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First Guaranty Bank Donates $100,000 to North Oaks Foundation

  • Category: In The News
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  • Written By: Nanette White

HAMMOND, La. -- With gratitude, North Oaks Health System President/Chief Executive Officer Michele Kidd Sutton and North Oaks Foundation Director Staci Arceneaux announce that the foundation has received its largest single gift to date – $100,000 from First Guaranty Bank.

The donation is earmarked for the foundation’s equipment and technology fund in support of North Oaks Medical Center’s Interventional Radiology Program.

The hospital, which is a certified Primary Stroke Center through The Joint Commission, is the only facility on the Northshore currently offering a lifesaving procedure called intracranial mechanical thrombectomy.

This minimally invasive procedure is now part of the hospital’s arsenal of effective treatment options for ischemic strokes, the most common type. When an ischemic stroke occurs, the blood supply to the brain is blocked by a blood clot or plaque. Without a healthy blood supply, the brain doesn’t receive the oxygen and nutrients needed to work properly, and brain tissue begins to die.

“First Guaranty’s transformational gift will help North Oaks purchase a $1.8 million neurointerventional biplane unit to be housed in our newly-constructed interventional radiology suite. The biplane unit is state-of-the-art, and will increase visibility of the brain and arteries for the medical team, decrease procedure time and increase safety,” Sutton explained. “We thank the First Guaranty Bank board of directors for its continued tradition of supporting North Oaks and our community. We are truly grateful to them for leading the donation drive with their generous gift that will directly affect the lives of the people in the Florida Parishes.”

President of First Guaranty Bank Alton Lewis made the gift announcement during the Greater Chamber of Commerce’s After Hours event Feb. 22 at the bank.

“Most of us have a family member or friend who has been affected by a stroke, and its effects can be devastating. I challenge my fellow leaders in the business community to join First Guaranty Bank in supporting this important fundraising effort,” Lewis noted.

Lewis also serves as the chairman of the North Oaks Foundation, which has committed to raising $500,000 toward the purchase of the bi-plane unit. Other members board include vice chairman and retired surgeon James Nelson, M.D.; Stan Dameron, First American Bank and Trust president and chief executive officer, who also serves as the Foundation’s treasurer; A.J. Bodker, retired educator and Ponchatoula High School principal; Cally Berner, director of Event and Conference Services at Southeastern Louisiana University; Dr. John Crain, Southeastern Louisiana University president; Ms. Sandy Miller, community member; and Tom Toler, local businessman and member of the Tangipahoa Parish School Board.

“The foundation has been working diligently to reach our $500,000 goal and this extremely generous gift brings us a giant step closer,” shares Staci Arceneaux, the foundation’s director. “We are so appreciative of First Guaranty Bank’s commitment to this effort and hope that it will inspire others in the community to do the same.”

Dr. Zach Liner performs intracranial mechanical thrombectomy at North Oaks. Using image-guided catheters and a device called a stent retriever, he removes blood clots in large vessels in the brain by threading a catheter through an artery in the groin up to the blockage in the brain. He then deploys the stent retriever to grab and remove the clot, which immediately restores blood flow and can vastly improve chances of a full recovery.

“Historically, a clot-busting drug called tPA has been used to treat ischemic strokes, but it must be administered within three to four hours of onset of symptoms in order to be effective,” Dr. Liner explains. “This procedure is a game changer for our community because it widens the treatment window up to 24 hours after the initial appearance of stroke symptoms.”

The North Oaks Foundation supports the health system through:
  • Patient Assistance Programs
  • Acquisition of major equipment and technology
  • Employee Assistance Programs
  • Physician recruitment efforts

For more information or to donate, contact the North Oaks Foundation at (985) 230-6674.