Press Release

For Immediate Release
Oct 21, 2010
Contact : Joyce McFadden  

Growing into a New Name: Introducing Southern Ocean Medical Center

Refreshed name and identity reflects recent and future growth and further integration with Meridian Health  

Manahawkin, NJ - 38 years ago, Southern Ocean County Hospital in Manahawkin was founded as a 60-bed hospital by dedicated individuals who saw a need for hospital care, closer to home. Today, it's hard for newcomers and Shore visitors to imagine those humble beginnings, as the hospital has expanded several times to accommodate new programs that now serve a growing population well beyond its local neighborhoods. To reflect that growth as well as its future direction, the hospital is taking another step forward this week in adopting a new name: Southern Ocean Medical Center.

"This is a subtle name change that makes a big statement on our direction, and reflects the success of the past 38 years in advancing our mission," says Joseph P. Coyle, president, Southern Ocean Medical Center. "Our new name positions the medical center for the future, and is a testament to the growth made possible by so many over the years and our continued commitment to the local community which we proudly serve."  

The refreshed identity comes at an important time for the 237-bed medical center, as it prepares to embark on a landmark Emergency Department and facility expansion in 2011, and further integration with the tertiary programs and service line networks through its merger with Neptune-based Meridian Health in January. The name change also further aligns Southern Ocean with the naming approach of its Meridian Health partners: Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Ocean Medical Center, and Riverview Medical Center.

"Since our merger, the Meridian and Southern Ocean teams have been working collaboratively to provide a seamless connection for all health needs for this community," says John K. Lloyd, FACHE, president of Meridian Health. "This refreshed identity communicates the excitement and confidence we have in the continued growth of programs and services provided by Southern Ocean Medical Center and Meridian Health."

In recent years, Southern Ocean Medical Center has expanded its cancer care programs, orthopedic and joint health services, and cardiovascular services, including becoming a state-designated primary stroke center. Through its alignment with Meridian Health, Southern Ocean now also provides a seamless connection to a wide range of programs throughout Meridian, including comprehensive home care and hospice, cardiac surgery, stroke rescue, trauma, and K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital, which is home to over 95 pediatric subspecialists, the most of any hospital in the region.  

"This is an exciting and promising time for Meridian, however the combination of the downward economy, reimbursement shortfalls, and pending health care reform efforts continues to create a very challenging environment for all New Jersey hospitals," says Lloyd. "During demanding times, progressive health care providers invest in their services to keep advancing their care to the community. By closely aligning with Meridian, Southern Ocean Medical Center is best positioned for future success."

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