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Leadership Tangipahoa

Press Releases

Date Press Release

Connie Henry & Nick Clesi's Letter to the Editor on the Health Systems Session

For Immediate Release:                                                       2/22/18
Contact:                                                                                 Casie N. Qualls

Connie Henry & Nick Clesi's Letter to the Editor on the Health Systems Session

Top Row (left to right)
Nick Clesi, Jamie Seal, Ralph Wood, Brian Abels, Sharmaine Robertson, Nick Gagliano, Glenda Dobson, Melissa Alymond, Liz Reno, Amy Brumfield

Bottom Row (left to right)
Kathleen Elstrott, Bridget Laborde, Christi Marceaux, Ashleigh Duroncelet, Shy Henry, Connie Henry, Ann Stevens, Erin Fleming, Taylor Addison


Dear Editor,

Our Parish President, Robby Miller, is known for saying, "We live in the best parish in the best state." After our very enlightening tour of the 3 unique hospitals and one assisted living facility in our parish it could also be stated "We have the best healthcare, in the best parish, in the best state."

Our day began with a visit to North Oaks Medical Center, a community driven Service District. The group was greeted by Public Relations Coordinator, Melanie Zaffuto. Ms. Zaffuto a 2009 Leadership Graduate introduced us to Stephanie Kropog, Physicians Services Coordinator and Recruiter.  Upon entering the Board Room, we had the pleasure of meeting Board of Commissioners Chairman, Mr. Ron Macaluso and Ms. Joycelyn Lee, also on the Commission.  We then were introduced to Ms. Michelle Sutton, President and CEO of North Oaks Medical Center. Ms. Sutton's pride in the hospital and her very competent staff is evident.  She has confidence in each person on staff and is very open to both praise and criticism.  The growth under her direction is phenomenal and she isn't letting anything stand in her way of becoming one of the best hospitals in the state of Louisiana. North Oaks is the second largest employer in Tangipahoa Parish employing 2600 competent, talented, and passionate professionals. The medical center recently completed a $250 million phased expansion, including a now operational Level II trauma center. While at the facility our class had the privilege of meeting Carolyn Himel, Director of Cath Labs who proudly showed us around the new Cardio Cath Lab scheduled to open March 1, 2018.  The lab is equipped with the newest and most innovative equipment allowing more procedures to be done on a day to day basis.  The visit at North Oaks was concluded with a continental breakfast and opportunity to visit with Ms. Zaffuto and learn more about the hospital.

Our second stop of the day was Cypress Pointe Surgical Hospital, the last privately-owned hospital in the state.  We were given a warm welcome by Ms. Glenda Dobson, CEO.  Ms. Dobson gave us a very detailed overview of the history of the surgical center, the numerous services provided and proudly spoke of their very competent and skilled staff of doctors, nurses, physician assistants, therapist, and many other employees. Cypress Pointe employs 169 full time and PRN employees. We were given the opportunity to take a tour of the entire facility by Ms. Julie Diodene, CCO. The surgical center is continuously adding new surgical services and we were very fortunate to see the inner workings of this great place. The visit at Cypress Pointe was concluded by a wonderful lunch.

Our third stop of the day was Oak Park Village, a beautiful assisted living and memory care facility located in Hammond, Louisiana.  We were welcomed by Ms. Lisa Wascom, Senior Lifestyle Counselor and Ms. Tonya Ramsey, Executive Director.  The facility offers beautiful apartments for seniors age 55 and up, ranging from studios to 1-bedroom suites. This community allows the residents a sense of independence while living in a secure environment providing 3 meals a day, laundry, utilities, and transportation.  The residents are offered daily activities under the Activities Director, Eileen Kleinpeter.  There are opportunities for bingo, jazz music, pampering from local salons, monthly birthday parties and many more activities.  With private dining residents can have family style dinners or have a meal in the centralized dining hall.  The living center is beautiful and a wonderful place for our seniors to live out their retirement years.

Our final stop of the day was Lallie Kemp Medical Center in Independence, Louisiana, the last State-run hospital. We were greeted by Chad Thompson, CFO of the hospital. Lallie Kemp has been providing quality care for the residents of our area and adjoining parishes for almost 80 years. The hospital employs 362 employees and offers a wide range of medical services. Mr. Thompson proudly noted Lallie Kemp now offers MRI services, mammography, CT scans and an on-site pharmacy. The pharmacy offers $8.00 prescription services to anyone who is prescribed medications by one of the many physicians at Lallie Kemp. What a wonderful opportunity for those struggling with the high cost of prescription medications.  Mr. Thompson gave us a tour of the hospital and pointed out each of the newer services and areas of the facility.  We concluded our tour with light refreshments and a question and answer session with Mr. Thompson and his wonderful staff.

The final part of the day was a round table with just the Leadership Class. We are very fortunate to have Ms. Christi Marceaux of North Oaks Medical Center as part of our class. Christi was able to answer the many questions we all had regarding the medical profession. Her passion for her work is amazing. The healthcare system is fortunate to have someone with her compassion and drive.

After our tour it is very evident Tangipahoa Parish offers the best healthcare for the citizens of our parish and those around us.  The common denominator in each of these wonderful facilities is their outstanding leadership, the drive to constantly improve and the desire to offer the best possible healthcare available.

Thank you to Mr. Nick Gagliano for scheduling the visits, to our drivers for the safe transportation throughout the parish and to the hospitals for your warm hospitality.



Connie Henry & Nick Clesi
Leadership Tangipahoa Class of 2017-2018

Connie C. Henry
Administration Director
Tangipahoa Parish Landfill

Connie serves as Administration Director for the Tangipahoa Parish Landfill. She has been employed by Tangipahoa Parish Government for over 15 years. She is responsible for the scale house area, document management, scheduling, time keeping, invoicing, and making sure all the certified operators on site stay current with their continuing education classes. Connie serves on the Louisiana Board of Certification for Solid Waste Operators, Secretary for the Louisiana Solid Waste Association and Secretary for the Solid Waste Association of North America, Louisiana Chapter.

Nick J. Clesi
Architectural Designer
Holly & Smith Architects

Nick is an Architectural Designer at Holly and Smith Architects (H/S). He has been employed with H/S for almost 4 years where he has worked on many projects from pre-design through construction administration, including charrettes, construction documents, and renderings. He has also held a pivotal role in transitioning the firm from CAD to Revit. While Nick aspires to impact the community utilizing his architectural skills and knowledge, his current focus is becoming a licensed Architect.