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Cathey Announces Retirement from North Oaks Health System

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

James E. Cathey, Jr. has announced that he will retire as CEO Emeritus of North Oaks Health System effective August 1, 2018.

James E. Cathey, Jr.

“On behalf of our Board of Commissioners and our physicians, employees and volunteers, I thank Jimmy for his more than three decades of service to North Oaks and our community,” shares North Oaks Health System’s President and Chief Executive Officer Michele Kidd Sutton, FACHE. “And I personally thank him for providing me with opportunities throughout my career that prepared me to take the helm of this organization that I love so dearly.”

Cathey successfully led North Oaks Health System through a period of unprecedented growth and industry change for 30 years.

Cathey observes, “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’s citizens.”

During his tenure, North Oaks transformed from a small hospital, known as Seventh Ward General Hospital, to become the largest community-based health system on the Northshore. North Oaks Health System now 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; North Oaks Diagnostic Center; North Oaks Hospice; North Oaks School of Radiologic Technology; and North Oaks Dietetic Internship Program. Since 1986, Cathey has led the organization —from 400 employees to close to 2,700 and developed the medical staff from sixty to more than 240 physicians in 38 different specialties.

Cathey has been a member of the Louisiana Hospital Association (LHA) for 30 years, holding several leadership positions, including serving as Chairman this year. 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. He has been a member of the Rotary Club for more than 40 years between several chapters, most recently in Hammond. As a former high school basketball referee, he fulfilled his passion for sports by serving on the Greater Hammond Chamber of Commerce’s steering committee responsible for successfully bringing many of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s annual basketball tournaments to Hammond.

An alumnus of Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Cathey earned both a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and work towards an MBA. Before his association with North Oaks, he served in administrative positions with several health care organizations throughout Louisiana and Mississippi.

“Jimmy’s passion, vision and dedication to North Oaks cannot be disputed,” states North Oaks Board of Commissioner Chairman Ron Macaluso. “I know I speak for the entire Board in expressing our gratitude for his leadership at North Oaks, and for his impact on our community. We thank him and wish him all the best.”