Newswise — Brick, NJ – November 4, 2019 – Hackensack Meridian Health Ocean Medical Center Foundation has been awarded a Major Grant in the amount of $10,000 from The Provident Bank Foundation to help improve the care and support provided to children and young adults with autism, developmental disabilities and substance abuse issues presenting in Emergency Department crisis units at Hackensack Meridian Health Ocean Medical Center and Hackensack Meridian Health Southern Ocean Medical Center.

The medical centers were selected to receive the grant to ease the trauma and fear that a trip to the Emergency Department can bring to children and young adults with autism, developmental disabilities and mental health issues, which can heighten symptoms and make treatment more difficult. Funding will be used to provide additional training to team members and to transform two pediatric crisis unit rooms into sensory rooms furnished with equipment and toys that will help youths communicate with team members, reduce their anxiety and minimize dangerous social-emotional behaviors. 

“We are thankful to The Provident Bank Foundation for selecting Ocean Medical Center Foundation as a recipient of this generous grant,” says Joseph E. Stampe, president and chief development officer at Hackensack Meridian Health Meridian Health Foundation, to which Ocean Medical Center Foundation belongs. “A trip to the Emergency Department can be a frightening experience for these young patients and this gift will greatly help our organization to improve their experience and lessen their anxiety.” 

Ocean Medical Center Foundation was presented with the check during a presentation on October 1 in the Emergency Department at Ocean Medical Center and will administer the funds necessary to support the program at both Ocean Medical Center and Southern Ocean Medical Center. The check was received by Jason Kreitner, FACHE, chief hospital executive at Ocean Medical Center; Marie Foley Danecker, DNP, RN, CCRN, NE-BC, vice president and chief nursing officer at Ocean Medical Center; Kelli Chiarello, MSW, LCSW, emergency psychiatric services manager at Ocean Medical Center and Southern Ocean Medical Center; Matthew Lang, executive director, Ocean Medical Center Foundation; and Joanne DiNapoli, executive director of foundation and government grants. 

“The Provident Bank Foundation is honored to help further initiatives that are making a difference in the lives of residents in our local area,” said Jane Kurek, executive director, The Provident Bank Foundation. “We are pleased to support organizations that contribute to a sense of community and offer a diverse set of programs that make people healthier, happier and safer.” 

The goal of The Provident Bank Foundation Major Grant is to support organizations that have identified an immediate need in the community and for the individuals they serve. The Provident Bank Foundation’s funding directly supports efforts to enhance the quality of life in the New Jersey and Pennsylvania communities served by Provident Bank through three Funding Priority Areas: Community Enrichment, Education, and Health, Youth & Families. 

Not only will this gift from The Provident Bank Foundation help to improve the Emergency Department experience for children, young adults and families of those living with autism, developmental disabilities and mental health challenges, but it also brings Meridian Health Foundation closer to reaching its fundraising goal of $150 million as part of the organization’s Giving Heals campaign. The campaign supports four important initiatives: strengthening oncology services, improving clinical outcomes, enhancing the patient experience and broadening clinical research and academic programs. Nearly $100 million has been raised so far to benefit eight Hackensack Meridian Health hospitals, including Bayshore Medical Center, Jersey Shore University Medical Center, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital, Ocean Medical Center, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, Riverview Medical Center and Southern Ocean Medical Center.


For more information about Meridian Health Foundation and the Giving Heals campaign, visit



Serving Ocean and southern Monmouth counties, Ocean Medical Center is an advanced care hospital that offers the convenience and easy access of a community hospital with high technology advances and expertise of a major medical center featuring expert care coordinated by a team of top specialists in emergency, cardio vascular, women’s health, cancer and orthopedic services. Delivering on this promise, Ocean Medical Center is home to an innovative medical-surgical floor equipped with 36 private patient beds that integrates technology and design to transform the patient experience and empower patients to return to their lives as soon as possible.  This forward thinking renovation project completed the $82 million expansion including the 44,300 square foot state-of-the-art Hirair and Anna Hovnanian Emergency Care Center and a new comprehensive Cancer Center. Ocean Medical Center officially became a premier community-based teaching hospital with the launch of its inaugural class of family medicine and psychiatry residents in 2018 and, further medical education developments included the addition of an internal medicine residency program in 2019. 


The medical center provides the only 24/7 obstetrical hospitalist coverage and a dedicated obstetrical emergency department in the community to enhance the continuity of care for women and their infants. Certified by the Joint Commission as an accredited orthopedic program, Ocean Medical Center is a designation for orthopedic joint replacements where more than 1,000 joint replacements are done annually. The Vascular Program is among the first in Ocean County to offer Trans-cervical Carotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR) for patients with carotid artery disease. Other key services include: designation as a Primary Stroke Center; brain lab neurological surgery, DaTscan and advanced imaging technology; da Vinci®  robotic surgery; general thoracic and vascular surgery; one of the nation’s most advanced cardiac catheterization laboratories and cardiac services; acute care of the elderly; and critical care services.  Ocean was recognized as a high performing hospital in U.S. News & World Report 2018-19 for heart failure and colon cancer surgery and earned The Joint Commission Seal of Approval for four disease sites:  Jt. Replacement, Stroke, Palliative Care, and Colorectal cancer.


The medical center has achieved Magnet® recognition, one of the highest and most prestigious distinctions a health care organization can receive for nursing excellence and high-quality patient care. In spring 2019, Ocean Medical Center was once again awarded an ‘A’ rating in the Leapfrog Safety Grade and received the 2018 Healthgrades Patient Safety Excellence Award for superior safety performance. Ocean Medical Center received the highest score in the hospital network for team member engagement in the Great Places To Work® survey and has been honored for Environmental Excellence by Greenhealth for its ongoing commitment to improving environment performance.


Additional certifications and awards include:  2018 Get with the Guidelines® continuous quality improvement awards for Heart Failure Gold Plus Award, Stroke Gold Plus and Stroke Honor Roll Elite Awards, the 2018 ACTION Registry Platinum Performance Achievement Award.  


The medical center also operates the state’s first satellite Emergency Care Center in Point Pleasant, the Ocean Care Center, and hospital-based programs at Jackson Health Village.



The Provident Bank Foundation was established in 2003 by Provident Bank to enhance the quality of life in the region through support of not-for-profit groups, institutions, schools and other 501(c)(3) organizations that provide services in communities served by the Bank. Since inception, the Foundation has granted more than $25 million to not-for-profit organizations and institutions working toward stronger communities. For more information, visit or call (862) 260-3990.