Newswise — When team members were being recruited to test the new cardiac calcium scan procedure at Southern Ocean Medical Center, Kevin Jester, the hospital’s imaging manager, signed up, not because he had any worries about his heart health—he was just doing his part to make sure everything was working as it should before the hospital started offering it to patients. “It’s one thing to go through a simulation,” Kevin says. “But it’s also very helpful to have a living patient to practice on.”

The imaging procedure (called a CT Calcium Scoring scan) a CT or CAT scan, is a preventive cardiovascular screening test that is painless and noninvasive and takes only 10 minutes. Electron Beam Computed Tomography (EVCT) beam detects and measures the amount of calcium in the heart’s arteries. The more calcium that is present, the greater the likelihood of developing heart disease or having a heart attack or stroke. The test provides patients and their health care providers with the most accurate available “picture” of their current risk of developing heart disease or experiencing a heart attack. 

“Offering CT Calcium Scoring at a permanently discounted rate is a great way for Southern Ocean Medical Center to promote American Heart Month, but also to encourage year-round and life-long heart health,” said Michele Morrison, MPH, BSHA, RN, chief hospital executive at Southern Ocean Medical Center. “Our hope is that members of the community will take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about their cardiovascular health.”

Although Kevin, has high blood pressure, he had no family history of heart disease or any symptoms of heart disease. On top of that, a routine heart health check-up six months prior indicated that all was normal. Kevin’s calcium scan results suggested that he was at high risk for a cardiac event such as a stroke or heart attack. So, after seeing his cardiologist, Kevin had a cardiac catheterization that revealed that he had one 100-percent artery blockage, and three arteries that were 80-percent blocked. 

Within a week and a half of getting the calcium scan, Kevin had a quadruple bypass surgery. He spent a week in the hospital, followed by a month of home care with Hackensack Meridian At Home visiting nurses. After that, he completed two months of outpatient cardiac rehabilitation at Southern Ocean, where he worked with “a great group of nurses,” say Kevin. “They keep you moving, and they educate you at the same time—and you have a lot of fun doing it. They’re a special group of people, I’ll say.”

Hackensack Meridian Southern Ocean Medical Center is providing CT Calcium Scoring, a preventive cardiovascular screening test, at a permanently discounted price of $99 — a savings of $151. Expanding on its commitment to improving access to affordable and convenient care, the medical center is offering the discounted price to provide members of the community to learn more about their risk of heart disease. 

CT Calcium Scoring requires a written prescription from a physician.

To schedule an appointment for a CT Calcium Scoring test, call Southern Ocean Medical Center at 609-978-3400 or 609-978-8900 ext. 2071.


Located in the heart of southern Ocean County, Southern Ocean Medical Center has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report 2020-2021 as a High Performing hospital in urology, congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The medical center has received the 2020 American College of Cardiology’s NDCR Chest Pain - MI Registry Performance Achievement Silver award recognizing high standards of heart attack treatment and, has earned a certificate of distinction for Advanced Certification as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission.

 With nearly 400 physicians and more than 1,000 dedicated health care professionals, the medical center provides comprehensive high-quality, advanced inpatient and outpatient services. A committed focus to expanding physician expertise has increased the scope of specialty care available close to home with advanced CT, medical imaging and radiology services for expert screening, diagnostics and treatment; a vascular surgery and vein center; telemedicine for stroke patients; sleep medicine; bariatric surgery; maternity; cardiovascular and interventional radiology; cardiac rehabilitation, physical and occupational therapy; convenient outpatient locations and two urgent care centers. The nurses and allied health providers are consistently recognized as providing high-quality, personalized care to patients and their families.

 Major investments to facilities and advanced services have brought a new level of innovative technology, advanced treatments and skilled expertise to the Southern Ocean community. One of the most recent developments was the expansion of the medical center’s vascular, cardiac, and interventional radiology services with a $1.5million investment, adding a GE Innova IGS 540 angiography suite to diagnose heart, artery and valve disease. The freestanding Vascular Surgery and Vein Center provides specialized care and expert diagnosis of arterial and venous disease. The Emergency Department sees more than 40,000 patients of Southern Ocean County each year in a setting that reinforces comfort, privacy and compassion. The completion of the state-of-the-art Cancer Center provides a single destination for multidisciplinary cancer treatment and advanced radiation therapies.

The nursing team achieved Magnet® status, the nation’s highest honor of nursing excellence, quality and safety in patient care. Southern Ocean Medical Center has received the 2020 AHA’s Get with the Guidelines® – Stroke Honor Roll Elite and Type2 Diabetes Honor Roll and a three-star rating from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services for overall hospital quality. The medical center earned The Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval® and is also certified by the Joint Commission for stroke and sepsis, a disease-specific care certification. The medical center is designated an ACS-MBSA QIP Comprehensive Center by the American College of Surgeons as the most comprehensive quality bariatric surgery program. The Diabetes Self-Management Education Service has been awarded continued Education Recognition by the American Diabetes Association for offering high-quality education services.

Southern Ocean Medical Center has been named among the top 25 hospitals in the country by Practice Greenhealth for 2020 receiving the Emerald Environmental Excellence Award and the Making Medicine Mercury Free Award. The medical center’s longstanding Project Aware experience program, educating sixth graders about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse, was cited as a highlight in the 2018 Commerce and Industry of New Jersey CEO Best Practices Award.


Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the largest, most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care.

Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 17 hospitals from Bergen to Ocean counties, which includes three academic medical centers – Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, JFK Medical Center in Edison; two children’s hospitals - Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in Hackensack, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune; nine community hospitals – Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel, Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, and Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin; a behavioral health hospital – Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead; and two rehabilitation hospitals - JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison and Shore Rehabilitation Institute in Brick.

Additionally, the network has more than 500 patient care locations throughout the state which include ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness centers, rehabilitation centers, urgent care centers and physician practice locations. Hackensack Meridian Health has more than 36,000 team members, and over 7,000 physicians and is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy, committed to the health and well-being of the communities it serves.

The network’s notable distinctions include having four hospitals among the top in New Jersey by U.S. News and World Report. Other honors include consistently achieving Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center and being named to Becker’s Healthcare’s “150 Top Places to Work in Healthcare/2019” list.

The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine opened in 2018, the first private medical school in New Jersey in more than 50 years, welcomed its third class of students in 2020 to its On3 campus in Nutley and Clifton. Additionally, the network partnered with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to find more cures for cancer faster while ensuring that patients have access to the highest quality, most individualized cancer care when and where they need it.

Hackensack Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies.

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