Newswise — Hackensack Meridian Health Jersey Shore University Medical Center has earned The Joint Commission’s gold Seal of Approval® for two areas of expertise - Lung Cancer Certification and Esophageal Cancer Certification – a distinct status within New Jersey and the nation.

Jersey Shore University Medical Center is the only hospital in New Jersey to currently hold Lung Cancer Certification, a distinction that only a few hospitals in the country have earned. The medical center is also the only currently-certified organization for Esophageal Cancer in the United States.

“These phenomenal distinctions demonstrate the quality care, forward-thinking treatment options, and patient-centered services that our team delivers each and every day,” says Kenneth N. Sable, M.D. MBA, FACEP, president of Jersey Shore University Medical Center and K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital. “I am so proud of the entire team and all that they have accomplished to have our cancer program stand out among others in the country.”

The Gold Seal of Approval® is a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective patient care.  Jersey Shore University Medical Center underwent a rigorous on-site review earlier this month. Joint Commission experts evaluated compliance with national disease-specific care standards as well as with lung-specific and esophageal-specific requirements. Clinical practice guidelines and performance measures also were assessed. 

Thoracic surgeon Thomas L. Bauer II, M.D., FACS, who serves as clinical medical director of Oncology for Hackensack Meridian Health, medical director of Thoracic Oncology Monmouth and Ocean counties, and is the chief of Thoracic Surgery at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, led the team’s surveys and is also directly involved with performing complex lung and esophageal surgeries. “These certifications build upon the culture of excellence at Jersey Shore University Medical Center,” says Dr. Bauer. “This elite national and state status speaks to the extraordinary personalized and innovative care we offer cancer patients, all with the benefits of being close to home.”

Established in 2002 and awarded for a two-year period, The Joint Commission’s Disease-Specific Care Certification evaluates clinical programs across the continuum of care and addresses three core areas:

  • Compliance with consensus-based national standards;
  • Effective use of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines to manage and optimize care; and
  • An organized approach to performance measurement and improvement activities.

"Jersey Shore University Medical Center has thoroughly demonstrated a high level of care for patients with lung cancer, as well as those with esophageal cancer,” said Patrick Phelan, executive director, Hospital Business Development, The Joint Commission. “We commend Jersey Shore University Medical Center for becoming a leader in lung and esophageal care, potentially providing a higher standard of service for cancer patients in its community.”


The Joint Commission

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. An independent, nonprofit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at

ABOUT HACKENSACK MERIDIAN HEALTH Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the 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 16 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; 11 community hospitals - Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin, Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, and Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood, JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison and Shore Rehabilitation Institute in Brick.

Additionally, the network has more than 160 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, and urgent care and after-hours centers. Hackensack Meridian Health has 33,000 team members, and 6,500 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 one of only five major academic medical centers in the nation to receive Healthgrades America's 50 Best Hospitals Award for five or more consecutive years, four hospitals among the top 10 in New Jersey, including Hackensack University Medical Center which is ranked No. 1 by U.S. News and World Report. Other honors include consistently achieving Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, recipient of the John M. Eisenberg Award for Patient Safety and Quality from The Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum, a six-time recipient of Fortune's "100 Best Companies to Work For," one of the "20 Best Workplaces in Health Care" in the nation, and the number one "Best Place to Work for Women." 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.

For additional information, please visit