Press Release

For Immediate Release
Jul 21, 2014
Contact : Donna Sellmann, Public Relations Manager  
(732) 840-3279

Center for Bariatrics at Southern Ocean Medical Center Once Again Named “Center of Excellence” from the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery 


Manahawkin, NJ - The Center for Bariatrics at Southern Ocean Medical Center has once again earned the prestigious "Center of Excellence" designation by the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).  The ASMBS Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence (BSCOE) 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 thousands of weight loss surgeries with excellent outcomes. It is the only Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence in Ocean county. To earn the BSCOE designation, the medical center provided information on all aspects of its bariatric surgery program and processes, including data on surgical outcomes. The surgeons and facilities demonstrated an unparalleled commitment and ability to consistently deliver safe, effective, evidence-based care.

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. The Center is led by medical director Karl Strom, M.D., who has extensive experience in performing bariatric surgical procedures. Surgeons Jonathan Reich, M.D., Silvia Fresco, M.D., and Joseph Barbalinardo, M.D., complete the panel of physicians who perform these life-altering procedures. Together, with a dedicated staff of nurses, dietitians, and administrators, the team works to provide patients with the best possible results.

“For people suffering from morbid obesity, bariatric surgery can be a powerful tool that allows people the ability to manage their condition,” says Dr. Strom. “Surgery, combined with lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, and a healthy food plan, lead patients to make a long-term change for better health.”

The Center for Bariatrics offers weight-loss surgical options including Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band (Lap-band), Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy, as well as Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass. Having the Center of Excellence designation currently enables reimbursement from many major health insurers. Requirements vary by insurers, so patients should consult with their provider when exploring weight loss surgery options.

Free educational programs to discuss the types and benefits of weight-loss surgery are held monthly in various community locations. Call 1-800-560-9990 for dates, times and locations, or to learn more about Southern Ocean’s Center for Bariatrics, call 609-978-3202.

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

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 or call 1-800-DOCTORS.