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Contact: Kate Hirsch / (732) 840-9028
May 17, 2012
10th District Legislators Support Cardiac Surgery at Community Medical Center in Ocean County

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Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and Dave Wolfe of the 10th Legislative District are calling on the State of New Jersey to approve cardiac surgery services at Community Medical Center in Toms River.

“The State of New Jersey has an obligation to swiftly approve cardiac surgery at Community Medical Center to meet the need of Ocean County residents,” said Senator Holzapfel. “The elderly in our community are being jeopardized by unnecessary delays and risks associated with traveling far from home to an out of county hospital. These patients could be treated safely and sooner right here at Community Medical Center.”

Ocean County is the largest county in New Jersey without a cardiac surgery program, despite having one of the highest concentrations of senior citizens and the highest number of residents needing cardiac surgery statewide. Ocean County residents are forced to travel nearly 30 miles to the closest cardiac surgery program for life-saving care.

Community Medical Center (CMC) is the leading health care facility in Ocean County and was recently named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals® by Thomson Reuters. CMC treats more cardiac patients than any other hospital statewide, and is ranked in the top 10% of hospitals in New Jersey for exceptional care of heart attack and heart failure patients.

“Community Medical Center has served our community for over 50 years, providing first-class health care to my neighbors, the residents of this town and the seniors across Ocean County,” said Assemblyman McGuckin of Toms River. “CMC is the best, most appropriate hospital to perform cardiac surgery in Ocean County. The hospital is already performing a wide-variety of cardiac services proving they are uniquely qualified to successfully provide cardiac surgery to members of our community.”

Ocean County does not have a hospital that provides cardiac surgery although there are 18 approved facilities in New Jersey including 14 in Northern New Jersey and at least one in 11 other counties. The distribution of cardiac surgery programs in New Jersey leaves Ocean County residents with inferior access to cardiac surgery care compared to other senior citizens across the State.

“Ocean County seniors deserve nearby access to cardiac surgery, like the rest of the seniors across New Jersey. Forcing our residents, many of them frail and elderly, to travel out of the county for life-saving care is unacceptable,” said Assemblyman Wolfe of Brick. “Ocean County patients with critical cardiac disease must receive immediate care. There’s too much at stake to let this inequality continue.”

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