Ocean Medical Center Unveils New Medical Suite

Local dignitaries cut the ribbon, officially opening the Southwest Pavilion. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

BRICK – Ocean Medical Center in Brick now has an $18.5 million state-of-the-art medical-surgical suite, which is the latest addition to a master facility plan developed five years ago.

This expansion comes on the heels of an expansion of the Emergency Care Center in 2014 and the construction of a new Cancer Care Center in 2016.

The patient rooms feature state-of-the-art technology and aesthetic choices meant to provide a comfortable visit. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

A ceremony and ribbon-cutting was held for the new 36,000-square-foot “Southwest Pavilion” on Tuesday September 12, which was held under an outdoor tent and attended by nearly 200 stakeholders, including Hackensack Meridian Health leadership, hospital employees, leadership from Ocean Medical Center Foundation, and elected officials.

In his opening remarks, President of Ocean Medical Center Dean Q. Lin said that the new medical-surgical floor is uniquely designed to bring “humanity to healthcare.”

The floor has 36 private patient rooms dedicated to elective surgeries, such as joint and hip replacements and bariatric and GI procedures.

The nurses’ station features state-of-the-art technology. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

The new suite is divided into three “neighborhoods” that feature distinctive colors and a curved nurses’ station that enhances nurses’ line of sight into patient rooms.

Each room has modern amenities, such as in-room speaker systems, pull-out couches for family members to stay overnight, oversize windows to bring in more natural light, noise-reducing design features, computers that face the patients to increase transparency, and much more.

“We want to change the perception of what healthcare means,” Lin said. “The Southwest Pavilion will bring a culture of love and compassion, and we hope to instill a sense of humanity in future physicians,” he said.

Next year Hackensack Meridian Health Ocean Medical Center will host the first group of medical school residents who are studying to be internists, family practitioners and psychiatrists, he said.

Curved, carpeted hallways are designed to cut down on noise and also give nurses a better view of patients. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

Robert C. Garrett and John K. Lloyd, who are the Co-Chief Executive officers of Hackensack Meridian Health, also attended the grand opening ceremony.

Garrett said that the Cancer Care Center has a partnership with Sloan Kettering and it has adapted 100 of their clinical protocols.

“Patients no longer have to travel to the city to get the very best cancer care,” he said.

Lloyd said the expansion of the Emergency Care Center was made possible by a $5 million donation by the Hirair and Anna Hovnanian Foundation.

“That $5 million was very important for us, and it speaks volumes about what the community thinks about the new facility here,” he said.

Lin said the decision to expand was a big one, since hospitals are closing and beds are shrinking nationwide.

Local officials took a tour of the Southwest Pavilion along with leaders from Hackensack Meridian Health. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

“Now we’re in a position to serve this community, which has grown in leaps and bounds over the years,” he said. An average of 175 people show up at the emergency room each day, he added.

The final speaker was Robert G. Harms, Chair of the Ocean Medical Center Foundation, a tax-exempt nonprofit group of volunteers who provide philanthropic support for the hospital. Harms said that he foundation has raised some $116 million for the three additions.

The Foundation would be spending some $5 million to renovate 80 of the 300 existing rooms at the hospital in the near future, Harms said.

After the ribbon-cutting, Lin said that next on the master facility plan is a cardiovascular institute to be housed on the second floor, which is currently empty.

“We’d like to have an integrated heart and vascular program with interventional radiology and a cath lab, and three or four hybrid operating rooms,” he said. “But it’s still in the planning stages.”

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Judy moved to Ocean County from New York City in 1988, and began her second career as a feature and news reporter in the mid-1990's. She has worked for Micromedia Publications since 2008, primarily reporting for The Toms River Times and The Brick Times. Judy has also worked for The Leader Review in Point Pleasant Beach, The Brick Communicator and The Asbury Park Press. Reach Judy by e-mail at Judysmestad[email protected]