly appreciative to have the support of the North Oaks Foundation Board of Directors and those who have helped us establish it. With the help of our Foundation and the generosity of our community, we look to build on these successes to improve the health of our region.”

The Foundation already has benefitted those in need. The organization collected an astounding $45,000 from North Oaks physicians, employees and vendors to provide assistance to nearly 300 North Oaks team members who lost homes, cars and other belongings during the devastating floods in August 2016.

Staci Arceneaux serves as Director of Volunteer Services and the Foundation. She joined North Oaks in June 2015 after 11 years with Children’s Hospital in New Orleans as the Assistant Director of Development. A native New Orleanian, she received a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the University of New Orleans.

For more information or to donate, contact the North Oaks Foundation at (985) 230-6674. You also may visit www.northoaks.org/foundation.

A volunteer Board of Directors will govern the non-profit organization and includes (all pictured above from left): Chairman Guy Recotta Jr., Clerk of Court for the City Court of Hammond; Vice Chairman Alton Lewis, President of First Guaranty Bank; Treasurer Stan Dameron of American Bank and Trust; A.J. Bodker, retired educator, Tangipahoa Parish School System; Cally Berner, Director of Event and Conference Services for Southeastern Louisiana University; John Crain, PhD, President of Southeastern Louisiana University; James Nelson, MD, retired surgeon; Judy Nesser, owner, K-Team Printing and Imaging; and Ann Smith, retired educator, Tangipahoa Parish School System.