Hackensack Meridian Southern Ocean Medical Center Now Licensed to Provide Emergency Heart Attack Care   

Hackensack Meridian Southern Ocean Medical Center Now Licensed to Provide Emergency Heart Attack Care

February 26, 2024

Exterior of SOMC 2023

The NJ DOH license enables the medical center to provide primary angioplasty for patients, also known as emergency angioplasty, 24 hours, seven days a week in its cardiac catheterization laboratory

The New Jersey Department of Health has licensed Hackensack Meridian Southern Ocean Medical Center to provide primary angioplasty for patients, also known as emergency angioplasty, 24 hours, seven days a week in its two cardiac catheterization laboratories. Primary angioplasty is a minimally invasive procedure used by cardiologists to open clogged coronary arteries with a balloon and stent, supporting the artery. It restores blood supply to the heart muscle in the event of heart attack, heart failure or other forms of coronary arterial disease (CAD).

“All of our cardiovascular teams are dedicated to providing compassionate and high-quality heart and vascular care, close to home,” said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, chief executive officer, Hackensack Meridian Health. “I’m proud that the Southern Ocean team has expanded their cardiac services to provide lifesaving care for patients experiencing a heart event.”

“This expansion of emergency heart care services greatly benefits the residents of Manahawkin and the surrounding communities, as cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of disability and death for women and men in the U.S.,” said Michele Morrison, MPH, BSHA, R.N., president and chief hospital executive, Southern Ocean Medical Center. “I’m pleased that we are now able to provide the community we serve with this life-saving care close to home, and proud that our cardiac team and cardiologists have offered such outstanding heart care, enabling Southern Ocean to achieve this new licensure.”

During primary angioplasty, also called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), a tiny expandable metal mesh coil called a stent is placed in a newly open artery to help keep it from narrowing or closing again. During PCI, a long, thin tube (catheter) is put into a blood vessel and guided to the blocked coronary artery. The catheter has a tiny balloon at its tip.  Once the catheter is in place, the balloon is inflated at the narrowed area of the heart artery. This presses the blockage plaque or blood clot against the sides of the artery, making more room for blood flow. Fluoroscopy, a special type of X-ray, helps the cardiologist find the blockages in the heart arteries as a contrast dye moves through them.

In May 2021, the New Jersey Department of Health enabled the state’s hospitals to begin an application process, including extensive data collection and site survey, to receive licensure, to become; a full-service catheterization lab for diagnostic testing, add an elective angioplasty service to a preexisting emergency angioplasty service, or add a new emergency angioplasty service. Southern Ocean Medical Center applied and received a new license to provide full-service cardiac catheterization for diagnostic testing as part of this process.

Southern Ocean’s cardiovascular specialists utilize a leading-edge angiography imaging system, GE Innova IGS 540, to provide vascular, cardiac, and interventional radiology services and accurately diagnose and treat heart, artery and valve diseases. Exercise, nuclear and Persantine/Lexiscan Nuclear Stress Tests for the heart are provided by the team as well as stress echocardiology and a 12-week cardiac rehabilitation program.  The medical center’s freestanding Vascular Surgery and Vein Center provides specialized care and expert diagnosis of arterial and venous diseases.

In 2023, the medical center achieved American College of Cardiology Chest Pain Center Accreditation, Heart Failure Accreditation and NCDR Chest Pain  ̶  MI Registry Silver Performance Achievement Award as well as the American Heart Association Get With The Guidelines® - Heart Failure Gold Plus quality achievement award. “Southern Ocean is expanding its award winning, top-notch heart care services to match the growing needs of the community, to create an even more complete cardiovascular program,” said Kenneth N. Sable, M.D., MBA, FACEP, regional president, southern market, Hackensack Meridian Health. “Furthermore, through the Hackensack Meridian network, Southern Ocean's patients are connected to a comprehensive range of leading-edge technologies treating heart disease and world-renowned cardiac experts, right here in New Jersey.”

Hackensack Meridian Health has developed an interdisciplinary, state-wide team of award winning heart and vascular specialists. Collaboratively, they provide comprehensive services identifying, treating and managing heart and vascular conditions for patients of all ages. This includes providing life-saving cardiovascular care for the most complex patient cases at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, with Monmouth and Ocean counties' only minimally invasive and open-heart surgery program, and The Heart and Vascular Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center, each have one of New Jersey’s few open-heart surgery and minimally invasive programs.

For more information about Southern Ocean Medical Center, visit www.hackensackmeridianhealth.org/en/Locations/Southern-Ocean-Medical-Center. Individuals looking for a heart specialist, those who want to schedule a screening to find out their risk of heart disease, or are interested in virtual heart education programs, should call 844-HMH-WELL or visit HMHhasHeart.com.

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