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First Guaranty donates $100K to North Oaks Foundation

Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2019 | Views: 1899

First Guaranty donates $100K to North Oaks Foundation
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. You also may visit

Pictured from left: Cally Berner and Dr. James Nelson, North Oaks Foundation board members; North Oaks President/CEO Michele K. Sutton; North Oaks Intervention Radiology Supervisor Roger Rivet; Foundation Director Staci Arceneaux; Alton Lewis, foundation chairman and First Guaranty Bank president; foundation board member A.J. Bodker; and Kristin Williams and Desiree Simmons of First Guaranty Bank.

About North Oaks Health System
North Oaks Health System is one of Louisiana’s largest and most progressive community hospital organizations and is strategically based between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. For more than 50 years, we have made it our mission to optimize the health care experience through compassion and innovation. Facilities in Tangipahoa and Livingston Parishes include an acute care hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, two outpatient diagnostic & treatment centers, an outpatient surgery center, two outpatient rehabilitation clinics, a hospice agency and a growing physician group for primary and specialty care. Visit us at

About North Oaks Foundation: The North Oaks Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health in Tangipahoa and Livingston parishes through philanthropic and advocacy efforts supporting the health system. A volunteer board of directors governs the nonprofit organization, which provides funding for programs and equipment purchases which may not otherwise be possible for the health system to fund through its operations. Visit us at

About First Guaranty Bank
First Guaranty Bancshares, Inc. is the holding company for First Guaranty Bank, a Louisiana state-chartered bank. Founded in 1934, First Guaranty Bank offers a wide range of financial services and focuses on building client relationships and providing exceptional customer service. First Guaranty Bank currently operates twenty-seven branches throughout Louisiana and Texas. First Guaranty’s common stock trades on the NASDAQ under the symbol FGBI.
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