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Open Letter to the Community

By Michele Kidd Sutton, FACHE

President and Chief Executive Officer

On April 18, North Oaks employees celebrated the 59th anniversary of the health system. We’ve come a long way since a group of local business people set forth a plan to meet the health care and educational needs of the Florida Parishes community.

With more than 2,600 employees, North Oaks is one of the largest employers in Tangipahoa Parish, and is a major economic engine for our region with an annual payroll of almost $200 million.

Despite our growth, one constant has been our steadfast commitment to patients and their families. In order to offer the best health care services to our community, we must continue to attract the most qualified and competent doctors, nurses and staff.

As a result, I am pleased to announce an increase in North Oaks’ minimum wage from $9/hour to $12/hour. I am working closely with our Human Resources team to implement adjustments to 772 tenured staff members, which allows us to exceed the federal minimum wage by more than 60 percent.

The move is in keeping with the strategic decision made years ago to always be a market leader and outpace the federal minimum wage. The Board of Commissioners and North Oaks leadership want to ensure that our compensation practices reflect our appreciation for the hard work our team members across the system make every day.

In addition, we are implementing base rate adjustments for our nurses – the backbone of our health system. My goal is always to offer a competitive nursing compensation that shows our appreciation for the around-the-clock care each nurse provides.

We know that our dedicated employees are the reason North Oaks has become a regional referral center, gaining local, regional and national recognition for innovation, quality and customer experience.

We also believe these plans will enable us to meet the challenges set forth by our forward-thinking founders, continue the tradition of being a “Best Place to Work,” maintain our dedicated staff and recruit talent to support our devoted team.