By Anne Green. Photography by Jacki Kronstedt

Southern Ocean County Hospital, more commonly known to the community as SOCH (pronounced Soosch), opened in 1972 with fifty-six beds and a medical staff of seven-teen physicians to care for the growing population. Over the next several decades, numerous investments to facilities and services brought new treatments, breakthrough technologies, and skilled expertise here and expanded throughout the community. In 2010, SOCH became a member of the Meridian Health net-work of hospitals and services, enhancing access to an advanced level of care and services. The hospital’s new name, Southern Ocean Medical Center (SOMC) reflected its continued growth and future direction. Developments and advancements expand-ed when Meridian Health joined Hackensack University Health Network in 2016 to form Hackensack Meridian Health, New Jersey’s largest, most comprehensive, integrated health network.

This powerful alliance provides Southern Ocean Medical Center with new treatments, research, technology, and expertise right here, in southern Ocean County. The support of Hackensack Meridian Health was especially critical during the COVID-19 pandemic as Southern Ocean Medical Center took the necessary precautions to ensure that the hospital continues to be a safe place for all patients during this pandemic – not just COVID-19 patients. The network made sure that team members always had adequate levels of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to keep themselves and patients safe. With the support of Hackensack Meridian Health, Southern Ocean Medical Center entered patients into a promising convalescent blood plasma trial to recruit recovered COVID-19 patients to assess their blood and test it for antibodies in response to the virus. These antibodies may help other patients who are infected with COVID-19.

Southern Ocean Medical Center continues to serve as a place the community can turn to for outstanding, compassionate care. It is important for residents to know the hospital is prepared to take care of you, for whatever your health care needs may be – just as we always have been. You can trust the hospital to provide you with the compassionate, high-quality care you deserve.

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