Press Release

For Immediate Release
Jan 29, 2011
Contact : Joyce McFadden  

Center for Bariatrics at Southern Ocean Medical Center Earns “Center of Excellence” Designation from the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery


Manahawkin, NJ - Southern Ocean Medical Center is proud to announce that its Center for Bariatrics has earned the prestigious "Center of Excellence" designation by the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).  The ASMBS Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence program recognizes surgeons and facilities that demonstrate an unparalleled commitment and ability to consistently deliver safe, effective, evidence-based care.

Since its opening in 2009, Southern Ocean Medical Center's Center for Bariatrics has performed over 500 weight loss surgeries.  The program is led by medical director Karl Strom, M.D. who has performed over 1,500 bariatric surgical procedures and has been named a Top Doc by New Jersey Monthly magazine. 

Southern Ocean Medical Center's Center for Bariatrics is one of the most comprehensive in the region offering free informational sessions, pre-surgical education and evaluation, personal guidance through the surgical process, nutritional support, exercise components and support groups.

"Research has shown that severe obesity is often caused by a combination of genetics, environment and lifestyle, says Dr. Strom.  "It is characterized as a chronic disease meaning that its symptoms build slowly over an extended period of time."

According to Southern Ocean Medical Center's Center for Bariatrics surgeon Jonathan Reich M.D.  "People who suffer from severe obesity are at an increased risk for a number of health conditions that can seriously impact quality of life and significantly reduce life expectancy.  And when it comes to severe obesity, traditional weight loss methods such as diet, weight loss pills and exercise programs may not work for some people.  Bariatric surgery works and helps people achieve substantial, long-term weight loss," says Dr. Reich.

The Center offers weight-loss surgical options including Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band (Lap-band) as well as Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass.

"To earn the BSCOE designation, Southern Ocean Medical Center provided information on all aspects of our bariatric surgery program and processes, including data on our surgical outcomes," say Karl Strom, M.D.

The Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence designation currently enables reimbursement from many major health insurers including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

About Southern Ocean Medical Center
Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin is a member of the Meridian Health family, which includes Jersey Shore University Medical Center and K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital in Neptune, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, and most recently, Bayshore Community Hospital in Holmdel.

Southern Ocean Medical Center is home to a wide range of clinical services and programs specializing in cardiovascular and stroke care, maternity and women's health, orthopedics and joint health, bariatric surgery, and wellness and prevention programs.

Part of Meridian Cancer Care, Southern Ocean Medical Center provides comprehensive cancer services, including radiation oncology, surgery, and clinical trials, and is connected to specialized programs and services throughout Meridian Health.

For more information, visit

About the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS)
The ASMBS is the largest organization for bariatric surgeons in the world. It is a nonprofit organization that works to advance the art and science of bariatric surgery and is committed to educating medical professionals and the lay public about bariatric surgery as an option for the treatment of morbid obesity, as well as the associated risks and benefits. It encourages its members to investigate and discover new advances in bariatric surgery, while maintaining a steady exchange of experiences and ideas that may lead to improved surgical outcomes for morbidly obese patients. For more information on the ASMBS, visit